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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Scientists investigating weird things

    So let's say they've got a watch that can manipulate time. Or an alien artifact. What's the protocol and tests a scientist would run?

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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    Quote Originally Posted by Accelerator View Post
    So let's say they've got a watch that can manipulate time. Or an alien artifact. What's the protocol and tests a scientist would run?
    That really depends on what you mean by "manipulate time".

    With an alien artifact, it's a bit simpler. Probably the first thing researchers would do is try to investigate it's makeup.

    So; start with mapping it's shape very accurately.
    Then I think there are various non-invasive techniques to try and find out what it's surface is made of.
    Ultrasound and x-rays will probably be tried to get some idea of interior structure.
    etc.

    In short go non-invasive as much as possible before you try to crack it open.

    Oh, did you mean the alien artifact can manipulate time? I suspect that is the last thing they would investigate - first try to find out exactly how it is made and see if we can reproduce that before you try to turn it on. And then, again, "manipulate time" is way too vague a term to come up with specific tests.
    Last edited by Khedrac; 2020-10-30 at 02:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    Not just ultrasound and Xrays. You'd bombard it with the entire available spectrum of radiation from radio waves to xrays, and see what reflects and what doesn't. That gives you a pretty good idea of the material.
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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrac View Post
    That really depends on what you mean by "manipulate time".

    With an alien artifact, it's a bit simpler. Probably the first thing researchers would do is try to investigate it's makeup.

    So; start with mapping it's shape very accurately.
    Then I think there are various non-invasive techniques to try and find out what it's surface is made of.
    Ultrasound and x-rays will probably be tried to get some idea of interior structure.
    etc.

    In short go non-invasive as much as possible before you try to crack it open.

    Oh, did you mean the alien artifact can manipulate time? I suspect that is the last thing they would investigate - first try to find out exactly how it is made and see if we can reproduce that before you try to turn it on. And then, again, "manipulate time" is way too vague a term to come up with specific tests.
    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...-shuriken-belt

    So basically here the wearer gains a few powers, based on the homebrew:

    Able to withdraw silver knives from nowhere.

    Able to carry out miscellaneous alterations of time. Make flowers bloom with a snap of your fingers. Reverse time to repair things.

    Able to carry out tasks far far faster. Able to cook entire dinners in minutes or seconds. Able to do an entire day's work in a minute. Chemical reactions speed up and the person becomes a blur as time is altered.

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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    Quote Originally Posted by Accelerator View Post
    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...-shuriken-belt

    So basically here the wearer gains a few powers, based on the homebrew:

    Able to withdraw silver knives from nowhere.

    Able to carry out miscellaneous alterations of time. Make flowers bloom with a snap of your fingers. Reverse time to repair things.

    Able to carry out tasks far far faster. Able to cook entire dinners in minutes or seconds. Able to do an entire day's work in a minute. Chemical reactions speed up and the person becomes a blur as time is altered.
    For one it would throw out most of our physical laws, so that would be an exciting weekend. Like "Reverse time" in a localized area would break so many theories you might as well have it grant wishes. Entropy, space-time, conservation of energy.

    Here's a fun one for that: If you power something with a battery and then reverse the battery back to full? What about unspending uranium?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    There is no protocol for items that break the laws of physics, because there have been no physics breaking devices in our reality so no need to develop rules for handling them. As mentioned above, the first reaction will be to take as many nondestructive measurements as possible to have some clue what mechanisms this magic device uses to do what it does.

    My other main question is how you define "scientists". Are you just talking about the individual scientist who finds this/is approached by the people who find it (keeping in mind that this individual will very likely have limited access to the more powerful and expensive tools), or are you talking about the larger scientific community on the assumption that there is no technocracy/SCP/MIB to swoop in and keep this sort of thing under wraps?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    When I saw this title, I thought it would be about the Ignobels.

