Sci-fi/fantasy novel - Energy, everywhere!?
I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy novel that is set in another world. The technology is slightly more advanced than ours. I'm trying to make it as believable as I can, but I have a pretty good plot planned out, and it requires having a certain plot device that I am not sure about.
Just to clarify, when I say I want to make it believable, that means in the context of another world. Since this is another world it makes sense that it'd have things that we don't. It has different animals, creatures, energy, minerals, food, plants, etc.
Alright so in the story, there are these poeple (we'll call them mutants for now even though that isn't quite what they are) who are born with the ability to harness and manipulate a particular invisible "energy". They use it a lot in the plot. They can use it to hasten cell regeneration, sharpen their senses, and a few other helpful things. They can also sense when another of their kind is near (this is important to the plot). They also use it as a destructive force (in combat). It is almost like a pyrotechnic power except with the energy instead of fire.
So, my question is how can this energy just exist on the planet? How could it simply be everywhere? I don't want it to be a gas, so I guess it shouldn't be something that is just in the air. I tried to think of other things in our world that we can find everywhere, and I thought of solar energy. I thought about using that in the plot, but then I realized that a star is a star, and my world's sun couldn't be some special type of star that emits another type of energy. That is something I consider unrealistic.
Then I though, What about the moon? To my knowledge, moons can be very different and be made of different materials, so maybe one of the planet's moons could give off the energy. Would this be a believable option?
Then it hit me that it could simply be from the planet itself; like from the core or under the surface. Would this believable?
Or would the energy not really need a particular source. Could it simply be an omnipresent force? Speeking or force, maybe it could be like THE Force from Star Wars, in which the "energy" comes from something created by living things, such as one of the fictional creatures in my story.
NOTE: the energy wouldn't have to be completely everywhere. Like with the creature idea, it would only be wherever the creatures hang out, but since there are many of these creatures, the energy would be almost anywhere.
So, I've brought up a few possible choices. Is there one that sounds believable to you scientific geniuses? Can you come up with something more believable?
- billrussell42Lv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Vacuum energy has a number of consequences. In 1948, Dutch physicists Hendrik B. G. Casimir and Dirk Polder predicted the existence of a tiny attractive force between closely placed metal plates due to resonances in the vacuum energy in the space between them. This is now known as the Casimir effect and has since been extensively experimentally verified. It is therefore believed that the vacuum energy is "real" in the same sense that more familiar conceptual objects such as electrons, magnetic fields, etc., are real.
Other predictions are more esoteric and harder to verify. Vacuum fluctuations are always created as particle/antiparticle pairs. The creation of these virtual particles near the event horizon of a black hole has been hypothesized by physicist Stephen Hawking to be a mechanism for the eventual "evaporation" of black holes. The net energy of the Universe remains zero so long as the particle pairs annihilate each other within Planck time. If one of the pair is pulled into the black hole before this, then the other particle becomes "real" and energy/mass is essentially radiated into space from the black hole. This loss is cumulative and could result in the black hole's disappearance over time. The time required is dependent on the mass of the black hole but could be on the order of 10100 years for large solar-mass black holes.
Unsolved problems in physics: Why doesn't the vacuum energy cause a large cosmological constant? What cancels it out?
The vacuum energy also has important consequences for physical cosmology. Special relativity predicts that energy is equivalent to mass, and therefore, if the vacuum energy is "really there", it should exert a gravitational force. Essentially, a non-zero vacuum energy is expected to contribute to the cosmological constant, which affects the expansion of the universe. However, the vacuum energy is mathematically infinite without renormalization, which is based on the assumption that we can only measure energy in a relative sense, which is not true if we can observe it indirectly via the cosmological constant.
The existence of vacuum energy is also sometimes used, outside of mainstream physics, as controversial theoretical justification for the possibility of free energy machines. It has been argued that due to the broken symmetry (in QED), free energy does not violate conservation of energy, since the laws of thermodynamics only apply to equilibrium systems. However, consensus among particle physicists is that this is incorrect and that vacuum energy cannot be harnessed to do usable work. In particular, the second law of thermodynamics is unaffected by the existence of vacuum energy.