Re: TECH: Force Fields

Anders Sandberg (
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 12:07:50 +0100 (MET)

On Thu, 26 Dec 1996, Chris Hind wrote:

> What are the physics behind sci-fi force fields? Are there any or is it
> purely fantasy? Perhaps only nano force fields are possible.

I doubt any of the sf forcefields work; they seem to prevent penetration
by kinetic energy and damaging electromagnetic radiation without stopping
light and (sometimes, like Dune) slow-moving objects. There are no such
things in physics. A strong electromagnetic field may induce enough
current to melt bullets, but it sounds unwieldy.

A nano force field sounds much more reasonable. Something like a shell of
utility fog or the aerostats of _The Diamond Age_. It will still be quite
limited, but at least it is consistent with physics, and in a nanotech
society you will be more worried by evil nanites than with laserbeams
(bullets will still be troublesome). Hmmm, once nanotech gets underway I
think I'll take a few crash courses in immunology and system security,
hack wildly and earn a few billions on nanotech shields/immune systems...

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y