History Main / NoConservationOfEnergy

4th Apr '16 8:55:12 AM supergod
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It is generally more acceptable in {{Fantasy}} settings, especially with ArtisticLicensePhysics, although more thorough authors will try to explain where the power for magic comes from. Some author try to maintain conservation by invoking a law of EquivalentExchange, with varying degrees of success depending on how well it's thought out.

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It is generally more acceptable common in {{Fantasy}} settings, especially with ArtisticLicensePhysics, although more thorough some authors will try to explain where the power for magic comes from. from anyway. Some author authors try to maintain conservation by invoking a law of EquivalentExchange, with varying degrees of success depending on how well it's thought out.
EquivalentExchange.
22nd Mar '16 6:56:38 PM FordPrefect
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** The energy of empty space is technically non-zero. Though in physics this "zero-point energy" is by definition not extractable its existence has resulted in great loads of pseudoscience from people that need to brush up on their math. Has to some extent displaced quantum entanglement as the handwave justification for new-age mysticism in recent years.

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** The energy of empty space is technically non-zero. Though in physics this "zero-point energy" is by definition not extractable extractable, its existence has resulted in great loads of pseudoscience from people that need to brush up on their math. Has to some extent displaced quantum entanglement as the handwave justification for new-age mysticism in recent years.
16th Mar '16 12:06:20 AM DarkHunter
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* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': These people can destroy PLANETS. They can casually shoot beams from their hands that level mountains. Aside from a somewhat [[BigEater large appetite]] (and only in the case of the Saiyans), this is never explained.

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* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': ''Anime/DragonBallZ'':
**
These people can destroy PLANETS. They can casually shoot beams from their hands that level mountains. Aside from a somewhat [[BigEater large appetite]] (and only in the case of the Saiyans), this is never explained.explained.
** Beerus in ''Dragonball Super'' goes one further: he has the ability to "nullify" energy, completely erasing it from existence. Good thing too: [[spoiler:that energy burst he and Goku created during their battle was potentially powerful enough to annihilate multiple stars whether or not Goku had managed to block it (which he didn't).]] Of course, Beerus ''is'' the God of Destruction, and he has that title for a reason.



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15th Feb '16 6:34:23 PM merotoker
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* In ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', it's a key plot point that Spiral Power does not conserve matter or energy. [[spoiler:Overuse of Spiral Power is projected to eventually cause the creation of the "Spiral Nemesis", a supermassive black hole large enough to destroy the entire universe]].

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* In ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', it's a key plot point that Spiral Power does not conserve matter or energy. [[spoiler:Overuse of Spiral Power is projected to eventually cause the creation of the "Spiral Nemesis", a supermassive black hole large enough to destroy the entire universe]].universe.]]



** In the [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime version]], because [[OvertookTheManga alchemy's origins hadn't yet been explained in the manga when it was made]], the power instead comes from an extra-dimensional energy source consisting of [[spoiler:''[[LifeEnergy the souls of the dead]]'', more specifically, the dead of ''our'' world; recent advances in medicine, agriculture and ''warfare'' have provided enough deaths for Amestris to develop alchemy.]] Alchemists are normally bound by Newton's laws, but they can start AbusingTheKardashevScaleForFunAndProfit if they [[spoiler:provide souls from their own world; as in ''commit a few genocides to create Philosopher's Stones'', like those convenient '''[[FantasyCounterpartCulture Ishballans]]''' [[TheWarOnTerror on the eastern border]]...]]

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** In the [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime version]], because [[OvertookTheManga alchemy's origins hadn't yet been explained in the manga when it was made]], the power instead comes from an extra-dimensional energy source consisting of [[spoiler:''[[LifeEnergy the souls of the dead]]'', more specifically, the dead of ''our'' world; recent advances in medicine, agriculture and ''warfare'' have provided enough deaths for Amestris to develop alchemy.]] alchemy]]. Alchemists are normally bound by Newton's laws, but they can start AbusingTheKardashevScaleForFunAndProfit if they [[spoiler:provide souls from their own world; as in ''commit a few genocides to create Philosopher's Stones'', like those convenient '''[[FantasyCounterpartCulture Ishballans]]''' [[TheWarOnTerror on the eastern border]]...]]border]]..]].