    In terms of scientific principles, your first priorities when dealing with anything novel are preserving information and protecting human safety. This means cordoning off an appropriate area around the find, then documenting and photographing everything you can about it before you interact with it at all, then gradually crawling up the sliding scale of invasiveness. Like Eldan said, once you're done with all of the imaging you can do with light and other ambient EM, you start using the rest of the spectrum, plus sound. So long as everything conforms with the known laws of physics, you keep escalating, doing things that are marginally more likely to affect or damage the find or to trigger a dangerous reaction (based on our knowledge of said laws of physics) in order to extract more information. Once it starts breaking those laws (or more accurately, acting beyond our current understanding of those laws), the same principles apply, except now we have to start making inferences and assumptions, because existing notions of "how likely is this technique to damage the object" or "what are the chances that trying this technique will make something go 'boom'?" no longer map one-to-one to the current situation. Ultimately, if you move far enough beyond our current knowledge, science is still just poking new things with a stick to see what happens. Nowadays, we're generally pretty cautious about it, moving a bit beyond what we think we know, seeing what happens, reevaluating prior models in light of new information, and trying again. However, if it's something so drastically unknown as a physics-bending object in Central Park, then practical considerations may force us to be more aggressive.

    To Anymage's point, these goals might shift in priority between individuals--plus, some folks might disagree on whether disseminating information widely or keeping it (and the item itself) hidden would best serve the goal of public safety. From the tropes, we generally seem to think of individual or small groups of scientists as being the guys who would prioritize investigation and freely sharing info, while the government/science cabal would want to restrict access to information or even hide the existence of the object itself. However, realistically there would be a wide variations among specific people. There are some government agencies and larger professional organizations who believe strongly in freedom of information, and most likely also individual scientists who would choose to hide a find, either to exploit it for themselves or out of heightened fear that the object itself or its uncontrolled exploitation would present an unacceptable danger.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    When I saw this title, I thought it would be about the Ignobels.

    In terms of scientific principles, your first priorities when dealing with anything novel are preserving information and protecting human safety. This means cordoning off an appropriate area around the find, then documenting and photographing everything you can about it before you interact with it at all, then gradually crawling up the sliding scale of invasiveness. Like Eldan said, once you're done with all of the imaging you can do with light and other ambient EM, you start using the rest of the spectrum, plus sound. So long as everything conforms with the known laws of physics, you keep escalating, doing things that are marginally more likely to affect or damage the find or to trigger a dangerous reaction (based on our knowledge of said laws of physics) in order to extract more information. Once it starts breaking those laws (or more accurately, acting beyond our current understanding of those laws), the same principles apply, except now we have to start making inferences and assumptions, because existing notions of "how likely is this technique to damage the object" or "what are the chances that trying this technique will make something go 'boom'?" no longer map one-to-one to the current situation. Ultimately, if you move far enough beyond our current knowledge, science is still just poking new things with a stick to see what happens. Nowadays, we're generally pretty cautious about it, moving a bit beyond what we think we know, seeing what happens, reevaluating prior models in light of new information, and trying again. However, if it's something so drastically unknown as a physics-bending object in Central Park, then practical considerations may force us to be more aggressive.

    To Anymage's point, these goals might shift in priority between individuals--plus, some folks might disagree on whether disseminating information widely or keeping it (and the item itself) hidden would best serve the goal of public safety. From the tropes, we generally seem to think of individual or small groups of scientists as being the guys who would prioritize investigation and freely sharing info, while the government/science cabal would want to restrict access to information or even hide the existence of the object itself. However, realistically there would be a wide variations among specific people. There are some government agencies and larger professional organizations who believe strongly in freedom of information, and most likely also individual scientists who would choose to hide a find, either to exploit it for themselves or out of heightened fear that the object itself or its uncontrolled exploitation would present an unacceptable danger.
    Agree, although you'd probably start with checking for radiation, toxic chemical emissions, contagions etc.

    After that and when you get it into a lab, surface chemistry analysis to see what it's made of, X-Ray and ultrasound as already mentioned but possibly also MRI if nothing obviously prevents it.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    @Xyril: I know that the wider scientific community in the real world would more likely than not reveal everything they learned about the artifact eventually. They want every smart brain they can get on figuring out the new physics they're uncovering, and keeping everything under wraps is going to be practically impossible.

