Two words about two letters etc.

Gomi no Sensei gomi at speakeasy.net
Fri Jan 17 13:38:17 PST 2003

On Fri, 17 Jan 2003, Andrew Lias wrote:

> >A scarcity of sulphur, being elemental, would be a better hindrance.
> >Unfortunately some laws of physics would have to be changed for that
> >as well.  (technogeek handwave)
> Perhaps I'm dense, but why would a scarcity of any given element require an 
> alteration of physical law?  Maybe the Jenoine used it all up.

I suspect he's referring to the fusion sequence by which elements up to iron
are made.


Leaving out a bunch of details, stars fuse hydrogen into helium, thereby
releasing energy. Once they run out, they fuse the helium into heavier
stuff, which fuses into heavier stuff, all the way up to iron. After iron,
fusion doesn't give off energy any more, and the star 'burns out' or goes
supernova. Supernovae are where the heavier elements, like gold and uranium,
come from.

I'm not (obviously) trained in this field, just a curious monkey, so I'm
sure someone can jump in if I've egregeously misstated any of this.


Sulphur comes before iron, so positing a universe where sulphur is completely
absent, rather than one where an external cause (the Jenoine, as you suggest)
has removed it/made it inaccessible, requires some rejiggering of the
fundamental physics, not to mention biochemistry.

paul e.