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Science and Pokémon: A Good Catch: Exploring the technology behind Poké Balls

BulbaBot

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Science and Pokémon: A Good Catch: Exploring the technology behind Poké Balls

A Poké Ball is a common tool utilized by trainers, professors, breeders and every other kind of Pokémon professional in the Pokémon world. Without it, people would be unable to capture and carry Pokémon conveniently. It is thanks to this technology that Pokémon journeys are even possible. Harry Kim investigates how Poké Balls work.

Read more on Bulbanews
 

Blackjack Gabbiani

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Interesting. Something it should have touched on, though, was that capturing pokemon in pokeballs hinders their natural power, as stated in DPPt (which is what necessitated the Red Chain in the first place). I know it was basically an Excuse Plot to handwave all the kids asking why, say, their Lugia can't start storms like the pokedex says it can, but it's still there in canon and should be explored.

Will there be more in the scientific field? Because I'd like to see airships covered at some point, including how even a relatively unwealthy research assistant (Zero) can afford one, because that must speak volumes about their availability.
 

Baron Dante

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There was no mention about what was explained during GenII chapters of Pokemon Special?
 

Shiny Staraptor

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That was a very informative and enjoyable read. Especially the part where you mentioned how 10 year olds can buy machines with energy beyond quantum level computers :p
 

The dark lord trombonator

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Will there be more in the scientific field? Because I'd like to see airships covered at some point, including how even a relatively unwealthy research assistant (Zero) can afford one, because that must speak volumes about their availability.
This opinion, like the previous (pseudo?) scientific article we published was written for Bulbanews as a one-off story. We gladly welcome contributions from interested parties. If the right person comes along, an economy- or technology-focused article with a look at airship availability could well be written.
 

Karamazov

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Poke Balls run on magic. Hence why ones made out of freakin' apricorn work.
 

HKim

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Interesting. Something it should have touched on, though, was that capturing pokemon in pokeballs hinders their natural power, as stated in DPPt (which is what necessitated the Red Chain in the first place).
Certainly a topic worthy of looking into in the future. Perhaps there is a decay factor in the data that weakens the Pokemon or perhaps there are psychological ramifications for being kept in a sort of "stasis" as you will. You bring up an interesting point.


There was no mention about what was explained during GenII chapters of Pokemon Special?
I apologize. I am not aware of what information was brought up. Was there anything in particular you wished addressed?


That was a very informative and enjoyable read. Especially the part where you mentioned how 10 year olds can buy machines with energy beyond quantum level computers :p
Thank you very much! Now if only we could get our hands on those machines...


Poke Balls run on magic. Hence why ones made out of freakin' apricorn work.
And magical pokeballs could be an interesting article/discussion all on its own!



I'd certainly would be willing to write another scientific-based article if Pokemon fans were interested!
 

Karamazov

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I'd certainly would be willing to write another scientific-based article if Pokemon fans were interested!
An immediate yes.
 

Baron Dante

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I apologize. I am not aware of what information was brought up. Was there anything in particular you wished addressed?
I have a bad memory about things in general, but there were some decent explanations on how Pokeballs work in general, as well as special ways to use the technology, for example using a bug-catching net's and such. It was interesting reading.

I'd like to see more of scientifistic-based articles. The series is filled with stuff that doesn't make sense xD
 

Ash_Pokemaster

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A very interesting read! While not with extreme scientific details, the article managed to relatively scientifically accurate as a rough scratch on the surface of this topic. It goes without saying of course that there us much more to the topic, but this is a very good start in a theoretical analysis. Good work!

The only major problem that I saw has to do with the mass storage. While certainly a good idea, and without a doubt closer to the truth that other theories, there is one thing that makes it sort of impossible to be exactly so. If I understand correctly, you theorize that the mass is stored within the Poke Ball. While I like the thought of a more dence volume as a result of sealing a Pokémon into its capsule, would trainers be able to carry several tones of Pokemon in their pocket?

Storage would be separate, which in turn raises other questions. You could say that in a similar manner with this of the teleportation of each Poke Ball, mass could be stored in a predetermined matter storage center. Or who knows? Maybe the Pokémon World technology has came to a mass redefining or matter altering technology. Both sound extremely distant with today's technology, but they aren't unthinkable.
 
