Friday, 15 October 2010

Some Experiments

I notice that one of our readers asked about what level of technology actually works on the 'other side', so we decided to see if we can find out. As I had suggested earlier, there's obviously no problem with a wooden club in the magnetic field, same with simple weapons like bows and arrows (as long as it's not a compound bow replete with pulleys and cables and fancy stuff), but what about higher-tech items? Well, we know from the experiences of the military that IR goggles, GPS systems, laptop computers, and even little LED flashlights don't work at all, so what's left? All the stuff in between.  :-)

We gave a few things to Tom to try out the next time he went through The Door. Starting off with simple things like a flint and steel, we found that even magnetised pocket knives still worked fine to start fires. Next we tried matches; also just fine. Then Frank suggested we try some fireworks. Apparently we gave some of the natives quite a start, but even the mortars worked as expected (though they scared the bejeebers out of the locals!).

Tom (always the adventurous one) suggested plain old firearms. Of course the military had an opportunity to test those when they went through, but they were so focused on all the problems with the techie gizmos, I don’t think they ever got a chance to get a shot off. Tom, on the other hand, just carted his .45 through and took a few potshots at some critters; works fine. (He gave all the critters he hit to the locals, and they had quite a party for him.)

According to Frank the magnetised barrels of long guns might have a bit of a problem when the bullet passes through, something about induced eddy currents and reverse fields, but from what Tom says, they seem to work just fine. So I guess that answers the question of technology: electronics don’t work, chemical reactions do.

We may try a few other things, but we’ll have to wait ‘til next week to see any results.
(P.S. I'm also trying to accommodate the reader who liked all the links.)


Aaron said...

Magnetized gun barrels.....Makes me think of a rail gun. Any way to use the eddies currents in our favour to enhance the shot? Maybe get enough polarization pointing away from the user and the field will help project the bullet downrange faster? And what about shot from a shot gun? Is it possible that the shot will become lightly magnetized and hold together more for tighter shot pattern at further range?

Eugene said...

When you mentioned Rail Guns, I was thinking more of a Coil Gun, but in either case we would need to use a current to produce a magnetic field, but the problem remains: we still can't seem to get a current to flow.

Frank says that once the barrel is magnetised, there's no way to change it. We would need some kind of (possibly varying) magnetic field to accelerate an object, but apparently there's no way to do that.

As far as the shot being magnetised, that could happen if it were ferrous, but most shot is just lead, so although it could react to a moving field (conductor moving through a field OR a field moving past a conductor), it can't hold one.

Hope this helps.