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Glenfoxx

Creating Gravity vs. Reality

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Hello, I'm new here, and I believe this is the place to ask a question regarding the power of gravity wielded by Nuvhok-Kal and unspecified Toa of Gravity.

Obviously, Bionicle elements and the way there universe works are not be defined by ours. However, I find it amusing and fun to contemplate how various Bionicle elements could be created utilizing modern knowledge and techniques.

Many elements are actually east to understand if explained through real-world physics. Water, Fire, even most "invisible elements" like magnetism, psionics, and sonics, can be created using logical real-world frameworks and even esoteric Bionicle physics.

However, their is one element I find difficult to explain as it relates to the creation and manipulation of a certain element.

I'm talking of Gravity of course.

I have this problem because I'm working on a fan-fic and a character is a Ba-Toa. I do not know how his element works. So here is what I know about gravity.

Gravity, by our definition, is the pull between objects of mass…I think. The more massive the object, the greater the pull on the environment. A black hole is an infinite singularity of a massive amount of mass, which causes intense gravimetric effects.

Gravity can also be created by cylindrical motion.

So…how in the world could a Toa logically create gravity?

Can he create an invisible incredible amount of concentrated mass to simulate gravity? If so…this requires an ungodly amount of energy. Basically an inverse E=Mc squared.

And in the Bionicle universe, gravity is never shown being related to big objects that spin around like space stations.

And what about manipulating gravity? What could be involved? I cannot think of anything outside of several forms that require magnetism of some form. And we already have a element for that.

Any help?

Oh…forget about tackling how to create a solid from nothing (a.k.a earth, iron, stone.) I'll bring that up some other time. ;)


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Gravity, by our definition, is the pull between objects of mass…I think. The more massive the object, the greater the pull on the environment. A black hole is an infinite singularity of a massive amount of mass, which causes intense gravimetric effects.

Gravity can also be created by cylindrical motion.

Er, no. It's probably a good thing you asked, as it appears you're operating on a misconception. Gravity is one type of force energy that induces motion in matter. Only one type. Not all motion is created by gravity. Most is made by the electromagnetic force somehow or another. When something moves, and then tries to change direction or speed, there is resistance to the change. This is called momentum. The change in speed is called acceleration (and slowing down is technically acceleration in the opposite direction).

 

What you feel when you're in a centrifuge and it resembles the effect of gravity has nothing (directly) to do with gravity; it is momentum, because the act of going in a circle is constantly changing direction, and thus pitting you against your momentum. Momentum always makes you want to go in a straight line at the same speed you're at. (You have to have something acting against it, like friction, to do otherwise.) A spinning centrifuge does not emit extra gravitational energy.

 

You could also create the same effect by constantly accelerating or deaccelerating in a straight line. It's why when you speed up or slow down a car you feel pulled back or forward, or when an elevator starts up you feel pulled down, or vice versa. The effect just fades quickly in those cases because you quickly reach the target speed, and stop acceleration. Only if acceleration continues do you feel that effect. A centrifuge is simply a way to cheat and create constant acceleration (because change in direction is acceleration from a straight-line perspective, which is what counts for momentum).

 

A rocket in space that constantly goes faster and faster and faster would make a similar effect, but there's obvious limits because of fuel problems, the "speed limit" of c, etc. (Then as you approach the destination, there could be a brief zero-"G" effect as the rocket turns slowly around -- actually a "toward the walls" gravity instead of toward the one-direction floor, and when braking begins, gradually slowing down, the feeling imitating gravity would continue, now with the floor pointed toward where you're going instead of where you came from.)

 

This is in fact technically why gravity gives you that feeling. Gravity is constantly trying to accelerate your atoms toward center mass. But the electromagnetic and strongweak forces holding the atoms of the ground together push up against it, once you reach the elevation where the outer surface of the solid mass is (hopefully you reach that surface slowly :P). Then when you stand on it, it is as if you are constantly being "accelerated up". So, gravity simulates the effects of a centrifuge, just like a centrifuge can be seen as simulating the effects of gravity!

 

So…how in the world could a Toa logically create gravity?