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HKim

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A very interesting read! While not with extreme scientific details, the article managed to relatively scientifically accurate as a rough scratch on the surface of this topic. It goes without saying of course that there us much more to the topic, but this is a very good start in a theoretical analysis. Good work!

The only major problem that I saw has to do with the mass storage. While certainly a good idea, and without a doubt closer to the truth that other theories, there is one thing that makes it sort of impossible to be exactly so. If I understand correctly, you theorize that the mass is stored within the Poke Ball. While I like the thought of a more dence volume as a result of sealing a Pokémon into its capsule, would trainers be able to carry several tones of Pokemon in their pocket?

Storage would be separate, which in turn raises other questions. You could say that in a similar manner with this of the teleportation of each Poke Ball, mass could be stored in a predetermined matter storage center. Or who knows? Maybe the Pokémon World technology has came to a mass redefining or matter altering technology. Both sound extremely distant with today's technology, but they aren't unthinkable.

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.

You bring up an excellent point, one that I had not considered while writing the article.

Another method to deal with the dense mass is to implement some sort of gravity-altering field within the pokeball itself. Make it so that there is not gravity or that it cancels itself out.

Teleportation certainly works as well. The level of technology we see in the Pokemon world certainly allows for such theoretical advances!
 

Kman555

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You could always explore how different Pokeballs can operate. i.e. nest balls catch weaker Pokemon, net balls are good for water and bug types, etc.
 

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i would like to add that there would have to be some sort of function that takes out the addition of the weight of the Pokémon to the PokéBall, because if it were added, PokéBalls containing Pokémon like Dialga who weigh well over 2000lbs would not be able to be carried easily...maybe the Pokémon could be converted into the form of data like a .pkm file on a computer. The PokéBall could make data checks multiple times per second and keep 4-5 back-ups of the data to make for it to not have any corrupt data. If the original data gets corrupted somehow, one of the back-ups could replace the damaged data so the Pokémon remains unharmed and safe. Also, if the PokéBalls kept back-ups of data, then that would explain why in the anime, people could simply return a Pokémon to the ball instead of throwing it. The Ball would make a data check and if all the data matches up, the red beam is sent and the Pokémon returns successfully.
This all sounds like Aperture Science now, lolz, in the words of Cave Johnson, "If we can store music on a Compact Disc, why can't we store a man's intelligence and personality on one." The same can be said about Pokémon xD thanks for the comic Super Dragoon, lolz
 
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HKim

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You could always explore how different Pokeballs can operate. i.e. nest balls catch weaker Pokemon, net balls are good for water and bug types, etc.
Perhaps different pokeballs are tuned to specific aspects of data considering that Pokemon types are similar in certain biological senses. Or perhaps it's more of a mechanical problem. An entire series could be written on capturing Pokemon alone.


i would like to add that there would have to be some sort of function that takes out the addition of the weight of the Pokémon to the PokéBall, because if it were added, PokéBalls containing Pokémon like Dialga who weigh well over 2000lbs would not be able to be carried easily...maybe the Pokémon could be converted into the form of data like a .pkm file on a computer. The PokéBall could make data checks multiple times per second and keep 4-5 back-ups of the data to make for it to not have any corrupt data. If the original data gets corrupted somehow, one of the back-ups could replace the damaged data so the Pokémon remains unharmed and safe. Also, if the PokéBalls kept back-ups of data, then that would explain why in the anime, people could simply return a Pokémon to the ball instead of throwing it. The Ball would make a data check and if all the data matches up, the red beam is sent and the Pokémon returns successfully.
This all sounds like Aperture Science now, lolz, in the words of Cave Johnson, "If we can store music on a Compact Disc, why can't we store a man's intelligence and personality on one." The same can be said about Pokémon xD thanks for the comic Super Dragoon, lolz
And then one has to wonder, does the Pokemon's soul survive in all of that as well? Might the loss of the soul be the reason for the weakening of Pokemon after it has been "capture"?

And yes, I agree with Alex. That comic is amazing.
 

Kambash

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Matter is merely a form of energy so this entire article is bleh.

However, Silph Co. being a division of Aperture Labs is more likely, given the latter's endeavors in science.



Makes sense, considering that Pokeballs are supposed to send the Pokemon to a fitting habitat.

