A videogame and a movie script for RESIST :D
Let’s see where this goes… I shall seek guidance from the awesomeness that is Christopher Nolan and his scripts.
: if someone can explain mass effect to me I will give them all my love. -
not the game.
literal mass effect fields, element zero, dark energy, all of that. I don’t…I can’t for the life of me get my head around the science of it, and I really need to understand how it works for this thing that I’m trying to write,…
Though the general point has been provided, as a physics major and future physicist I can at least offer up where the science and science fiction split. I know you requested simpler explanation, but I just want to clear up any misconceptions said generalizations may accidently stir.
MASS EFFECT FIELDS AND SUPERLUMINAL TRAVEL
The concept of “mass effect fields” is fictional, however, it can be compared to the very real Higgs Field. In Mass Effect, the mass effect fields aim to give objects “tachyonic” properties, which means superluminal speeds (faster than light). This claim is centered around the Lorentz Factor that denotes the denominator when defining the energy of a particle system: E = mc^2 / sqrt.(1-(v^2/c^2)), where m is the rest mass, c the speed of light, and v the particle/object’s velocity.
Now, knowing the above equation, and knowing that the energy is a measurable, real number, we find a curious thing for superluminal speeds. Placing a value greater than “c” for “v” gives you the square-root of a negative value, WHICH GIVES YOU AN IMAGINARY NUMBER IN THE DENOMINATOR. Because of this, we can deduce that objects with such velocity have an “imaginary mass.” Don’t let the name fool you, an imaginary mass does not mean the mass is a figment of your imagination; it has geometric and algebraic significance, and is found in real life as much as real numbers. Anyways, the Mass Effect fields aim to invoke this imaginary mass onto objects it interacts with, thereby giving them the ability to travel at superluminal speeds. We actually have a name for such a field in physics: TACHYONIC FIELDS. Without coincidence, THE HIGGS FIELD IS DEFINED AS A TACHYONIC FIELD.
Before you get excited, we now understand that such fields do not indeed lead to superluminal travel. Even though the group velocity of the field is superluminal (this is simply the linear velocity of the field’s waves; how fast the hills and troughs are moving), local objects within that field are not actually moving at such speeds. The easiest way to think of it is like when we are looking at a fallacy of division (a trait of the whole does not necessarily apply to its parts).
In reality, the Higgs Field specifically, does give particle’s and agents within the field their mass, but it does not actually lead to the superluminal effect we see in Mass Effect. The Higgs is very important in that it defined the very characteristics of every particle in the universe just after the Big Bang, and we call this particle a symmetry breaker for that very reason (it took a bunch of identical particles and gave them unique properties).
DARK ENERGY AND THE MYTHS SURROUNDING IT
Dark energy, along with dark matter, are by far the most abused and misused topics in science fiction (aside from “dimensions”). Dark energy came about after observation of “red shift” data throughout the universe. This, quite simply, is the observation of how fast objects are moving away from one another in the universe. We utilize what is called The Doppler Effect, in which the wavelength of light from objects moving toward an observer compress, hence turn bluer, while those that move away get stretched, hence turn red. What we find is that as we look further and further away, objects are moving faster and faster, which tells us that our universe is ACCELERATING IN ITS EXPANSION.
So, why is this a problem? Well, it is easiest to think of the Big Bang as an explosion (which really is a bit oversimplifying it, but it gives you a general idea; if you’re curious, it is actually considered to be a singularity that underwent time reversal, most probably due to a quantum fluctuation). Keeping that understanding in mind, one would expect that as we look at particles over time, the further they travel from the epicenter, the slower they’ll be moving (the universe as far as we know has no center, but that is not really important right now). Ironically, we see the opposite! They’re moving faster! What this implies is that there is a “negative pressure” being exerted on the vacuum of space, and that this negative pressure is driving the expansion of our universe. Dark energy is the label for whatever mechanism causing this effect, of which we have yet to find any acceptable explanation.
One front runner in the debate is the cosmological constant, which is an old concept that was recently reborn with String Theory. It is a variable included in General Relativity, however, its value was for the most part deemed negligible and Einstein even called it “his greatest blunder.” However, String Theory brought the idea back, and it is leading to many solutions, including to the origin of this negative pressure, which may just be a consequence of the relativistic universe (there’s a nice mathematical explanation to it, but I’ll save you the torture). Still, String Theory is incomplete and still has problems to address, so we have a long way to go before making any concrete claims.
Unfortunately for Mass Effect, dark energy doesn’t seem to interact very strongly with objects smaller than galactic clusters, hence it would be both difficult to acquire and near impossible to apply to anything. Dark energy is thought to be quite dispersed throughout the universe, and only surfacing noticeably in large scale structures. Its application to drives is also irrelevant, and is probably confused with “exotic matter.” Reference the Alcubierre Drive.
Element zero… well, it is the one load of garbage in Mass Effect. Element numbers are the number of protons in the nucleus of said atom. However, “element zero” would simply be neutronium, which is just a bunch of neutrons bundled together. Neutron stars are composed of this matter (neutron matter is not necessarily as dense either; that property of neutron stars is due to gravitational forces in stellar evolution). Applying a charge won’t spawn an tachyonic fields or dark energy… it is one of the parts where Mass Effect just tosses physics out the window without trying to hid it.
Still my favorite game.
IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, FEEL FREE TO ASK! I’D BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP!
A throwback NHL moment. Gaborik getting flipped by Hasek.
It looks even cooler/slightly more painful in slow-mo.
Shit, I’m waiting for them to come back too.
(Source: bloggingslut, via bouncingquarians)
(Source: smiletotheshadow, via fookingprawnsman)
Part I of II for “Valor, Vengeance.”
The combined image I plan on having an animated background in an effort to create a “3-D” feel. May take time.