Which world? I'm not entirely sure I'm understanding you right, so please correct me if I'm misreading, but it sounds like you're asking how a hypothetical real-world Toa could make gravity? Or are you asking how it works in Bionicle?

 

In Bionicle it's simple. All elements work by converting one type of energy, raw energy, into another -- fictional types called "elemental energies" (these do not exist in real life), which charges up a reservoir of EE in them. Then, when Toa make their element, they spend elemental energy, converting it to their element. With matter, they turn it to matter. With the energy elements they also convert it into other types of energy.

 

So, elemental energy of Gravity is converted into actual gravity energy -- gravitons. :) And they are then emitted in whatever direction the Toa wants. (Or he can spend elemental energy to control gravitons already being emitted by matter.)

 

If you're asking specifically how in real life gravity could be created artificially, well, doesn't it go without saying that we don't know? If we did, we'd have gravity plating already. :P

 

At least we don't know how to do it in an energy-efficient and safe way. Perhaps some extra gravity is technically produced in atom-smashing experiments, not sure, but way less than the other -- dangerous -- energies produced. Probably it wouldn't be measurable. Methinks the recent experiments about the Higgs boson would be relevant, but useless to actually making a Toa, thus far. In short, it would take technology far, far more advanced than our current knowledge accounts for. We might not even be able to know yet whether it's possible.

 

Can he create an invisible incredible amount of concentrated mass to simulate gravity?

This is one thing we can almost certainly rule out, as it would put an astounding cost to one element over others. No, I think Bionicle's fictional Gravity EE simply bridges the gap between raw energy and gravity energy that in real life we don't know how to do. Real life gravity is only a byproduct of the natural workings of subatomic particles, which reserve most of their energy "being particles". It's like building a vast factory that builds extremely fancy clocks, just to produce one little gear that is almost insignificant to the clocks in the factory, but it's the only kind of factory we know how to build. Bionicle would just make factories that make those gears specifically.

 

And what about manipulating gravity? What could be involved?

Do you mean like bending its direction? As with all elements, you can spend EE either to make the element, or to control existing element (including what you just made). The most fundamental energy is kinetic energy, with its directional components. So, to alter the direction of gravity, you take out some of the kinetic energy making the graviton go in one direction, and induce kinetic energy telling it to go in another.

 

I cannot think of anything outside of several forms that require magnetism of some form. And we already have a element for that.

Back in the old days on the old forum, in my Wacky Physics topic, I pointed out how control over material elements can actually theoretically be done with a pinpoint magnetic field. Every atom's nucleus has an electromagnetic charge, which is influenced, motion-wise, by others, like one large-scale magnet being pushed or pulled by other magnets. Electromagnetism is essential in nearly all motion, tangibility, and other effects we interact with on a daily basis.

 

So, if you created a field of magnetism where most of the field is a repelling charge, but there are pinpoints of attracting charge, and detect where the atoms are in the target object to control where to put the pinpoints to match, then move the whole field without distorting the constellations of pinpoints, the physical object should be moved just like if it were magnetic, in fact, with far more precision than large-scale magnets. (The difficulty would be figuring out HOW to make such a field. Protodermis makes one nice partial explanation, as every super-molecule may have "hologram" generating lasers to induce emission of em polarity at a set distance and direction, but it still goes beyond what our physics really seems to allow. I have a simpler explanation but I'm saving it for my non-Bionicle fiction, so classified. :P)

 

The Bionicle elements of electricity and magnetism are just large scale versions. But theoretically many more elements may involve magnetism; the Toa just can't control it in any way except very specifically defined patterns in the pinpoint fields. They wouldn't know this is what it is.

 

So if magnetism could affect gravitons like that, then that would be a way to bend gravity. However, gravity appears not to work quite that way. It's confusing, but theoretically all you would need is to replace magnetism with the more fundamental kinetic force (which is present in everything that moves, including gravitons), creating a field of kinetic energy that targets gravity specifically. Of course, you could just skip the whole thing and just emit gravitons parallel to the desired direction of motion plus a little to balance out the interference from natural gravity.

Edited by bonesiii

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Aha! Thanks for clearing that up. To clear up my question, I was wondering how a Toa could create gravity in a real world context as well as a Bionicle context. But you cleared it up quite nicely. :) My mind is sufficiently at peace now. So each element is technically it's own unique kind of energy?