    The fact that this artifact springs from Exalted makes me wonder how likely it is that the setting is WoD (complete with supernatural creatures and their own coverup conspiracies) vs. our mundane world. A small college's chemistry professor has a rather limited set of tools available. Will reaching out to better connected experts gain them access to better tools and the specialists to help run them, or will reaching out just cause men in black to come and try to commandeer the artifact? An individual scientist's first reaction to seeing this artifact will be different from the overall community's after it has proven its powers. Both of these are "scientists investigating weird things", and I wonder which sense OP meant.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    Rather than trying to define a universal 'investigate the weird' protocol, I'd say there would be investigations very dependent on the specific nature of the weirdness, basically trying to either use it to find holes in the current understanding of the universe, or trying to find holes in the current understanding of the artifact - which would be the on-the-face-of-it thing which initially says 'this is weird, look into it'.

    So lets say this item came to attention because it actually had a user who could make it do overtly weird things. The first thing to do is to verify that whatever that user claims can be done can actually be done repeatedly and reliably, to exclude that this is a hoax. If it passes that initial stage, then the next question that occurs to me is 'are these effects a property of the item, the person, or both?'

    - Can a different person use the item? What differs when different people try to use it?
    - Can the original person do these things when separated from the item? What are the limits of that separation?
    - Does a person have to be aware of what they're trying to do to make the item have its effects, or is the item in control of the effect? What happens when someone doesn't realize they have the item on their person - can they use it accidentally? How about if drunk or distracted or asleep? What goes on in someone's brain when they first touch the item, versus when they use it?
    - Does the item do what someone says, or what they mean? How much does the user's understanding of time matter?

    Manipulating time is interesting, sure, but probably the most immediately unbelievable aspect of an object like this is that it (seems to) interface with a user's intent. The same item can bring about various effects, without explicitly having some kind of physical interface that has to be manipulated. So establishing the limits of how the item receives the intent, how the user establishes the intent, and the degree to which the user's understanding of the world (or of physics) shapes the effects that are produced is a priority.

    Based on how this kind of mythical object tends to go, one of the things that will really shatter our understanding of how the universe works is that the object may seem to care more about conceptual relatedness than mechanistic relatedness. For example, if I see that it can make a seed that would take a year to bloom instead grow in a day:

    - Does the seed actually experience the intervening time? If I put some radioisotope with a certain halflife into the seed, is the decay of that isotope accelerated? Or if the seed is for example being dissolved in a slow-acting acid or base, does it bloom before the chemical dissolves it despite the fact that if I waited a month or year it would have been dissolved? If you use this to age a mouse by a week over the course of a minute, do they starve to death?

    If different conceptual aspects of something can be independently accelerated without just shifting the time experienced by the thing as a whole, then that basically means a severe rethinking of any sort of local mechanistic view of physics. Under a mechanistic point of view, time is one consolidated thing that impacts all processes in a system alike, whereas this object would be addressing different abstract human-level aspects of objects or processes in a top-down way rather than bottom up. So that would mean needing to figure out some kind of alternate 'conceptual physics' to explain how such a thing could be possible. Or you posit that the item's operation is actually being mediated by an intelligence who then has to figure out how to implement the user's will. In either case, you'd want to characterize such aspects.

    Once the weirdness is roughly marked out, you can start to try to do experiments to quantify it, break it, and extract detail. For this you're looking for things like scaling laws, as well as measurements where what the user puts into the item is somehow underspecified so that anything else that happens tells you something about the mechanism of action. For example, lets say you ask someone to use this to blueshift light by speeding it up, or by 'removing some of the interval of its oscillation'. Do you get a pure frequency shift, or does the operation introduce extra harmonics (the way that cutting out part of the waveform and gluing it together on either end would introduce a high-frequency cusp). Does it matter how the user understands light, or how the user frames their intent?

    - How much time can be manipulated, what volume of space, how far can the secondary effects and consequences extend, how precise is the boundary of manipulation? What things influence those values - are there any tradeoffs or limits in place? Do those tradeoffs come from the item itself, or from the user, or some combination? Which tradeoffs seem to be based on how the item is used (in that framing things differently can allow them to be gamed), and which seem to be fundamental and inviolable no matter how you try to frame what the object is supposed to do?

