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The Science Of 40K

Discussion in 'Table Top' started by The-Mad-Magos, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. It has come up else where that the science of 40K is a bit iffy compared to modern science.

    For example, Monomolecular.

    In current science monomolecular is a reference to substances that are found in layers one molecule thick. Graphene is an example.
    But it can also be found in chemistry where two liquid chemical compounds react together to create a third a molecule thick where they meet. I believe Nylon may be created in such a fashion.

    But in 40K you have bladed weapons sharpened to a monomolecular edge, or Eldar Shuriken a molecule thick.
    In this case it seems to be used as an old Sci-Fi shorthand for bladed weapons sharpened beyond what modern science can do. Though such weapons are also made out of exotic materials which are both harder and better at maintaining this edge than modern materials.

    These weapons have to be better than more conventional bladed weapons due to the fact they have to overcome armour the best modern blade would barely scratch.

    This is a typical Sci-Fi Trope.
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SharpenedToASingleAtom

    Can you think of any other 40K Science that can do with addressing?
    If so feel free to post.
  2. Well, I can think of a few key ones, albeit somewhat tangentially related. Most of them relate more to the sheer lack of sloped armour or designs when it comes to many of the vehicles. Even discounting the massive flat sides and surfaces of a Leman Russ battle tank, the vast bulk of them present plenty of sides which would be easily breached by most modern day anti-armour shells and the like. Even claiming that it's made with ultra-hard space age metal only goes so far, as the angle and shape of many vehicle hulls would not be enough to deflect damage from infantry grade energy weapons like amassed pulse rifles or whatnot.
    Sxep likes this.
  3. Although Rhino's and Leman Russ' are mainly made out of Plasteel, though Rhino's can have composite armour, Land Raiders have Ceramite as part of their composite armour.
    And Ceramite is a material designed to protect against Plasma, Melta, and Las-weapons, so that even an armour penetrating weapon using the Munro Effect (like Krak grenades and missiles) will have problems penetrating it. Though it isn't perfect.
  4. Hunter Tarrus TARINunit9 Well-Known Member

    Eldar monomolecular weapons aren't actual all that far off from the graphine and nylon examples you mentioned

    Shuriken guns take a cylinder of matter, and shave off one-molecule-thick disks from the top. Death spinner weapons shoot nets made of threads only one molecule thick

    This next part is a wild guess, but certain Eldar blades MIGHT be a form of glass. Glass "prismatic blades" get very close to one molecule thick in real life, but aren't very durable. Meanwhile, according to a wiki "Power Blades rely on the strength of their built-in power field to maintain the integrity of the thin blade upon a strike."
  5. Quothe Quothe Subordinate

    Yeah getting a one molecule thick edge or substance isn't the problem, it's making it strong enough and rigid enough to hold that edge while cutting, which is why I always say that the Eldar are masters of materials science.
    With shurikens rotation can add rigidity but in all cases of Eldar monomol technology the bonding strengths we're talking about just to hold them together are huge. I'd estimate that they are higher than any we currently know of outside the atomic nucleus.
    Given all that, plus the fact that they are supposedly drawn from the warp it'self, I'd say that wraithbone and much of the other psycho-plastics the eldar use are most likely not normal matter, they may even still be partly immaterium in nature.


    And talking about stuff that straddles the borderline between the materium and the warp, there's also the issue of Gravitics.

    Gravitics are a term used in 40k to cover a wide range of gravity manipulating devices; think the grav tank, the shuriken catapault's accelerator and the Tau space ships, all these are said to use gravitic technologies.

    All of these technologies have well recorded effects in the 40k universe which point to some interesting ways that other 40k technologies might operate.

    First there's the Older Tau spacecraft which project a gravitational well ahead of the craft and then fall towards it.

    Aside from making a mockery of the laws of conservation of momentum it might also indicate that in the 40k universe gravity is a true force rather than an apparent force, or that it may even be due to interactions with the Warp.

    You see in our universe gravity is unique for several reasons, first up it is much weaker than the other forces, but more importantly although it appears to act like the other fields of force (electro-magnetic, strong nuclear, weak nuclear e.t.c.) it affects ALL particles rather than just the charge carrying particles. So while an electro-magnetic field will affect electrically charged particles it will have no effect on neutral particles, it's effectively blind to them.
    Gravity however appears to affect everything.

    Gravity also directly affects space-time, which no other field of force does... This has lead some real world scientists to hypothesise that it may be an entropic effect rather than a true field of force, and it is already well accepted that that the 'force' of gravity is probably an illusion resulting purely from space-time distortion rather than an actual field of force.

    That the Tau and other races can project a gravity well to a point where there is no mass to act as a source/entropic well suggests that either gravity is a true force and can somehow be unlinked from matter, or that they are affecting space-time on a deeper level.
    The thing is that in 40k the 'deeper' level to space time is the warp.