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Aha! Thanks for clearing that up. To clear up my question, I was wondering how a Toa could create gravity in a real world context as well as a Bionicle context. But you cleared it up quite nicely. :) My mind is sufficiently at peace now. So each element is technically it's own unique kind of energy?

 

Not necessarily I don't think. The nature of Elemental Energy (EE) hasn't been officially explored very much, but it's possible, I guess. I suspect Elemental Energy is either the same, and is then converted into the element or a more element specific version of the energy, OR that it is slightly different depending on the element. I don't really know. But I think that what comes out of a Toa is element specific, even if they just pour out energy -- like how they do when the make a Proto Cage (like the Metru with Teridax, or Mata with the Bahrag), since there needs to be different types for it to work.

 

The raw energy inside them is a mystery (at least until Bones illuminates us with his Canon Cannon ;) , probably) I think, though.

 

EDIT:

 

And, for the record, could I point out that it's a common misconception that mass is what creates, or has the intrinsic property of, Gravity, and that gravitational attraction is based on mass - a lovely revelation provided by Relativity.

 

Gravity's source is Energy and Momentum (yes, Photon's have momentum, it messed me up to when I first heard it), meaning that Photons (light) exerts its own gravity, and is likewise attracted by gravity, albeit a tiny tiny tiny tiny amount.

Edited by NuvaTube

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I tried asking Greg about it once, because the Mask of Elemental Energy (which is pretty much canon despite only appearing in the odd semi-canon story) can recharge any Toa's energy. All Toa also generate their own internal storage of energy; so I theorized that they were indeed using their bodies to convert to/from a generic EE, with the exact process depending on the Toa. Still, he specified that most types of EE are unique -- most likely because he didn't want to imply that they can release "pure" EE in any way. So yes, Toa of Fire have to work with heat/fire EE and nothing else.

 

Still, there is something going on when certain artifacts can deal with non-specific EE. That, and certain Toa can not absorb energy (Gravity and Psionics) because they are unable to "break down" what is found naturally. They have to rely on their own stockpile, which I suppose is uniquely generated. For that reason, I see Toa of Gravity as generating their own gravity EE that takes effect upon the world, then dissipates. Compare to Toa of Stone, who actually create matter from their EE storage. The matter stays behind, but the elements like magnetism and gravity produce waves that are unstable and cannot stay for long.

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Quite interesting. I've got a lot of food for though now. At least I have a good understanding of how it could work.

At least i've gotten a superb education on Gravity and EE. :D Thanks for that. B-)

One question more.

Can a Ba-Toa create a gravity shield or bubble around them that is strong enough to deflect most energy attacks? I imagine the tax on their strength would be enormous, but can it logically be done? Because, last I checked, Ba-Toa could create black holes. Black holes capture light, and pretty much anything else. So the gravity shield would be kind of an inverse black hole in that it deflects instead of captures. I…have no idea how this would work…just ask'in.

Or are they confined to a more, "Make this heavy, Make you this light-weighted," approach?


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Nuhvok-Kal demonstrates the ability to move a giant boulder with gravity, not just make it float. So yes, elemental Gravity can manipulate both the strength and direction of gravity. While I don't recall it happening in the comics the same way, BS01 mentions the following:

Later, somewhere within the jungles of Le-Koro, Tahu and Lewa severely weakened Nuhvok-Kal by enlisting several Le-Matoran to throw things at it from all sides, forcing it to spin around in rapid circles to neutralize all the attacks.

With quick reactions you can redirect incoming projectiles. It appears you might need to concentrate on each, though, or at the very least be consciously directing gravity away from you in broad sweeps. Whether you can create a gravity field around your entire body to push things away I don't know. I imagine magnetism could try the same thing for metal objects, possibly with more ease.

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I think a very experienced Toa would probably be able to, akin to the things Helryx was said to be capable of doing with water that most Ga-Toa wouldn't know how to do. Toa are probably a lot more flexible than robots, even powerful ones like Kal. But a newbie, probably not.