    Once you can quantify these things and find hard limits, you can start to narrow down and exclude potential mechanisms of action. If there's a certain time delay between intent and the emergence of the effect, then whether that time delay depends on how far away the target is or not, how large the target is or not, how complex the target is or not helps establish whether there's a mediating intelligence or whether physics is fundamentally conceptual, for example.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    @Xyril: I know that the wider scientific community in the real world would more likely than not reveal everything they learned about the artifact eventually. They want every smart brain they can get on figuring out the new physics they're uncovering, and keeping everything under wraps is going to be practically impossible.
    This is my impression my well. My only quibble was that the difference between "let's keep this under wraps" and "let's get everyone we can working on this" is less about the difference between the heroic solo scientist and the dark government cabal, and more about differences in beliefs and experiences within individual who might fall under either group.


    Quote Originally Posted by Storm_Of_Snow View Post
    Agree, although you'd probably start with checking for radiation, toxic chemical emissions, contagions etc.

    After that and when you get it into a lab, surface chemistry analysis to see what it's made of, X-Ray and ultrasound as already mentioned but possibly also MRI if nothing obviously prevents it.
    And forgetting about this is why I fall firmly in the camp of phoning a friend if I ever stumble upon an artifact that fell from the higher planes.
    Last edited by Xyril; 2020-10-30 at 04:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    You might want to browse the SCP Foundation wiki for a while. Many of the SCPs have detailed fictional accounts of their scientific analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    For one it would throw out most of our physical laws, so that would be an exciting weekend. Like "Reverse time" in a localized area would break so many theories you might as well have it grant wishes. Entropy, space-time, conservation of energy.

    Here's a fun one for that: If you power something with a battery and then reverse the battery back to full? What about unspending uranium?
    I am frankly, not quite sure.

    If you power something with a battery and reverse it to full? The battery turns full again. If you take a box of cakes, scarf them down, and reverse time? Then the box of cakes will be full again and the cakes will still be in your stomach. There are of course, limits. It seems to work best when you're doing something like a container (the kind you can hold in your hand). A single room the size of a small apartment (like the one I'm in now) can have the flow of time slowed down, but not reversed. And unless you've got an extremely precise watch, you won't be able to notice the alterations in the flow of time in say, an aircraft hanger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    My other main question is how you define "scientists". Are you just talking about the individual scientist who finds this/is approached by the people who find it (keeping in mind that this individual will very likely have limited access to the more powerful and expensive tools), or are you talking about the larger scientific community on the assumption that there is no technocracy/SCP/MIB to swoop in and keep this sort of thing under wraps?
    There's no MIB/ ScP/ technocracy. At most, there are government agencies that will come a knocking. For all intents and purposes our world, but with a single aberration.

    This entire thing started when a scientist's friend picked up the watch, and attuned to it (by which he grabbed it and concentrated for a moment). He found the powers by near accident, and used it for pretty much normal stuff (doing the housework, cooking food) until he decided to give it to his scientist friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    @Xyril: I know that the wider scientific community in the real world would more likely than not reveal everything they learned about the artifact eventually. They want every smart brain they can get on figuring out the new physics they're uncovering, and keeping everything under wraps is going to be practically impossible.

    The fact that this artifact springs from Exalted makes me wonder how likely it is that the setting is WoD (complete with supernatural creatures and their own coverup conspiracies) vs. our mundane world. A small college's chemistry professor has a rather limited set of tools available. Will reaching out to better connected experts gain them access to better tools and the specialists to help run them, or will reaching out just cause men in black to come and try to commandeer the artifact? An individual scientist's first reaction to seeing this artifact will be different from the overall community's after it has proven its powers. Both of these are "scientists investigating weird things", and I wonder which sense OP meant.
    It's not in WoD, I'm afraid. The thing starts out when a small college physics professor gets it from his friend. And then he sticks around because of curiosity, because goddamn it, magical time-shifting artifact.

    Then the entire scientific community is informed and they try to join in, because goddamn it, this is incredible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    When I saw this title, I thought it would be about the Ignobels.
    Hey, thanks for this! Learning about the Ignobels has been the best part of the thread so far.