    Warp travel involves some major time dilation effects, much like gravitational fields and in addition to that some Black holes are supposed to act as Warp Gates (see the link at the start of this paragraph for references), both of which seem to suggest that gravity and gravitational effects might be linked in some way to warp space.
    It is actually quite possible that the gravitational effects seen in the 40k universe are caused by the way the warp shadows the the materium.

    We also know that among the races the Eldar are both the masters of gravitic and warp technologies, next are the Tau who may shy away from the full use of this because they don't get on well with all things warpy, and then the Imperium, who require huge and inefficient generators to enter the warp as well as in their gravitics.

    It's nothing certain (so little of 40k is,) and is complete bullshit in terms of real world science (so much of 40k is) but it may be of interest.
  6. Power weapons, blades, mauls, fists, chainfists, etc. work by surrounding themselves by an energy field that disrupts matter.
    This is usually projected by a matrix within the weapon.

    Does the power field maintain the integrity of the weapon? Well I've never heard that before.
    http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Powered_weapon

    It is possible that the Eldar either have a substance that is equal to Adamantium, which is 40K's unbelievably strong material, or use Psionics to hold create a structural integrity field in the weapon.
    The latter would explain all those gems they fasten to everything.

    You mean the thing that sounds like an Alcubierre Drive?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

    Though I do know that the Eldar use Gravitics in place of Electromagnetics in their Gauss-like weapons, I do not think that Gravity in 40K has that type of link with The Immaterium, or that the Warp works in the way you think.

    The Warp can play around with time during journeys. A journey through the warp can take months on a ship, but be years, even decades in real-time.
    But then there are the times ships have entered the Warp and arrived at their destination before they left their departure point.

    I have heard people say that this is because there was a time differential between the two places which makes it a technicality only.
    But I also remember background where it was the other way round. Where after review, and conversion of local time to Imperium standard, they discovered they'd arrived before they departed.

    Then there is the HH story of Oll Persson, who is using unconventional methods to travel through the Warp, and ended up on a post-battle road in Iraq during the first Gulf War!

    Add to that the fact that Daemons, and even Slaanesh, are created/born/ascended during the age of the Imperium yet they pre-exist that point in time, as if their creation echoes back in time through the Warp, then you must consider that the Warp can allow travel through time, and therefore can exist beyond the normal boundaries of Space-Time.

    You must remember that the Imperium is technologically degrading.
    They had brilliant Grav tech, just look at the Scimitar Jetbikes, but have either lost the technology or lost the ability to build and maintain such technology and have to resort to brute-force methods to do the same functions.
  7. Hunter Tarrus TARINunit9 Well-Known Member

    It was a description unique to the Exarch Power Blade; their normal power swords didn't say anything, so I presume most power weapons are normal wraithbone

    @Quothe
    Now that you mention gravatics, I have renewed curiosity in grav-weapons that were added into existence in 6th edition. How funky is that concept compared to real life? A beam that does nothing but increase the weight of a small area of whatever you point it at
  8. Quothe Quothe Subordinate

    Similar, but not the same.
    Alcubierre drives are supposed to work by compressing and stretching the space time surrounding the craft so that they travel less distance to get to the target location.

    In this case all the space-time distortions are caused by the ring shaped thingies surrounding the craft. Ideally the space time that the craft sits in should be flat.

    On the other hand the way the Tau ships are supposed to work involves projecting a virtual mass infront of the ship that it then falls towards. They create a gradient that the ship rolls down.


    Well it's a fictional universe for sure and though no-one has out and said as much it doesn't hurt to speculate.

    Well we already know time travel is a thing in the 40k universe, but this doesn't rule out a possible link between the Warp and gravity, just read up on Closed timelike curves for one way this could happen.



    They have it for sure, but gravity manipulation and warp technology are pretty much synonymous with Eldar so I'd be surprised if the Imperium were ever as advanced even at their height.
  9. I believe that Gravity weapons in 40K, or at least Imperial ones, working by increasing the effects of gravity in a localised area.
    And it seems the more mass within the area of effect, the greater the increase in gravity.

    Now I'm not saying that the planet's gravity increases in one point, but that the force of gravity between any mass in the area of effect is increased. This would explain why those with armour are affected more than those without, and why more armour means greater the effect.

    Since an Imperial Guardsman, with his equipment, has low mass the effect on him is limited. But with an SM in Terminator armour, the effect is likely to kill him. And that will happen even if the IG and Terminator are stood next to each other.
  10. Quothe Quothe Subordinate

    It's total sci-fi.
    People have been looking for means to alter the way gravity interacts with mass for quite a while now and though there's always some researchers that claim to have found interesting findings pointing at an anti-grav effect, so far it's all just speculation with zero evidence to back it up.

    Increasing something's weight is tantamount to increasing it's energy (higher weight means higher gravitational potential) so it may fall foul of conservation of energy, but for all that I guess a sudden influx of gravitons could cause a change in gravitational potential - problem is that gravitons are hypothetical, so you could as well say just add unicorn farts.

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