* Magic and [[PsychicPowers psionics]] in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'' are said to be powered by the universe's Field of magic, which the user taps into and shapes. Although one unversed in magic will not feel the Field around them, Paul discovers after he learns to cast spells that he is now aware of the ebb and flow of raw magic around him.

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* Magic and [[PsychicPowers psionics]] {{ps|ychicPowers}}ionics in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'' are said to be powered by the universe's Field of magic, which the user taps into and shapes. Although one unversed in magic will not feel the Field around them, Paul discovers after he learns to cast spells that he is now aware of the ebb and flow of raw magic around him.



* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' universe, the answer to the riddle about where Vanished objects go is that they merge with the rest of the universe. This implies that they don't create matter when they Conjure items, either. Wizards just steal matter from their surroundings, reorganize it into the shape they want, then return it when they are done.

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* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' universe, the answer to the riddle about where Vanished vanished objects go is that they merge with the rest of the universe. This implies that they don't create matter when they Conjure conjure items, either. Wizards just steal matter from their surroundings, reorganize it into the shape they want, then return it when they are done.



* It's often hard to reconcile stories that involve ShapeShifting with the related law of conservation of mass. In one of his ''Literature/FafhrdAndTheGrayMouser'' books Creator/FritzLeiber makes an exception by having a character who's shrunk needing to find a few zillion spare atoms if he wants to get back to normal size. [[spoiler:In the end he gets them from a fat girl, who suddenly finds herself skinny. Eww.]]
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheGodsThemselves''. The trope is subverted because the law of conservation of energy is upheld when a device which appears to obtain energy out of nothing actually gains it by taking advantage in the differences in physical laws between two universes (at the loss of 20 electrons in our universe and the gain of 20 electrons in the other universe, as well as positron radiation).
** And the obvious thermodynamic implications apply -- [[spoiler:the energy transfer between the two universes is bringing their physical laws into equilibrium, which will eventually destroy all life in both of them. The aliens are aware of this and want to exploit it only until our sun explodes so they have free energy for generations.]]

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* It's often hard to reconcile stories that involve ShapeShifting {{shapeshifting}} with the related law of conservation of mass. In one of his ''Literature/FafhrdAndTheGrayMouser'' books Creator/FritzLeiber makes an exception by having a character who's shrunk needing to find a few zillion spare atoms if he wants to get back to normal size. [[spoiler:In the end he gets them from a fat girl, who suddenly finds herself skinny. Eww.]]
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheGodsThemselves''. The trope is subverted because the law of conservation of energy is upheld when a device which appears to obtain energy out of nothing actually gains it by taking advantage in the differences in physical laws between two universes (at the loss of 20 electrons in our universe and the gain of 20 electrons in the other universe, as well as positron radiation).
** And the
radiation). The obvious thermodynamic implications apply -- [[spoiler:the energy transfer between the two universes is bringing their physical laws into equilibrium, which will eventually destroy all life in both of them. The aliens are aware of this and want to exploit it only until our sun explodes so they have free energy for generations.]]generations]].



* The ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' books [[HandWave address]] this - when they shrink down to cockroach size, their extra mass is shifted into Z-Space, the same dimension that FTL starships travel in. Likewise, when they morph into something larger than themselves, the extra mass comes from the same place.
** What merits complaining about there is stuff like 'How are portals into Z-space opened,' 'Where does ''that'' energy come from,' etc.

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* The ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' books [[HandWave address]] this - when they shrink down to cockroach size, their extra mass is shifted into Z-Space, the same dimension that FTL starships travel in. Likewise, when they morph into something larger than themselves, the extra mass comes from the same place.
**
place. What merits complaining about there is stuff like 'How are portals into Z-space opened,' 'Where does ''that'' energy come from,' etc.



