You Got to Know the Laws in Order to Break Them!
It is no secret I love science fiction and I write science fiction. You cannot love science fiction and dislike science. Indeed, the cool part of science fiction is the futuristic technology and its ramifications and possibilities. We love to read about the future and its wonders. However, the hardest part about writing science fiction is also the science.
I recently wrote a story I am very proud of, titled Breaking the Laws. In this story, which is really a cat and mouse plot between two individuals. One is trying to break the laws of physics. The other one is the police enforcer trying to stop him. Of course, they share a past. And did I mention practicing science is highly illegal in this future?
Keep in mind a law of science is the description of an observed phenomenon. It does not explain what causes it (that would be a scientific theory).
I researched the laws of science for this story. For reference, in no particular order, here are my top ten.
Top Ten Science Laws
- Newton’s Laws of Motion – Who doesn’t remember this one from school? For every action, there is a reaction. Objects won’t move unless a force makes them.
- Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion – Oversimplifying, it states all planets move in elliptical orbits around the sun.
- Universal Law of Gravitation – Newton again, telling us all particle attract each other in the universe in proportion to their mass but inversely proportional to the square of their distance.
- Hubble’s Law of Cosmic Expansion – All galaxies in the Universe are moving away from us. Yes, the universe is expanding. No, we are not the center of all creation.
- Archimedes Buoyancy Principle – Any object immerse in a fluid (fully or not) at rest is acted upon by a force the magnitude of it is equal to the body it displaces. Or just say stuff floats in water if not too heavy.
- Laws of Thermodynamics – There are four. Zeroth’s law defines temperature. Law #2 states the entropy of the universe is always increasing. Law #3 states it’s impossible to cool a system to absolute zero. #1 is the best known: energy cannot be created or destroy.
- Evolution and Natural Selection – Darwin’s famous theory about species with inherited traits better suit to their environment will survive.
- Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity -It seems complex. Just remember, time and space are relative, not absolutes. And time travel may be possible.
- Big Bang Theory – the leading explanation for how the universe began from a small singularity billions of years ago, not the sitcom.
- Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle – Everything in the Universe behaves as both, a particle and a wave at the same time!
Now, who would dare say science is not cool or exciting. Isn’t the Universe amazing?
Of course, there are more laws, theories, hypothesis, and principles in science than the ten mentioned above. Science fiction is all about breaking the laws of science. As a matter of fact, it can be argued fantasy and horror also are about breaking the laws of science and natural order (except by magical means).
Remember, good science fiction writing is about creating possible ways to make the impossible believable. Consequently, a good writer would try to find a scientific explanation which will sound realistic. You may not need to, but your readers will be more willing to suspend disbelief if you do. It will also make worldbuilding process easier. Try it!
Happy weekend and happy writing!