June 4, 2003

There are a number of other questions I always had about comics.

For instance: If Rogue touches someone, she absorbs (temporarily) all of their powers. Meanwhile, if the Sorceress kisses someone, she has mental control over that person. So what happens if the Sorceress kisses Rogue? Aside from being neat to watch, I mean? Would it end up with Rogue having mind control over herself?

Now, on an unrelated note, I bring you my "Random Physics Question of the Day" (TM):

Immagine an electro-magnet in space. It is very powerful and very large. In fact, it weighs 1000 kilograms and is able to make a noticeable magnetic field 10 light-seconds away. Interestingly enough, there is a lump of iron 10 light-seconds away, and it also weighs 1000kg. Turn that magnet on for one second. What happens? Any way I look at it, there's a physical impossibility.

So, you turn it on for one second. That starts a magnetic field, travelling c away from the magnet. In 10 seconds it will reach the lump of Iron. The Iron will gain a velocity toward the magnet. Will the magnet gain a velocity toward the iron? If so, did it aquire that velocity at the same time the iron did? Cause if it did, there was faster-than-light communication between the iron and the magnet. If the magnet doesn't move, then you have applied a force to the magnet without a counter-force and have just invented the Star Trek impulse drive.

You could argue that the magnet will move toward the iron 20 seconds after the magnet was turned on. In other words, the magnetic field moved out to the iron, then came back and pulled on the magnet. But that means the iron had a 10 second head start on the magnet. When they meet, they will cancel each other's velocities, but they will not be at their collective center of mass. They will meet closer to the magnet's starting point than the iron's starting point. In other words, the system's center of mass moved without force or counter-force.

Can anyone explain this to me?



Casey and Andy and all characters therein are Copyright 2002-2005, Andy Weir. Casey and Andy
Updates on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.