I’ve been thinking about photokinesis (the ability to control light with your mind) lately. Not because it’s a real thing, but because it would fit nicely in the sequel to 16 Years Later, assuming I get around to writing it, and I like to have these things sorted.
I may try hunting for another name. The -kinesis suffix gets overused pretty quickly when it comes to psychic powers. I suppose that’s not technically a problem, but it feels repetitive.
And then there’s the question of what she can do with it. Most descriptions of it limit themselves to visible light, which is idiotic. Photons are photons. Some include things like the ability to change the color of an object, which is potentially idiotic. If they mean the photokinetic can temporarily change what color is seen by others, well and good. If they mean they can actually change the molecular structure of the object to be a different color (and some of them seem to mean that) then they are being idiotic.
The ability to see x-rays and gamma rays would probably give some form of x-ray vision, if there’s enough ambient x-rays to be useful. Most of the time, there won’t be enough. Possibly the photokinetic can create them, though then they need to be able to create them on the other side of what she wishes to see, or at least find something to bounce them off. It’s a trick that might get our heroes out of a jam once, but I wouldn’t count on it.
UV isn’t as obviously useful. A photokinetic could manipulate UV to tan evenly, or not get sunburned, and the ability to see it would reveal markings on some plants and things. And there’s various security and research uses of UV light that might potentially be relevant.
Visible light, of course, is quite fun to play with. A sufficiently skilled photokinetic would be able to be invisible, create disguises, and generate optical illusions. Could be very useful.
Infrared light could allow her to see the temperature of someone or something, which isn’t obviously useful unless she gets good enough to diagnose sickness that way. But you never know. It would also be the most useful for night vision.
Microwaves might let her heat up foods and things, of course, and microwaves are also the beginning of the modern transmission spectrum.
It’s probably not reasonable that a photokinetic could look at a cell phone signal and know what is being said. There’s just too much information and encoding involved. With practice she might be able to reproduce a cell phone signal well enough for the (artificially intelligent) computer to decipher.
Radio is substantially simpler, of course, and she might be able to get a general sense of what is being said, with lots of practice. And it’s established in-universe that psi talents sometimes include mental processing tricks to make the information more accessible. Radio is far less interesting, admittedly, but maybe someone is using walkie-talkies. Or CB radio.
Also, is it reasonable that someone would be able to control photons and not electrons? I’m trying to remember the relationship between them. Have to work on that.