* Creator/AlastairReynolds ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' novels feature two examples - the Conjoiner engines, space drives with a more-or-less unlimited energy source used by lighthuggers to get around, and Cryo-Arithmetic computers used to siphon heat out of the universe. The former is subverted in ''Redemption Ark'' when it is revealed that [[spoiler:The engines are powered by a miniature wormhole that opens into the Big Bang, as, even though trying FTL travel is a CosmicHorror in its own right, ''time travel'' is just practical enough to work.]]
** [[spoiler:Relativity allows for all sorts of crazy things to exist, including wormholes that join different regions in time and space (FTL travel implies time travel). Having stuff travel into the future seems positively safe compared to inertialess FTL drive system, seeing as it doesn't even cause any paradoxes]].

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* Creator/AlastairReynolds ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' ''Literature/{{Revelation Space|Series}}'' novels feature two examples - the Conjoiner engines, space drives with a more-or-less unlimited energy source used by lighthuggers to get around, and Cryo-Arithmetic computers used to siphon heat out of the universe. The former is subverted in ''Redemption Ark'' when it is revealed that [[spoiler:The [[spoiler:the engines are powered by a miniature wormhole that opens into the Big Bang, as, even though trying FTL travel is a CosmicHorror in its own right, ''time travel'' is just practical enough to work.]]
work]].
** [[spoiler:Relativity allows for all sorts of crazy things to exist, including wormholes that join different regions in time and space (FTL travel implies time travel). Having stuff travel into the future seems positively safe compared to inertialess FTL drive system, seeing as it doesn't even cause any paradoxes]].paradoxes.]]



* Similarly averted with some kinds of magic in TheKingkillerChronicles. Sympathy, a voodoo-like magic system, is completely about turning one kind of energy into another. There's inefficiency associated with poor links and distance. When introduced to that inefficiency, one character notes that the energy has to go or come from somewhere, and it turns out that's ''the Sympathist himself''.
** Played straight with Naming, more traditional magic, as well as the Fae.

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* Similarly averted with some kinds of magic in TheKingkillerChronicles.Literature/{{The Kingkiller Chronicle}}s. Sympathy, a voodoo-like magic system, is completely about turning one kind of energy into another. There's inefficiency associated with poor links and distance. When introduced to that inefficiency, one character notes that the energy has to go or come from somewhere, and it turns out that's ''the Sympathist himself''.
**
himself''. Played straight with Naming, more traditional magic, as well as the Fae.



* Explicitly averted in TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'s default magic systems as of 4e. Mages use ambient mana to power spells (if there's not much mana they can seriously hurt themselves). Clerics channel power directly from a deity. Ironically psi powers, which are treated as more scientific, give no explanation for how they operate without outside energy.
* TabletopGame/TheFantasyTrip has magic being powered from the wizard's physical energy reserves. Effectively, casting spells tires out the wizard, similar to the way magic works in the Literature/InheritanceCycle.

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* Explicitly averted in TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'s ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'''s default magic systems as of 4e. Mages use ambient mana to power spells (if there's not much mana they can seriously hurt themselves). Clerics channel power directly from a deity. Ironically psi powers, which are treated as more scientific, give no explanation for how they operate without outside energy.
* TabletopGame/TheFantasyTrip ''TabletopGame/TheFantasyTrip'' has magic being powered from the wizard's physical energy reserves. Effectively, casting spells tires out the wizard, similar to the way magic works in the Literature/InheritanceCycle.



* Averted in both TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} and WarhammerFantasy. In the former psykers harvest energy by summoning miniature gateways to the high-energy chaotic realm of the [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace Warp]] with attached risks of drawing [[EldritchAbomination daemons]] through with the power they use, in the latter wizards are able to draw upon the ambient Winds of Magic (which have chaotic and irregular power levels, no less) to fling spells.

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* Averted in both TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' and WarhammerFantasy. In the former psykers harvest energy by summoning miniature gateways to the high-energy chaotic realm of the [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace Warp]] with attached risks of drawing [[EldritchAbomination daemons]] through with the power they use, in the latter wizards are able to draw upon the ambient Winds of Magic (which have chaotic and irregular power levels, no less) to fling spells.



