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Author Topic: Superman's Gravity powers and time  (Read 7104 times)
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RedSunOfKrypton
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« on: November 11, 2005, 04:05:21 PM »

Superman's tactile telekinesis seems to come from his ability to control gravity, most prominently demonstrated by Waid in Birthright. Anybody else think this would be a good excuse for his PreC ability to time travel? Using gravity to cause time dilation etc.? Also controlling his own flow of time could explain a bunch of his speed related feats. Thoughts?
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"...and as the fledgeling Man of Steel looks for the first time over the skyline of this city, this, Metropolis, he utters the syllables with which history is made and legends are forged: This, looks like a job...for Superman."
Captain Kal
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2005, 04:23:29 PM »

Yep, that would also explain how his sight and hearing exceed lightspeed limitations.

Waid took it to another level in The Kingdom when hundreds of dead Supermen combined their telescopic visions to see through time itself.  In hindsight, it makes sense that this power which can already see beyond lightspeed limits could see through the time barrier if boosted enough.  A grav-basis for this power would be consistent with this.
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RedSunOfKrypton
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2005, 05:00:19 PM »

I don't quite get how it could allow his sight and hearing to exceed the lightspeed limit, can you explain?
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"...and as the fledgeling Man of Steel looks for the first time over the skyline of this city, this, Metropolis, he utters the syllables with which history is made and legends are forged: This, looks like a job...for Superman."
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2005, 08:39:20 PM »

Overly belated response ...

Think Wolverton's grav-generated wormholes for openers.

Also consider that anti-grav accelerates time where grav slows it down.  Alcubierre's combining the two give his version of Warp Drive albeit in legitimate scientific form instead of outright S.F.  A more limited application of the principle as in Krasnikov's tube based on Alcubierre's theory might explain FTL telescopic vision and super-hearing.
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Captain Kal

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RedSunOfKrypton
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2005, 10:25:58 AM »

Oh I got it conceptually, it's just an engineering standpoint is where I was having trouble. Like would he make mini wormholes with one end in his eyes and the other at where he wanted to see for example?
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"...and as the fledgeling Man of Steel looks for the first time over the skyline of this city, this, Metropolis, he utters the syllables with which history is made and legends are forged: This, looks like a job...for Superman."
Psybertrack
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2005, 10:48:23 PM »

Quote
Superman's tactile telekinesis seems to come from his ability to control gravity, most prominently demonstrated by Waid in Birthright. Anybody else think this would be a good excuse for his PreC ability to time travel? Using gravity to cause time dilation etc.? Also controlling his own flow of time could explain a bunch of his speed related feats. Thoughts?

sorry I didn't read Birthright. but Supes has never time travelled standing still, has he?
I always thought he was flying.
The Speed force is the answer. Superman gets his superspeed and time power from the speed force, but while he can control the power of the speed force, he does not have access to as many aspects as the Flash does.  But than the Flash can risk being called into the speed force permanently if he goes too fast.
Does Supes have tactile tk? News to me. Maybe on an involuntary response level. He cannot consciously move things by tk, even if he touches them in most versions of Superman , though in the Superman movie it makes it look like he can when he is barely touching Lois's fingertips he is enabling her to "fly" by t.t.k. as long as he is in physical contact with her. If he could control it consciously he'd use ttk to bunch in his cape everytime he's hit by a large explosion so as to make it flat on his body and prevent the vast cost of replacing shredded/burned capes.

Re time travel , gravity control and tactile tk.  No Gravity would only let you trime travel in one direction.  You don't so much travel in time as you perception of time slows down relative to you, but not say for instance back on earth. So parking your ship near a black hole or gravity source of sufficient amount for 1 hour ship-time, might allow you to return to earth in 10 years earth time. But like with Charlton Heston's trip in the first original "Planet of The Apes" movie, ( not the one in theatres recently) it is a one way trip forward into the future. It's called the time dilation effect because it slows down time for the traveler, while time travels normal speed elsewhere.
You can't use gravity to travel back it time.  Not by itself anyway. Perhaps the psionic manipulation of strings might come into play.

I think Superman's powers operate much like a football jock throwing a ball. He doesn't think about the physics and aerodynamics. He just tries to throw the ball to the receiver. The harder he tries, the harder or more intense the effect.  

he can lift buildings without them collapsing because its a story/writers device to help the story.  In comics physics you don't have to show the math to support the effect like in real world physics.
So when the story needs it , Supes saves a crashing plane by grabbing the wing, and it doesn't break off. When the story needs the burning tenament to collapse on Supes , it does. Writer's discretion.