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It may be noted that there are two major theories on how gravity works: bending spacetime (which is the theory that has been discussed so far), and the graviton theory. It may also be noted that it is very possible that neither of these are correct. Truthfully, we don't know much about gravity (or a lot of ofther things, for that matter).

 

I can see how figuring out how modifying gravity with the spacetime theory would be difficult, since that involves fourth-dimensional displacement and stuff. Complicated.

But if we go with the graviton theory, it is a bit more do-able. For those of you who don't know much about the graviton theory, it is basically the idea that there are these massless particles (sounds strange, but once you get into subatomic particle research, you'll find that there is a lot of strange stuff) that everything is passing around with everything. The gravitons want to move back and forth between the objects as fast as they can, and this can only be accomplished by bringing the two objects closer together. (Don't cite me on this, since the facts might be a bit different.)

Anyway, to modify gravity with the graviton theory, one would merely have to control gravitons, by sending out more or less, or speeding or slowing them. This would allow the user to control gravity, in a way.

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So, Theoretically, An average Av-Toa throws a beam of light at an experienced Ba-Toa, and our confident and experienced Ba-Toa with a full reservoir of EE could bend the light itself to deflect away or around him?

 

Later, somewhere within the jungles of Le-Koro, Tahu and Lewa severely weakened Nuhvok-Kal by enlisting several Le-Matoran to throw things at it from all sides, forcing it to spin around in rapid circles to neutralize all the attacks.

Ah…Tales of the Masks I believe. That was my favorite Bionicle book growing up, because, well, that was the only one I had. Good memories, and I honestly had forgotten it until Katuko mentioned it. Oh the nostalgia! :satisfied:


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So, Theoretically, An average Av-Toa throws a beam of light at an experienced Ba-Toa, and our confident and experienced Ba-Toa with a full reservoir of EE could bend the light itself to deflect away or around him?

Depending on the distances involved, yes. But Magnetism would be a far stronger way to do that. To noticeably bend light via gravity you need a huge amount of it. Going back to the comment someone made that Ba-Toa can make black holes. Well, it's generally thought that this is only true if they do a Nova Blast, essentially a suicide attack. (Even the gravity Kal's black hole didn't really hurt anything beyond him, though -- but if someone had been standing right next to him it would have.) I think to bend away a light attack at a normal battle distance, the safest bet is to think it's beyond the amount of EE they can spend at one time. Can't be sure though.

 

One problem is that real light travels way too fast to react. In Bionicle it seems "elemental" light may go much slower, like when Umbra turns himself into light, or Takanuva shoots a bolt of light, that doesn't immediately hit the target. Of course, that's common in science fiction, with things people call "lasers" somehow not hitting essentially instantly.

 

 

two major theories on how gravity works: bending spacetime (which is the theory that has been discussed so far), and the graviton theory

Well, "graviton" is just the name we give to the force carriers. That's not a theory, it's a naming convention, like how we call our planet Earth, not as a theory but just because we decided to call it that. It is a fact that something carries the force of gravity, and we call it gravitons. But exactly how gravitons work is what is theoretical. :) This is all true whether or not you accept that it bends spacetime (and it seems clear that it does, though some argue it's just an illusion based on the bending of the flight paths of light, etc. -- the problem with that is time dilation also occurs, and time is more fundamental than the paths of light, etc.) The graviton is the agent that both pulls mass-objects toward the gravitational source, and bends spacetime (pulling spacetime toward that source too).

 

For those of you who don't know much about the graviton theory, it is basically the idea that there are these massless particles (sounds strange, but once you get into subatomic particle research, you'll find that there is a lot of strange stuff) that everything is passing around with everything.

Please note that gravitons are not necessarily particles in the traditional sense. They may have wave-particle duality like photons (light), or may be entirely waves, or even some "wackier" ideas. As for the mass thing, whether or not they actually have mass is far below our capability to detect, so that part is theoretical, but seems to make sense, as "mass" is simply the name we give for "stuff that is moved by gravitons". Mass seems to be a positive gravitational charge, while gravitons seem to have a negative gravitational charge. So, gravitons could be thought of as having negative mass, which is why when they bump into things, they pull rather than push.