* ''VideoGame/{{Pokemon}}'' is a pretty big offender, with ElementalBaggage and Poké Balls changing in size between, roughly, a golf ball to a softball in [[Anime/{{Pokemon}} the anime]].

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* ''VideoGame/{{Pokemon}}'' ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' is a pretty big offender, with ElementalBaggage and Poké Balls changing in size between, roughly, a golf ball to a softball in [[Anime/{{Pokemon}} the anime]].



* ''BobAndGeorge'' operates on RuleOfFunny, so this is played with back and forth. One character claims that they've violated every law of physics, but somehow George manages to exploit the law on energy conservation. George claims that his lightning based powers is powered by the sheer amount of ice cream he eats, but then [[UnreliableNarrator admits that he was just making an excuse for his love of ice cream]]. George later somehow exploits the conservation of energy by forcing too much energy through [[spoiler: the Helmeted Author]]'s magical shrinking box, even stating the law outright.

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* ''BobAndGeorge'' ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'' operates on RuleOfFunny, so this is played with back and forth. One character claims that they've violated every law of physics, but somehow George manages to exploit the law on energy conservation. George claims that his lightning based powers is powered by the sheer amount of ice cream he eats, but then [[UnreliableNarrator admits that he was just making an excuse for his love of ice cream]]. George later somehow exploits the conservation of energy by forcing too much energy through [[spoiler: the Helmeted Author]]'s magical shrinking box, even stating the law outright.



* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', of course, usually plays this dead straight. Still, there was a notable aversion in "OMAC Attacks!": Batman wonders how the villain keeps regrowing his weapons without losing mass elsewhere; it turns out he was absorbing the kinetic force of the DumbMuscle's attacks against him.
** An attempted aversion, anyway, since the DumbMuscle would have to convert his ''own'' mass into energy to hit with that kind of force. Otherwise he's literally punching energy out of nothing, which is, admittedly, pretty badass.
*** Not to mention the amount of energy that is. In order to regrow a gram of mass, he'd have to punch with an amount of energy comparable to a nuclear bomb. If he was punching anything that wasn't hyper-efficiently absorbing it, the energy would most likely be released with pretty much the same effect.
** He's also violating a few conservation laws by creating matter without creating antimatter. Admittedly, he could make the electrons by making an equal number of anti-neutrinos, which would largely go unnoticed, and baryon (proton and neutron) conservation is most likely more of a guideline. I think there might be one or two more he can't get around, though.

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* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', of course, usually plays this dead straight. Still, there was a notable aversion in "OMAC Attacks!": Batman wonders how the villain keeps regrowing his weapons without losing mass elsewhere; it turns out he was absorbing the kinetic force of the DumbMuscle's attacks against him.
**
him. An attempted aversion, anyway, since the DumbMuscle would have to convert his ''own'' mass into energy to hit with that kind of force. Otherwise he's literally punching energy out of nothing, which is, admittedly, pretty badass.
***
badass. Not to mention the amount of energy that is. In order to regrow a gram of mass, he'd have to punch with an amount of energy comparable to a nuclear bomb. If he was punching anything that wasn't hyper-efficiently absorbing it, the energy would most likely be released with pretty much the same effect.
**
effect. He's also violating a few conservation laws by creating matter without creating antimatter. Admittedly, he could make the electrons by making an equal number of anti-neutrinos, which would largely go unnoticed, and baryon (proton and neutron) conservation is most likely more of a guideline. I think there There might be one or two more he can't get around, though.
19th Jan '16 11:42:59 AM nombretomado
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* Several mass-changing characters actually need to absorb mass from outside themselves; Stronghold of Creator/ValiantComics, a StaticShock villain, etc. Most just "get heavier".

