I like superhero movies and medieval fantasy stories as much as the next guy, but I have a problem when people either don’t explain how the super powers or magic could work, or simply do it very badly.
So, I come here to ask those of you who are scientifically inclined to help me explain how magic and super powers can function.
Ok, first off, let’s list the more common ones:
Pyromancy - Control and manifestation of fire/heat/high energy
Cryomancy - Control and manifestation of ice/cold/low energy
Aeromancy - Control and manifestation of air, air pressure, and to some extent, lightning.
Hydromancy - Control and manifestation of water, water pressure, and liquids in general (as in the state of matter, not gasses)
Telekinesis - Controlling the movement and force of objects without physical contact
Mental Manipulation - Manipulation of the thoughts and emotions of others
Force Manipulation - Manipulation of forces upon contact (you can instantly stop a car charging towards you or something, without sustaining damage to yourself, for example)
Shape Shifting - Manipulation and control of one’s appearance and biology
Okay, so explanations.
Pyromancy - The person in question is able to control the speed and frequency at which atoms/molecules vibrate and travel, but only at higher speeds and frequencies. This allows them to heat up and evaporate nearly anything. Along with making high frequencies, which I feel would cause interesting effects, though I can’t immediately think of any.
The problem here is controlling fire, which I don’t see as possible unless they could manipulate the shape/position of the fire with air currents.
Cryomancy - The person in question is able to control the speed and frequency at which atoms/molecules vibrate and travel, but only at lower speeds and frequencies. This allows them to cool and solidify nearly anything. I had a though before about what would happen if they could freeze an area to Absolute Zero (would that theoretically stop time?), but discovered that Absolute Zero simply isn’t possible at all.
The problem with ice doesn’t exist here, since they could simply freeze water molecules in the air. I think the main question here is, could they make ice hard enough to be a weapon, and how?
Aeromancy - The person in question is able to control air pressure. I think that alone would solve most of the issues, particularly how a person could fly. Simply manipulate the air pressure around you to make the air immediately around you shaped like a wing and generate lift that way, and propulsion could be made by simply shoving air behind you. The main problem with flight would be G forces, and I’m not sure how one would rectify that problem.
As far as lightning goes, I feel the easiest solution is to have the ability to manipulate the electrical charges of objects. Theoretically, enough of one charge and enough of another charge being linked by a small path would generate lightning, right? in order to control the lightning in real time though, one would have to be able to think and process information nearly instantly to keep up with the lightning itself, which is the issue.
Hydromancy - Since air and water both behave similarly due to them both being “liquids”, I assume just control of water pressure would be enough to manipulate water in general. This would pretty much work like Aeromancy, but with water.
Telekinesis - This is a hard one. I imagine it could be explained away with Aeromancy, but I don’t want to rely on air pressure for this. Telekinesis unfortunately doesn’t agree with physics at all, making it hard to explain.
Mental Manipulation - Did you mean Psychology? No, but seriously, I think the easiest explanation for this would be pheromones, and lots of them. Easy to control actions and emotions with pheromones. It’s less precise than what most would expect with mind control, but it’s basically the same effect.
Force Manipulation - Alright, this is a cool one. You could manipulate the force of your punch to be akin to One Punch Man, or stop a bullet just by touching it. Basically, you can dissipate or enhance forces instantly on contact. I would hazard a guess that the forces would have to be dispersed as noise or heat, which would still cause injury. I can only imagine how hot something would get just by instantly stopping a bullet. Increasing force on contact is the hard part, since F=MA, I don’t want to increase the mass of something, but you can’t increase acceleration by touching something.
Shape Shifting - Shape shifting is another hard one, since the heat generated and calories consumed by something that could change the biology of your body would be INSANELY high. I think the best way to explain this is a principle of less is more; you can change shape to another human, but full on species changing would be very hard to explain.
Those are the explanations I’ve made for some magic seen in shows and movies, what are yours? Did I leave any out? Have anything to add to my explanations? I’d love to hear it!