The Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

6 June 2017

Abstract: Is it possible to create a science fiction-type force field? The article begins with a person asking the staff of The Straight Dope Science Advisory Board a question concerning the possibility of creating a fiction-type force field. The staff member asks the person to clarify the question by asking if it is a force field that protects a ship, a tractor beam or something to keep prisons in holding.

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She then explains the different kinds of forces considered by physicists and ow some theories have combined the different forces. Briefly giving explanations, she looks at the possibility of a force field using the each of the different forces. She covers the four main forces: strong, weak, gravity and electromagnetism. Strong and weak forces cannot create a force field unless there are aliens or enemies with no electrons. The forces are for relatively very short distances, smaller than the protons and neutrons inside a nuclei.

In other words, strong and weak forces are inefficient in creating a force field seen in science fiction movies. Next, she evaluated gravity in the possibility of creating a force field. Through her explanation, she shared two reasons gravity is not a good choice for creating a field. First, gravity is the weakest force. It is also is an attractive force, not a repulsive one. It could not prevent aliens or enemies out, but would do the opposite, keep them in.

It could be used as a tractor beam; however, but due to calculations, it would need a black hole. Electromagnetism was looked at last as a possibility. The main problem is the fact that these forces work on charged matter. We are electrically neutral and the aliens would likely be as well. She suggested creating an immobile sheet of electrons, basically a wall. Her last suggestion was sharing that to make the force field invisible, you Just use plexiglass.

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