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Sciencing the Shit Out of Pokémon Go Pokeball Theories

Which Pokémon theory is the most plausible? Let's science the shit out of them.

The greatest thing about make a game geared towards children is that you don’t have to explain how things work. I never questioned how the Force worked in Star Wars. It didn’t matter to me that GI Joe guns shot lasers but no one ever got killed. And the capturing mechanics of Pokéballs were an afterthought. That is, until I discovered science!

I’m not the only one who has questioned the science behind how our favorite pocket monsters were captured. In fact, there have been many theories by some pretty famous and thoughtful YouTubers. Three of my favorite YouTubers have discussed this pretty extensively. However, all of these theories have some pretty glaring flaws. There are also some other theories that I would like to discuss because today we are sciencing the shit out of Pokéballs.

A Nameless theory on Reddit

I don’t want to alarm you, but it’s possible that there is a nuclear explosion every time you capture a Pokémon. On FanTheories subreddit, a Nameless88 proposed that Pokémon innately can turn themselves into energy and that a Pokéball actually exploits this ability. Essentially, the Pokéball causes the wee monster to convert itself into energy and bounces that energy around between the inner mirrors of the ball prison.

Assuming that Pokémon have this ability, that’s a great theory -- because it explains why you cannot capture a fainted Pokémon. However, a German fella by the name of Albert Einstein might have an issue with this. There is a way to convert matter to energy according to his theory of special relativity. In the equation E=mc², the big E is kinetic energy, and m is equal to mass. The c stands for constant, which in physics is the speed of light. This is the equation used to determine the energy in a nuclear bomb. To give you an idea of how much mass it takes to level a city, the nuclear cores of our atomic bombs are only about the size of the Pokéball itself. Put simply, when you convert matter to energy, it gets explosive.

Sorry, Nameless88, that theory doesn’t fly.

What about Nerdist Kyle Hill’s theory?

His theory is pretty much the same as mine from last week. He proposed in a recent video that Pokémon are simply shrunk. I debunked the idea of pure shrinking last week. Simply put, the mass of an object doesn’t change when you condense it. It just changes the volume of object. As I mentioned, that would mean that even one of the strongest men in the world wouldn’t be able to lift a Slowbro.

However, his theory did add an element that might explain how Pokémon don’t become something else when shrunk. I touched on it: the Bohr radius. As we know, electrons orbit the atomic nucleus. The distance between the nucleus and the orbiting electrons or the distance between one electron shell and the next is called the Bohr radius, named after the physicist Niels Bohr.

The scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, are attempting to reduce the distance between the electron shells, or better yet, contain all electrons in one shell. If possible, it will reduce the physical size of most elements, but the problem is that it actually makes the object heavier. So if saggy pants were an issue with a phone full of condensed Ghastlies, imagine if they were heavier.

Sorry, that doesn’t work “Because Science.”

We should stick to the quantum realm and hop over to ShoddyCast.

Austin created a video on Monday with a lot of swearing and also a lot of science regarding Pokémon and quantum entanglement. I love this idea of quantum entanglement, and I will be using it in a future article regarding something entirely different. But let me give you the basic breakdown of quantum entanglement then explain why that isn’t the way it would work for capturing Pokemon.

When two particles are quantum entangled, one particle is the mirror of the other and will always be the mirror of the other regardless of the location and regardless of the current state. If one particle has an up-spin state, the other will have a down-spin state. Austin’s theory for how Pokéballs work is that the balls quantum entangle the states of the matter in a Pokémon with the matter inside the Pokéball.

Then he goes on rant about how that’s actually killing the Pokémon, and although that’s true, it’s not because of quantum entanglement. His theory actually requires matter generation -- which as we all know, cannot happen. This means that Pokéballs are actually recreating Pokémon from the matter in the air, which ruins everything because of all the chemical reactions that would have to be taking place at once. It’s very likely that we would see yet another explosion.

Thanks, Austin, for trying to use quantum entanglement. I love the idea, but it just wouldn’t work.

The best solution is a theory… a game theory!

The Game Theorist was actually working on the solution for why some Pokémon games have ultra evolutions and others don’t, and they actually stumbled onto the solution for everything… EVERYTHING!

Schrodinger’s thought experiment involving a dead cat holds the key to everything in the Pokéverse… or should I say Pokéverses. You see, the thought experiment essentially tried to explain why quantum mechanics didn’t work on a large scale, but he might have actually stumbled on a truth of the universe. He said that Copenhagen’s theory that quantum material exists in all states and that observing them forces it to collapse into a single state. Schrodinger said that if a cat was inside a box and there was a 50/50 chance that the cat was dead or alive, it didn’t become one of those until we lifted the box and observed the cat.

Well, maybe what Schrodinger said about the cat is true. Maybe the cat exists in both states. Maybe there is one universe where the cat is dead and one where it’s alive. And what if the science of the Pokéverse has been able to tap into a rift between those universes. And what if Pokéballs actually control portals to pocket universes for pocket universes?! OH! Maybe that’s where the name actually comes from.

There you have it folks! Science has done it again. Unfortunately, other than some fringe science about a multiverse, there is no explanation for how Pokéballs work. That’s how I science the shit out of Pokémon, but how would you do it? Science isn’t science until others try to prove it wrong. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Published Jul. 22nd 2016

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