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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    And oh yeah. One more question! Scientist reaction. Not just individually. But as a community to the find.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accelerator View Post
    And oh yeah. One more question! Scientist reaction. Not just individually. But as a community to the find.
    Widespread skepticism at first. This mangles a number of well supported theories beyond the breaking point, as previously mentioned. While massive shifts in physics have happened before and been adjusted to fairly quickly, they were all preceded by experimental work that showed problems with the prevailing theories of the day that were answered by the new shift. We currently have problems like that for some theories, but this doesn't really address any of those problems (directly).

    Those who witness the item in action first hand will still remain skeptical, though probably in a "how in the world does this work" way rather than outright denying that it works. If the item is able to be copied or the underlying principles worked out, then it will gain at least a plurality of support in the community. There will be those who remain stubborn to accepting it, but by the time the next generation of scientists roll around (20ish years or so), it will be considered mainstream and accepted by the vast majority. There is a somewhat truthful, somewhat hyperbolic saying that fits well here: paradigm shifts in science only occur when the old guard passes on.
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    And there I was thinking that Midichlorian counts were a variety of force-sensitive hereditary noble- most notably Dooku.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Battleship789 View Post
    Widespread skepticism at first. This mangles a number of well supported theories beyond the breaking point, as previously mentioned. While massive shifts in physics have happened before and been adjusted to fairly quickly, they were all preceded by experimental work that showed problems with the prevailing theories of the day that were answered by the new shift. We currently have problems like that for some theories, but this doesn't really address any of those problems (directly).

    Those who witness the item in action first hand will still remain skeptical, though probably in a "how in the world does this work" way rather than outright denying that it works. If the item is able to be copied or the underlying principles worked out, then it will gain at least a plurality of support in the community.
    Well to be honest I'm not quite sure what 'principles' can be worked out. This is something written by someone who was certainly not a scientist and meant to invoke a certain character.

    I'm actually more interested in the potential politics. For example, if it was to be thrown into Australia or New Zealand, who gets to study it? Will it be transported to America because of the highest level of equipment? Would it be for the UN? The government keeps it out of national pride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accelerator View Post
    Well to be honest I'm not quite sure what 'principles' can be worked out. This is something written by someone who was certainly not a scientist and meant to invoke a certain character.

    I'm actually more interested in the potential politics. For example, if it was to be thrown into Australia or New Zealand, who gets to study it? Will it be transported to America because of the highest level of equipment? Would it be for the UN? The government keeps it out of national pride?
    Political aspects should be threaded very carefully here. That being said I expect two possible directions things could go:
    1. Local military manages to keep the device under wraps as they typically would want to. Then the inevitable covert free-for-all tug of war for the research data, scientists working on the project and the device itself begins.
    2. The device gets public recognition. Then the inevitable diplomatic and covert free-for-all tug of war for the research data, scientists working on the project and the device itself begins.

    edit: something like the negotiations briefly shown here.
    Last edited by Radar; 2020-11-01 at 07:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    Really, really, really agree with the sentiment about things getting political - however, I suspect that if the piece landed in Australia or New Zealand, the UK would want to get involved (given those countries are part of the Commonwealth) and China would be looking to get access to it as well due to their proximity.

    So it could be the UN decides, and lead investigation of it goes to a country that those on the Security Council agree is the least worst option for all of them, or the host country plays off their possession of the item into their allies providing defence and other benefits in return for access to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accelerator View Post
    Well to be honest I'm not quite sure what 'principles' can be worked out. This is something written by someone who was certainly not a scientist and meant to invoke a certain character.
    Our laws of physics are the best attempts of scientists to mathematically describe what's possible in our universe by using math. If this thing provably shows that things we previously thought were impossible are very possible, people are going to have to adjust the equations to account for that.

    More importantly, unless you want to posit that this artifact comes from outside our universe (which would necessitate multiversal physics to fully encapsulate everything, contingent on scientists being able to perform experiments on the broader multiverse), the fact it can do miraculous things means that there's some way that the universe does allow miraculous things to happen. "Realistically" there would be signs and hints of this possibility beforehand. Assuming this alien artifact is powered by things deeper than our current understanding of physics can even begin to comprehend, though, scientists would do everything in their power to figure out how it does what it does.

