509: Induced Current
Title text: The MythBusters need to tackle whether a black hole from the LHC could REALLY destroy the world.
This comic is exaggerating the effects of the physics stated. Solar flares eject, among other things, ions, electrons and radiation. The charged particles reach Earth after a day or two, and in history has knocked the power out in some areas during a large flare. They can marginally affect the magnetic field of Earth, or dent it, as Cueball says. A voltage occurs in a conductor (the wire) when subjected to a changing magnetic field. However, this change is small and influences very long conductors, such as telephone lines.
Mythbusters is a show which tests urban legends or myths that viewers submit. They have a classic style of scaling up myths to comical sizes. By starting the myth that a fire would be formed from the large voltage across the wire induced by the Earth's magnetic field, Cueball hopes to see it tested on Mythbusters, and perhaps then scaled up to astronomical proportions. This comic may also reference how Mythbusters is running out of urban legends to test, and has resorted to testing the feasibility of viral videos, movie scenes, proverbs and the like, plus occasionally making up urban legends.
The title text refers to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful particle collider in the world and the fear of some people on the production of stable microscopic black holes destroying the Earth.
- [Beret Guy, extension cord in hand, approaches Cueball as he works at his computer.]
- Beret Guy: Can I plug my extension cord over here?
- Cueball: No.
- Beret Guy: Why?
- Cueball: Solar Flares.
- [A diagram is displayed, illustrating the Earth's magnetic field being permanently impacted by a large solar flare (represented by a large arrow).]
- [A second diagram is presented, illustrating the Earth's rotation and the resulting impact that the solar flare would have on the earth's magnetic field.]
- Cueball: A large solar flare could dent the Earth's magnetic field inwards. The Earth's spin could then induce a strong current in any long conductors, melting them and starting fires. By extending your cord, you could kill us all.
- [Stunned, Beret Guy looks down at the cord he carries.]
- Beret Guy: Really?
- Cueball: Warn your friends.
- [Dejected, the man walks away, cord in tow.]
- [Cueball looks up from his computer as he is braced by Megan, a stern look in her face.]
- Megan: That was mean.
- Cueball: Listen, somebody has to keep Mythbusters in business. Next season should be fun.