 

The gravitons want to move back and forth between the objects as fast as they can, and this can only be accomplished by bringing the two objects closer together. (Don't cite me on this, since the facts might be a bit different.)

In a sense, yes. Probably the clearest way to say it is that all mass-particles, like atoms, give off a tiny number of gravitons in all directions, and when a graviton hits another mass-particle (like another atom), it gives it a tiny pull, toward the direction it came from. (Toa would be giving off gravitons in any direction they wish via EE, rather than from atoms per se.) Lotsa tiny pulls from a strong gravitational source (planet, or Toa's elemental power) add up.

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Wow…so basically, in order for a Ba-Toa to create a black hole, which as bones mentioned was generally accepted as a nova blast, said Ba-Toa would need to create an enormous counter gravity force just to survive, which is basically saying, "one nova blast for the black hole, another nova blast to counter and survive". Which is impossible. Gosh, I didn't realize dying would be involved with the creation of a singularity. :unsure:

Well, guess this is more a discussion about what a Ba-Toa's abilities are than anything.

It seems to me that Ba-Toa have a very strong defense against most attacks, in fact more so than any other element outside of magnetism. Got a wave of solid horror coming your way? Send it up into orbit.

Of course…fire and most other non solid elements could be non deflectable. Fire coming your way…um…ouch…heat…gravity no worky. :P

It's nice to know what limits there are.

One more question and that'll wrap this up.

Gravity can have an effect on time right? Is this true for Bionicle?

I was thinking of a hypothetical scenario. The all-powerful Vahi, Mask of Time, is used during a fight with a Ba-Toa. Can the Ba-Toa logically create a meager defense against the waves of Time energy and thus potentially escape a premature death of aging or a slow-down? (i.e Vakama Makuta battle)

Again, thanks for all the answers to my inquiries.


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Gravity can have an effect on time right? Is this true for Bionicle?

If you asked Einstein, methinks he would say it absolutely has to. There are good reasons it is a necessary consequence of having spacetime, matter, and gravity. It wouldn't be likely to be much of an effect, nowhere near as easily as the Vahi. (To be clear, more gravity equals slightly slower time passage in that area, compared to the outside world which would seem to move faster.) It's really only noticeable even between for example different elevations on Earth, or Earth compared to Jupiter, if you are dealing with precision clocks. People without the aid of instruments would probably not usually notice.

 

If you asked Greg, though, it would depend really on how much of an understanding he has of why that is needed, and yet if he didn't want to deal with it, unlikely that it would ever play a major role. He might invoke the "Bionicle physics aren't Earth physics" saying.

 

The one time when it should matter is if a black hole does get made. Time should seem to stop for things crossing into the event horizon (the spherical radius from the center that looks black because at that point gravity is strong enough to pull light back in). But pretty much only the Kal would have noticed this and it didn't matter anymore because it was crushed and therefore nonfunctional anyways.

 

I was thinking of a hypothetical scenario. The all-powerful Vahi, Mask of Time, is used during a fight with a Ba-Toa. Can the Ba-Toa logically create a meager defense against the waves of Time energy and thus potentially escape a premature death of aging or a slow-down? (i.e Vakama Makuta battle)

I think it would be far more efficient to throw rocks at them with gravity, forcing the Vahi user's attention to be split and try to slow down all those attacks, considering how difficult it is to use the mask. But technically, they could hamper the speeding up of time. But all gravity can add to is a slow-down effect, so the Vahi user could just go for that route and (nearly) freeze them in time. So, against aging, and only very slightly, yeah. But I'm not sure if the Vahi itself has the aging subpower, as that's not as simple as just speeding up time (since if it was that, the target could also suddenly run really fast and attack powerfully, etc.).

 

Had Makuta gotten the Vahi, and started to use it as he'd planned to speed up the Matoran in the pods, then yes, a Ba-Toa might slightly slow that down. But to make it worth much, he'd have to throw crushing gravity at the poor Matoran. So all in all, it's probably not the best use of the power.

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One problem is that real light travels way too fast to react. In Bionicle it seems "elemental" light may go much slower, like when Umbra turns himself into light, or Takanuva shoots a bolt of light, that doesn't immediately hit the target. Of course, that's common in science fiction, with things people call "lasers" somehow not hitting essentially instantly.