Now you're thinking with portals.
 

alexsortor

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Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.

You bring up an excellent point, one that I had not considered while writing the article.

Another method to deal with the dense mass is to implement some sort of gravity-altering field within the pokeball itself. Make it so that there is not gravity or that it cancels itself out.

Teleportation certainly works as well. The level of technology we see in the Pokemon world certainly allows for such theoretical advances!
I just saw this one and realized that this was the point I was attempting to make, lolz, i thought anti-gravity sounded a little too much, so i came up with the data storage, but this one seems much more plausible since you had me consider whether the soul would survive...in thus, i was going to argue the GLaDOS case, but nevermind, haha
 

Heatmor C. Dawson

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I personally think the Pokemon series takes place after a technological singularity. The post-Singularity novel Accelerando mentions "computronium", a state of matter that allows "real" (having mass and taking up space) matter to be converted to computer data. My hypothesis is that a Poke Ball converts its quarry not to energy, but to computronium. It then embeds the now-"codified" Pokemon in a "background" code that simulates the species' preferred habitat, along with some sort of copy-protection or encryption code to prevent re-capture.

By extension, the Box system developed by Bill and his cohorts does the same thing on a larger scale (the man built a primitive matter-transference machine in his house, so he must be an engineer of the highest degree). The Pokemon Centers' Healing Machines would analyze this code and then "defragment" it, thus repairing the Pokemon's code--and its physical body. On the negative side, Cipher likely used a modded Box system to expose the enclosed Pokemon to mismatched "backgrounds", thus torturing them until their souls collapse (truly, the epitome of evil!). The Snag Machine somehow bypasses a Poke Ball's copy-protection system; it might also augment the wearer's arm strength, throwing the ball so fast that the other trainer can't counter.

As for the other great hallmark of the Singularity (sentient AIs) I give you Porgyon.
 

Jukain

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I was almost convinced you were not about to speak of data storage, but that the pokeball can somehow fold time and space, thus allowing the entire mass to be stored in a smaller space. Data storage would be a lot easier, though. However, when thinking of this sort of thing, I am reminded of Star Trek's Heisenburg Compensator, a device which somehow cancels out the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle, which says that you can't know both the location of an atom AND what it's doing at the same time. This would make it impossible to store it as data, but maybe the pokeball has something like that, I dunno.
 

alexsortor

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I personally think the Pokemon series takes place after a technological singularity. The post-Singularity novel Accelerando mentions "computronium", a state of matter that allows "real" (having mass and taking up space) matter to be converted to computer data. My hypothesis is that a Poke Ball converts its quarry not to energy, but to computronium. It then embeds the now-"codified" Pokemon in a "background" code that simulates the species' preferred habitat, along with some sort of copy-protection or encryption code to prevent re-capture.

By extension, the Box system developed by Bill and his cohorts does the same thing on a larger scale (the man built a primitive matter-transference machine in his house, so he must be an engineer of the highest degree). The Pokemon Centers' Healing Machines would analyze this code and then "defragment" it, thus repairing the Pokemon's code--and its physical body. On the negative side, Cipher likely used a modded Box system to expose the enclosed Pokemon to mismatched "backgrounds", thus torturing them until their souls collapse (truly, the epitome of evil!). The Snag Machine somehow bypasses a Poke Ball's copy-protection system; it might also augment the wearer's arm strength, throwing the ball so fast that the other trainer can't counter.

As for the other great hallmark of the Singularity (sentient AIs) I give you Porgyon.
I need to read this Accelerando...and I love this idea! xD Especially the second paragraph, it makes sense, although it is truely sad about the Pokémon's soul collapsing, it makes a lot of sense.

I was almost convinced you were not about to speak of data storage, but that the pokeball can somehow fold time and space, thus allowing the entire mass to be stored in a smaller space. Data storage would be a lot easier, though. However, when thinking of this sort of thing, I am reminded of Star Trek's Heisenburg Compensator, a device which somehow cancels out the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle, which says that you can't know both the location of an atom AND what it's doing at the same time. This would make it impossible to store it as data, but maybe the pokeball has something like that, I dunno.
Not gonna lie, not a huge Star Trek fan, but your point makes sense, too. We'll prolly know how it works when we attain that level of knowledge and technology.
 
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