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View Full Version : Walking thru walls - It can be done?

Uniball
11-24-2000, 09:09 AM
There's any research about phasing, i.e. making someone or something walk thru walls, just like Kitty Pryde from the X-Men comics?

The Assailant
11-24-2000, 09:18 AM
You are JOKING aren't you?

11-24-2000, 09:24 AM
IIRC, from listening to physics thought experiments, the only way in which walking through walls could be done is by playing games with quantum probabilty. That is, that somehow just as you press against the wall all molecules in the wall have a non-zero chance of moving out of the way of the molcules in your body. Sorta like how in a closed room full of air, there is a non-zero chance that all the air molecules will end up on one side of the room, leaving the other side in a vacuum.

I never really believed that there really was a non-zero chance of either of these occurances myself, but I'm not a physics maven either, just an Engineer.

Ukulele Ike
11-24-2000, 09:30 AM
Dr. Sivana, arch-nemesis of Captain Marvel, was able to walk through walls in one issue of the old comic book.

He would recite a complicated equation, which would somehow align the molecules of his body (and clothes) to not bump into the molecules of the wall, thus enabling him to pass through.

I know this isn't very helpful (to paraphrase Cecil Adams, "Researchers do not, incidentally, watch the cartoons, which are not regarded as a reliable source of medical insight"), but I couldn't resist.

Sam Stone
11-24-2000, 01:47 PM
There's a difference between 'non-zero' and 'vanishingly small'. It's true that it's technically possible for you to walk through a wall or for all the air molecules in a room to migrate to one side. But the probability is so small that it would take much, much longer than the age of the universe for it to happen. So from that standpoint, you can say that it's impossible.

Our gas laws, for example, are based on probability. And yet they are so reliable that temperature and pressure appears uniform in a gas even at very low gas densities where there are relatively few molecules.

john_e_wagner
11-24-2000, 01:47 PM
Well where I work at the walls are very thin. If your determined you could walk through the wall. I somehow get the impression you are talking about not breaking the wall.
John

Uniball
11-24-2000, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by Ukulele Ike
I know this isn't very helpful (to paraphrase Cecil Adams, "Researchers do not, incidentally, watch the cartoons, which are not regarded as a reliable source of medical insight"), but I couldn't resist.

Not helpful, but amusing. Thanks! :D

Uniball
11-24-2000, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by john_e_wagner
I somehow get the impression you are talking about not breaking the wall.
John

Well, that would be a plus.

iampunha
11-24-2000, 02:07 PM
One could always try the old-fashioned method of opening a window and walking through the space there.

But I guess that doesn't answer the OP either. Oh well.

11-24-2000, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by Anthracite
IIRC, from listening to physics thought experiments, the only way in which walking through walls could be done is by playing games with quantum probabilty. That is, that somehow just as you press against the wall all molecules in the wall have a non-zero chance of moving out of the way of the molcules in your body. Sorta like how in a closed room full of air, there is a non-zero chance that all the air molecules will end up on one side of the room, leaving the other side in a vacuum.

Only problem with that is that "nature abhors a vacuum," and would allow the air to balance out. Kind of a silly thought experiment IMHO.

[hijack]
I think I'll name my next cat "nature."
[/byejack]

TheGoat
11-24-2000, 02:24 PM
DISCLAIMER: All knowledge contained in this post has been gleamed from cartoons.

The way I understand it theres a lot of empty space between the molecules in the wall. I know theres a lot of forces between all the molecules, but wouldn't it be possible to get all your molecules to line up so they went through the empty space? Maybe practically this could never work, but how about theoretically?

Scylla
11-24-2000, 02:29 PM
It's called stochastic ooze.

If you lean against the wall long enough, eventually your body will seep through as the molecules randomly move into alignment. Should probably only take a billion years or so.

Achernar
11-24-2000, 04:16 PM
I'm pretty sure that the phenomenon that Anthracite is describing is the so-called quantum tunneling, whereby an object can wind up on the other side of a barrier without ever actually having gone through it. If I recall correctly, you usually apply it to something like an alpha particle (mass 10-26 kg) shooting through the "wall" of an atomic nucleus (thickness 10-15 m). The chances of this happening are something on the order of 1 in 1020, if I have it right. This actually is observed, despite this probability seeming very low. Now, the more massive the particle, and the thicker the "wall", the smaller the probability, though it's never exactly 0. The idea that a person (mass 60 kg) tunneling through an indoor wall (thickness 8 cm) could ever be observed, is ludicrous. However, if you're intent on trying, your chances are increased by maximizing your Kinetic Energy, so your best bet is to run at the door as fast as you possibly can, or get someone to throw you. Do it 101000 times, and if it doesn't work, come back and maybe someone will have another idea.

Incidentally, I don't think aligning the molecules of the door would work either. The thing that keeps you from walking through a door isn't the actual matter bumping into each other - it's the electrical repulsive force between the electrons pushing against each other.

I think that that stochastic ooze thing is the way to go.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
11-24-2000, 05:33 PM
Threr's an advanced form of technology that does allow one to walk through walls.

It's called a door.

handy
11-24-2000, 05:41 PM
Scientologists sometimes think they can walk through walls. Of course, they think they can fly too.

tomndebb
11-24-2000, 11:55 PM
There was a guy on death row that heard of this and decided he might as well try. Every hour that he was awake, he tried walking into/through the wall at the back of his cell. Pretty soon his nose was fairly mashed and he was black and blue from bruises, but he kept on. He almost got a reprieve on the grounds that he was clearly insane, but he was in Texas, so it was summarily denied.
Finally, on the morning of his scheduled execution, just as he heard the jailer and the minister opening the last cell-block door, he felt himself start to mesh with the wall. He concentrated all his energy and all his good thoughts into causing his molecules to pass between the molecules of the wall, and felt his body glide into and through the wall. "At last!" he exulted, "I am actually escaping!"

At that point he got completely through the wall, fell three stories, and was smashed on the pavement, below.

MattTheCroc
11-25-2000, 01:25 AM
In a semi related matter, what if you got halfway through a brick wall... and then got stuck?

Uniball
11-25-2000, 06:39 AM
Originally posted by tomndebb
There was a guy on death row that heard of this and decided he might as well try. Every hour that he was awake, he tried walking into/through the wall at the back of his cell. Pretty soon his nose was fairly mashed and he was black and blue from bruises, but he kept on. He almost got a reprieve on the grounds that he was clearly insane, but he was in Texas, so it was summarily denied.
Finally, on the morning of his scheduled execution, just as he heard the jailer and the minister opening the last cell-block door, he felt himself start to mesh with the wall. He concentrated all his energy and all his good thoughts into causing his molecules to pass between the molecules of the wall, and felt his body glide into and through the wall. "At last!" he exulted, "I am actually escaping!"

At that point he got completely through the wall, fell three stories, and was smashed on the pavement, below.

True story. If it's on the Enquirer, then it's the gospel truth.

Chronos
11-25-2000, 06:11 PM
Just a small note on quantum tunneling: There is, in fact, a nonzero chance that you'll end up on the other side of the wall. However, there's a far larger (but still completely negligible) chance that you'll spontaneously turn into a pile of mashed potatoes on the floor. Lots of luck!

dtilque
11-26-2000, 01:10 AM
That story that tomndebb gave was an SF short story by I. Forget Who.

Kriss
11-26-2000, 03:25 AM
Well you can pass through walls with your astral body. I dont know about your physical body but i am sure you can with your astral, buddhic etc etc.

Sterra
11-26-2000, 12:47 PM
kill yourself, then you can walk through walls with ease.