As I once pointed out in an earlier topic: We can see the beam as it travels. This means that it must emit normal light, traveling at normal light speed. The way Takanuva's light beam flies makes it look semi-formed. If he wanted to create an instant burst of light he could, but it seems likely to me that a "normal" light ray would actually be weaker than the energy he deposits in an elemental beam. Because if the Elemental Light beam can emit light on the way to its target, it essentially "wastes" a lot of light energy before it hits. It still pours energy into the target when it hits, so that is probably the rest of the EE transforming into its element proper.

 

 

I was thinking of a hypothetical scenario. The all-powerful Vahi, Mask of Time, is used during a fight with a Ba-Toa. Can the Ba-Toa logically create a meager defense against the waves of Time energy and thus potentially escape a premature death of aging or a slow-down? (i.e Vakama Makuta battle)

I think it would be far more efficient to throw rocks at them with gravity, forcing the Vahi user's attention to be split and try to slow down all those attacks, considering how difficult it is to use the mask.

 

Targeting the mask user directly would be more efficient, I think. Tahu demonstrated an inability to block Nuhvok-Kal's gravity power with his Hau, which means that it does not register as "visible". Greg has confirmed that even modern bullets could register so long as the shield was already prepared and the user was aware of the threat, which logically marks at least this application of Gravity as a force that is completely invisible and impossible to block with a Hau. I'd not be surprised if a Vahi-user would be unable to defend against Gravity because they couldn't notice the attack before it had already passed through their time-field (even if it passed in slow-motion) and started flipping them up-side down.

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two major theories on how gravity works: bending spacetime (which is the theory that has been discussed so far), and the graviton theory

Well, "graviton" is just the name we give to the force carriers. That's not a theory, it's a naming convention, like how we call our planet Earth, not as a theory but just because we decided to call it that. It is a fact that something carries the force of gravity, and we call it gravitons. But exactly how gravitons work is what is theoretical. :) This is all true whether or not you accept that it bends spacetime (and it seems clear that it does, though some argue it's just an illusion based on the bending of the flight paths of light, etc. -- the problem with that is time dilation also occurs, and time is more fundamental than the paths of light, etc.) The graviton is the agent that both pulls mass-objects toward the gravitational source, and bends spacetime (pulling spacetime toward that source too).

 

For those of you who don't know much about the graviton theory, it is basically the idea that there are these massless particles (sounds strange, but once you get into subatomic particle research, you'll find that there is a lot of strange stuff) that everything is passing around with everything.

Please note that gravitons are not necessarily particles in the traditional sense. They may have wave-particle duality like photons (light), or may be entirely waves, or even some "wackier" ideas. As for the mass thing, whether or not they actually have mass is far below our capability to detect, so that part is theoretical, but seems to make sense, as "mass" is simply the name we give for "stuff that is moved by gravitons". Mass seems to be a positive gravitational charge, while gravitons seem to have a negative gravitational charge. So, gravitons could be thought of as having negative mass, which is why when they bump into things, they pull rather than push.

 

The gravitons want to move back and forth between the objects as fast as they can, and this can only be accomplished by bringing the two objects closer together. (Don't cite me on this, since the facts might be a bit different.)

In a sense, yes. Probably the clearest way to say it is that all mass-particles, like atoms, give off a tiny number of gravitons in all directions, and when a graviton hits another mass-particle (like another atom), it gives it a tiny pull, toward the direction it came from. (Toa would be giving off gravitons in any direction they wish via EE, rather than from atoms per se.) Lotsa tiny pulls from a strong gravitational source (planet, or Toa's elemental power) add up.

 

I call them subatomic particles because that is the best description I have for them. :P Also, I call it the graviton theory just I call the spacetime theory the spacetime theory. It's just a name, as you said. :P

Of course, the spacetime theory of gravity (the more widely accepted theory) is just that as well: a theory.

 

 

 

So, gravitons could be thought of as having negative mass, which is why when they bump into things, they pull rather than push.

 

Subatomic particles (and other things like them) are weird. Especially theoretical ones. Take the tachyon, for example. It goes faster than the speed of light.

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