I always thought it was speed, velocity, and speed manipulation while he was flying which allowed the old Superman to time travel.  and even dimension travel once into the realm of death.  

If you want a semi plausible explanation perhaps Kryptonians have a rapport, psionically with the Phantom Zone, and perhaps they can sometimes use this as a viaduct/portal to the time-stream dimension to navigate the various temporal eddies and tides to travel back and forth in time.  Jor-El and others on Krypton seemed to use the Phantom Zone to banish criminals.  Perhaps its a family thing and only the house of El has the mutation, hence we've never seen General Zod time travel.
But who knows, I' m just guessing here  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2005, 11:03:01 PM »

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Also consider that anti-grav accelerates time where grav slows it down

anti-grav? Isn't that the same as negative gravity? I don't think anti grav would let you do anything but make things lighter or maybe float or fly.
Anti grav isn't a separate force in anything but the looses science of sci fi.
Gravity is either present, strong or weak or not at all, hence weightlessness and floating. to float up is just gravity from another direction.  Like a tractor beam.

Now if you mean in an anti-matter universe, that's different.

I think maybe just saying Superman has some dimensional travel powers but with limited control is good enough. his vision and hearing deal and ftl can be explained by the fact that its just a physical manifestation of his Clairvoyance and clairaudience. He's a science fiction version of a psychic with some limitations.

I dont think Superman  can make wormholes

not to apokalips anyway, but a mother box can
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RedSunOfKrypton
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2005, 01:12:57 AM »

Quote
Supes has never time travelled standing still, has he?
I always thought he was flying.
To my knowledge he's always flown.

Quote
The Speed force is the answer. Superman gets his superspeed and time power from the speed force, but while he can control the power of the speed force, he does not have access to as many aspects as the Flash does. But than the Flash can risk being called into the speed force permanently if he goes too fast.
Superman doesn't tap into the speed force, according to the speedsters, he's a natural speeder, like a cheetah.

Quote
Does Supes have tactile tk? News to me. Maybe on an involuntary response level. He cannot consciously move things by tk, even if he touches them in most versions of Superman , though in the Superman movie it makes it look like he can when he is barely touching Lois's fingertips he is enabling her to "fly" by t.t.k. as long as he is in physical contact with her. If he could control it consciously he'd use ttk to bunch in his cape everytime he's hit by a large explosion so as to make it flat on his body and prevent the vast cost of replacing shredded/burned capes.
Superboy's TTK is based on Superman's aura, ergo, Supes has TTK but just never uses it to max potential becasue he has no need to, what with all his other powers. He also did use actual telekinesis once in the old PreC black and white newspaper strips. Waid says in Birthright Superman's gravity powers come from a gravity controlling neural net, just like in Mark Wolverton's Science of Superman book.

Quote
No Gravity would only let you trime travel in one direction. You don't so much travel in time as you perception of time slows down relative to you, but not say for instance back on earth. So parking your ship near a black hole or gravity source of sufficient amount for 1 hour ship-time, might allow you to return to earth in 10 years earth time. But like with Charlton Heston's trip in the first original "Planet of The Apes" movie, ( not the one in theatres recently) it is a one way trip forward into the future. It's called the time dilation effect because it slows down time for the traveler, while time travels normal speed elsewhere.
You can't use gravity to travel back it time. Not by itself anyway.
I know this, but thanks for mentioning it anyway just in case some people didn't.

Quote
In comics physics you don't have to show the math to support the effect like in real world physics.
There's a good sized sub group of us that like discussing the physics and science in comics anyway. Wink

I'll let CK handle the gravity talk, he's more knowledgable than I in such things, but as to this:

Quote
I think maybe just saying Superman has some dimensional travel powers but with limited control is good enough. his vision and hearing deal and ftl can be explained by the fact that its just a physical manifestation of his Clairvoyance and clairaudience. He's a science fiction version of a psychic with some limitations.
He's not psychic at all according to Waid and I actually find that explanation a bit of a cop out. Trying to find the how's of real science with him is where I have fun with the character.
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"...and as the fledgeling Man of Steel looks for the first time over the skyline of this city, this, Metropolis, he utters the syllables with which history is made and legends are forged: This, looks like a job...for Superman."
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