How would you turn off the world's electirc devices?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by spinnaker, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. spinnaker

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    NBC's series Revolution is starting it's new season. For those of you that are not aware of the series, it is about a group of scientists that shutoff all of the electric / electronic devices in the world. Everything that works by electricity does not work.

    Some people have a pendant. When in the vicinity of an electric / electronic device the device will function.

    In the current episodes, Monroe the leader of the militia and antagonist in the series forces one of the scientist's that shutoff the electricity in the first place to build an "amplifier". This allows larger devices like helicopters and heavy equipment to function from the pendent.

    So how would you shut off the world's power if you could build a device that currently is only in the imagination of screen writers?

    My first thought would be an EMP as they currently exist but it would have to be an awful massive device and there would probably be pockets that survived. Certainly shielded equipment would survive.

    Another thought was some kind of dampening field. I suppose if the device was launched into space and it shut down the world's power there would be no power to reach it to shut it down. The pendent could act sort of as a shield so anything under it would function.

    My final thought was to some way alter the properties of conductors and semiconductors at an atomic level. I suppose, the pendent could reorganize the structure back to their orginal properties.
     
  2. spinnaker

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    Update. There is supposed to be a tower. Scientist escapes from Monroe and tells the rebels that if she can access the tower, she can turn back on the world's electricity. So perhaps it is a dampening field of some kind.
     
  3. nsaspook

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  4. Metalmann

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    Klaatu barada nikto;)
     
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  5. maxpower097

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    Well a solar flare can do it without that amount of collateral damage and their about to be able to crate a man made black hole. I'd say they can probably do more with EMP's and waves then we currently publicly know. Shutting down the world seems like that would be a natural event for at least another 50 years or so.
     
  6. tubeguy

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    Great.. the elevator just stopped, now what do I do ???
     
  7. paulktreg

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    EMP = Permanent damage.

    Pendant = Useless.

    Solution = Science Fiction

    End Off!
     
  8. THE_RB

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    Absolutely a work of fiction. The show could have been good with a much more believable premise, ie ending all RF comms and interfering with some more sensitive devices.

    The idea that a far remote field can completely stop all electricity from working is total BS. Just how are they going to stop current flowing from a car battery in a local closed circuit, from a signal hundreds of miles away??

    Boo Hollywood idiots.
     
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  9. spinnaker

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    Aren't all scifi shows that way? I remember the original Battlestar Galactica. They had a device on the bridge that would detect Cylons. It was a bank of oscilloscopes all displaying Lissajous patterns. They would alter the input frequency to get the display to change. The change meant Cylons were approaching. :)
     
  10. nsaspook

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    The best thing about the Galactica was the exact copy of the old school US NAVY comm system on a warp-drive ship.

    Better know by old-salts as the B!#&h-Box.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. spinnaker

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    And then of course there was the mechanical digital display on the Enterprise. :)
     
  12. ErnieM

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    I havn't been watching "Revolution" but am subject to the commercials for it. So you say they have a "tower" that turns off all the power in the world, huh?

    So what does the tower run on? What's it's power source?

    Falling water? Wind? I suspect it will turn out to be nothing but hot air.
     
  13. tracecom

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    I got hooked on "Lost," and watched without fail. I even recorded it and re-watched it because I fell for the gag that the writers had a plan and that all the craziness would somehow be explained. At some point, I realized they didn't have any more idea where it was going than I did, and I quit watching it. What a waste of my time!
     
  14. spinnaker

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    An onsite nuclear power plant?

    And if you are able to shut the world's power off, who knows what kind of power generation technology might be at you disposal. :)
     
  15. Georacer

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    LOST is the sole reason why I think VEEEEEEEEEEEEEERY carefully before I start watching a series.
     
  16. Kermit2

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    magnetism...

    You need to do something that would prevent a magnetic field from being formed in order to cause electrical devices to become inoperative.

    You would in essence have to create a new form of reality where the laws of physics are fundamentally different from those we know now.

    PFM

    Pure F*$&ing Magic... a common formula for modern sci-fi... :(
     
  17. nsaspook

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    I don't think you need new physics, just materials that exist at the nano-scale somehow created and covering macro-scale devices. Imagine a nano-machine that could self-replicate and form a structure with a negative index of refraction for the fields that could also be extremely Diamagnetic The nano-machines would run on the captured energy and reconstruct themselves eventually covering everything. Making it work at DC to gamma-rays shouldn't be too hard in a hundred years. :D

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_index_metamaterials

    http://www.metaphotonics.de/metamaterials/negativerefraction.html

     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  18. spinnaker

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    Easy for you to say. :)

    If I understand you correctly you would create a nano-machine that alters the properties of the materials that make up our electrical devices? If so
    sounds like you just expanded on one of my original idea.

    The problem is, how do you infect everything? I would think through the power grid. Devices that run off of battery might eventually be infected since the battery needs to be connected to the grid (direct or indirect) at
    at least one time in it's life, even is it is during manufacture. But there are still bound to be devices that would never be infected that way. Could it be done though the air?

    Then there is turning them off again. I can see how you might be able to just communicate to the first and it passes the message on to the others but there are still bound to be some, that can't be reached.
     
  19. nsaspook

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    My devices wouldn't alter the internals of the device just create a meta-material surface over it so it would work again when the power nano-suckers died. You could limit the lifetime and total resurrection count of the original nano-machines so they would eventually stop if no more were produced and a new virgin machine could use the old 'dead' ones as raw materials. A total drop dead code would be a problem but infecting could take place at a low power level at first until the kill version was activated once coverage was complete.
     
  20. Kermit2

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    So...

    how exactly would the meta materials be able to suppress a magnetic field.

    I am currently imagining a proto-typical transformer will copper wire wound tightly around a segmented metal core. I cannot see anyway in which a thick enough layer of such nano particle could get in between the wire and the metal core to have a noticeable effect on the strong alternating magnetic field. Diamagnetic materials(like oxygen for instance) have stronger affinity for magnetic force than the usual standard of empty space(vacuum), but when compared to the special cases of Iron, Cobalt and Nickle they are feeble and inconsequential. It is similar to comparing the density of water(vacuum), salt water(diamagnetic elements) and lead(magnetic elements like iron etc.)

    The magnetic field may be slightly impaired if measured with sensitive enough equipment. This is a far cry from BLOCKING a magnetic field. Nothing we know of in physical or chemical or theoretical terms is capable of BLOCKING a magnetic field.

    Perhaps someday, a way to create a 'mono' pole may be dreamed up and this might have some drastic affect on a normal bipolar magnetic field, but I cannot foresee anyone, ever, being able to BLOCK magnetic lines of force with any type of nano scale manufactured material. We are limited by the elements of the periodic table. Nothing can be made that does not incorporate one more elements from this list, and nothing on the "list" can BLOCK a magnetic field.

    Like I said. PFM.
     
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