A field amplifier is a device which creates a localized increase in the density of the ue field, amplifying the effect of magical devices within it.
A field amplifier has three parts:
- The warp lattice: The mesh like structure which warps the ue field.
- The field modulator: The device which controls the warp lattice and supplies it with magical energy.
- The cage: The housing, usually metal, which contains the sink.
To use a field amplifier, a magical device, called a "sink", is placed inside the cage. When magical energy is supplied to the field modulator, it energizes the warp lattice. The warp lattice draws in the ue field, creating a region of high ue density inside the cage and reduced ue density in the area around the cage. If the polarity of the ue field in the cage aligns with the magical field in the sink, the sink's magic has a more pronounced effect and increases in strength.
Field amplifiers are judged on two main metrics: amplification magnitude and magnification factor. Amplification magnitude, or simply "magnitude", is the ratio between the average ue field density within the wave lattice and density at ambient conditions. Magnification factor is the ratio of the increase in magical energy output from sink to the magical energy supplied to the amplifier.
Because the warp lattice stretches the ue field in the surrounding area, it reduces its own efficacy as the field surrounding the cage thins, lowering its magnification factor. As more energy is supplied to the amplifier, the magnification factor decreases further. At a certain level, the ue field around the cage becomes so thin that further energy no longer produces a significant increase in magnitude. Saturation can be mitigated by shaping the energy vacuum such that the warp boundary is as close to the warp lattice as possible, reducing the effect.
The lattice saturation coefficient is a measure of efficiency loss due to lattice saturation. It can be calculated with the equation
- R is the mean radius of the warp lattice
- r is the radius of the warp boundary
- E is magical energy supplied to the amplifier
The alignment coefficient is a value representing the alignment of the sink's magical field with the ue field inside the field amplifier. This can be found by taking the dot product of their polarity vectors.
When the field amplifier is running, it creates a disturbance in the ue field called an energy vacuum. The energy vacuum is divided up into several regions:
The area of maximum ue density. As most cages are cylindrical, this area is typically shaped a line running along the center of the warp zone. In large amplifiers when a low energy is supplied, the warp lattice will fail to push the ue field to the center of the cage and the maximal point will fall somewhere along the radius of the warp zone.
The region inside the cage where ue density is above normal. Density peaks at the maximal point and trails off as you get further away.
The edge of the warp zone. Ue field density is equal to ambient. The warp boundary is always within the warp lattice, but the exact distance depends on the design of the warp lattice. Most designs try to get the warp boundary as close to the warp lattice to reduce lattice saturation.
The area of minimum ue density.
The region outside the warp zone where ue field density is below normal. Density continues to fall as you travel further from the warp boundary until you reach the minimal point. Past there, the warp lattice's field begins to trail off and density begins to rebound, eventually returning to ambient levels.