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* Several mass-changing characters actually need to absorb mass from outside themselves; Stronghold of Creator/ValiantComics, a StaticShock ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'' villain, etc. Most just "get heavier".
19th Jan '16 10:25:35 AM HumanTorch2
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* In the episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' where the teachers go on strike, Lisa eventually builds a perpetual motion machine, which prompts this quote:

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* In the episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' where the teachers go on strike, Lisa eventually snaps and builds a perpetual motion machine, machine in a failed attempt to cope, which prompts this quote:
15th Jan '16 6:11:16 AM Morgenthaler
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* TheFantasyTrip has magic being powered from the wizard's physical energy reserves. Effectively, casting spells tires out the wizard, similar to the way magic works in the Literature/InheritanceCycle.

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* TheFantasyTrip TabletopGame/TheFantasyTrip has magic being powered from the wizard's physical energy reserves. Effectively, casting spells tires out the wizard, similar to the way magic works in the Literature/InheritanceCycle.
22nd Nov '15 4:15:19 PM SteelEdge
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Added DiffLines:

* ''BobAndGeorge'' operates on RuleOfFunny, so this is played with back and forth. One character claims that they've violated every law of physics, but somehow George manages to exploit the law on energy conservation. George claims that his lightning based powers is powered by the sheer amount of ice cream he eats, but then [[UnreliableNarrator admits that he was just making an excuse for his love of ice cream]]. George later somehow exploits the conservation of energy by forcing too much energy through [[spoiler: the Helmeted Author]]'s magical shrinking box, even stating the law outright.
1st Nov '15 1:11:29 AM Llygodenfawr
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*** On the other hand, it does. Turning a stone around takes less effort and energy if you simply get it rolling by pushing at the top than it does if you lift it up, turn it around and then drop it upside down, which leaves you both incredibly tired and ''pushed down into the ground by the opposite reaction of it's weight'' if you don't brace yourself. Moving air gradually takes less energy than moving it all into a storm-strong wind in an instant and even then it's taxing enough to leave the very experienced person who does it passed out from exhaustion. Creating something new usually involves taking something that's similar in some way (like the type of matter or the right shape) and changing that (and still takes a great deal of effort) and unless you've got about several thousand years of practice or a handy near inexhaustible supply of power in the form of an orb most things are very taxing. Though the Malloreon tends more towards this trope.
* The ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' books [[HandWave address]] this - when they shrink down to cockroach size, their extra mass is shifted into Z-Space, the same dimension that FTL starships travel in. Likewise, when they morph something larger than themselves, the extra mass comes from the same place.

to:

*** On the other hand, it does. Turning a stone around takes less effort and energy if you simply get it rolling by pushing at the top than it does if you lift it up, turn it around and then drop it upside down, which leaves you both incredibly tired and ''pushed down into the ground by the opposite reaction of it's its weight'' if you don't brace yourself. Moving air gradually takes less energy than moving it all into a storm-strong wind in an instant and even then it's taxing enough to leave the very experienced person who does it passed out from exhaustion. Creating something new usually involves taking something that's similar in some way (like the type of matter or the right shape) and changing that (and still takes a great deal of effort) and unless you've got about several thousand years of practice or a handy near inexhaustible supply of power in the form of an orb most things are very taxing. Though the Malloreon tends more towards this trope.
* The ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' books [[HandWave address]] this - when they shrink down to cockroach size, their extra mass is shifted into Z-Space, the same dimension that FTL starships travel in. Likewise, when they morph into something larger than themselves, the extra mass comes from the same place.



-->'''Ponder:''' Er- It's not as simple as that.

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-->'''Ponder:''' Er- Er -- It's not as simple as that.
20th Sep '15 5:41:25 AM ScorpiusOB1
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Added DiffLines:

** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-energy_universe Zero-energy Universe theory]] suggests the energy of the Universe contained in matter is canceled by the energy present in the form of gravitation. Such an Universe could have been born from a quantum fluctuation in the middle of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_nihilo#Modern_physics nothingness]] and requires the Universe to be flat[[note]]With no measurable space curvature[[/note]], in line with current observations.
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