    I'm actually more interested in the potential politics. For example, if it was to be thrown into Australia or New Zealand, who gets to study it? Will it be transported to America because of the highest level of equipment? Would it be for the UN? The government keeps it out of national pride?
    Scientists would generally want to share the data, even though each scientist would also want to be able to personally have access to the artifact. At most the person who finds it would give it to the associate he things is best placed to run proper experiments and who has the best mind for the task.

    Politics is in the hands of politicians, and at this point I think you're better off just trying to write your first draft of your story instead of having people here try to brainstorm the broad plot outline for you.
    Very briefly, everybody would want it. If you're a major power and it lands somewhere that's essentially your turf (either your soil or in a country where you have overwhelming influence), you'll keep it in your hands. If you're a lower tier power, you'd balance priorities of wanting to keep it in your own hands, and wanting to piss off the fewest people possible if you do decide to let someone else handle the trouble of minding it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    Our laws of physics are the best attempts of scientists to mathematically describe what's possible in our universe by using math. If this thing provably shows that things we previously thought were impossible are very possible, people are going to have to adjust the equations to account for that.

    More importantly, unless you want to posit that this artifact comes from outside our universe (which would necessitate multiversal physics to fully encapsulate everything, contingent on scientists being able to perform experiments on the broader multiverse), the fact it can do miraculous things means that there's some way that the universe does allow miraculous things to happen. "Realistically" there would be signs and hints of this possibility beforehand. Assuming this alien artifact is powered by things deeper than our current understanding of physics can even begin to comprehend, though, scientists would do everything in their power to figure out how it does what it does.
    Indeed, when you introduce an object, phenomenon, or even a person (ex. a vampire) that violates known physical laws in some way and then consider the 'what happens if this actually gets investigated in detail' you have to consider what is actually happening on a meta-level. How is this thing able to do what it does?

    Note that having the known laws of physics be 'wrong' is actually the hardest explanation to make work, because of the Correspondence Principle, which, interpreted broadly, is the reality that any new theory of understanding of how reality works has reproduce the same results as all the measurements that work under the old theory. The best example is in physics, where Relativity, and later Quantum Mechanics still had to function in a way that reproduced all the results that work out under Newtonian mechanics. Additionally, even if you can successfully postulate some sort of breakthrough that will make things work the way you want, there are likely to be unintended consequences when you take that principle out of its original context and either scale it up or scale it down. For example the consequences of being able to cheaply and easily accelerate macroscopic objects to nearly lightspeed - a requirement for even a very limited form of interstellar travel - is capable of producing cheap and easy doomsday devices

    Consequently, the best answer for how to handle 'it's magic!' objects in a modern or otherwise physics-conforming fictional world is to have them be just 'magic' and impenetrable to explanation and to just avoid offering any real explanation as to what's going on. There are many times in fiction where attempting to explain the why or how of something according to real world science is actually more detrimental to suspension of disbelief than just letting it hang there unresolved.
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    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    One thing to keep in mind as far as thinking about stuff like 'who gets it' is that scientists tend to be an extremely international crowd. You could have the thing be physically in one country, being discovered first by a scientist who is a citizen of a different country, who is working for a research institute or university that may itself be multinational, may be receiving grant monies from different countries, and who might be running a research group consisting of students and post-docs from four other countries. Even if the scientist to first take a look at it thinks 'huh, this is probably relevant to someone's national security, innit?' it's really not clear that the first thing they're going to think to do is to shake that hornets' nest of conflicting interests by bringing the thing to a bureaucrat's attention.

    It may very well be that the first time any government hears enough about the thing to actually take action would be when the scientist goes to a conference and gives some under-stated talk on the subject.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    Yes you're right. Apologies for the raising of politics.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Scientists investigating weird things

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Not just ultrasound and Xrays. You'd bombard it with the entire available spectrum of radiation from radio waves to xrays, and see what reflects and what doesn't. That gives you a pretty good idea of the material.
    And you'd probably do the xrays last of the spectrum as they're the highest energy (except for gamma rays, but they;re less likely to be used) and therefore most likely to damage it
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