The Law of Equivalent Exchange in FMAB explained: is it a real law?

The Law of Equivalent Exchange in FMAB explained is it a real law

The practice of alchemy in Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the pinnacle practice of science. Alchemy allows the practitioner to alter any composition of any said material. This is done by a process of transmutation, and this process’ guiding principle is the Law of Equivalent Exchange. The Law of Equivalent Exchange is as real as it gets, and it is required to maintain a balance and provide restrictions to the practice of alchemy.

What is the Law of Equivalent Exchange and how is it necessary in Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood?

The simple explanation of the Law of Equivalent Exchange would be: to create something, another thing of equal value must be exchanged and is then lost. This defines the nature of the law, wherein, to create anything through alchemy one needs another object of equal value or mass to be exchanged and transformed, and in the process- lost.

The Law of Equivalent Exchange in FMAB explained is it a real law
FMAB. (Image credit goes to Studio Bones)
  • The Law of Equivalent Exchange limits the potential of alchemy itself. While alchemy is purely the science of transformation and creation, it can be infinite in its potential theoretically.
  • But the theory is restricted in practice by the counter-theory that the law states. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood explores this condition as a viable and necessary characteristic for the practice of alchemy.

How does the Law of Equivalent Exchange limit Alchemy?

The Law of Equivalent Exchange in FMAB explained is it a real law
Edward Elric in FMAB. (Image credit goes to Studio Bones)

The Law of Equivalent Exchange has two major branches which give it the theoretically conclusive figure that it holds. These two branches are the Law of Conservation of Mass and the Law of Conservation of Providence. The Law of Conservation of Mass states that while no object can be created out of nothing, it also will be deconstructed into objects whose sum is equal in mass and transmuted into an object of equal mass.

How to mathematically understand it

  • That being said, if an object of supposing 1 kilogram is being transmuted then the resulting object will also amount to 1 kilogram.
  • On the other hand, if that is being deconstructed into various objects, the sum of the resulting objects would equal 1 kilogram.

On the other hand, the Law of Conservation of Providence or the Law of Natural Providence states that objects can only be transmuted into objects of similar composition, for example- they cannot be transmuted into an object of water if the source object is composed of stone.

Is the Law of Equivalent Exchange a real law?

The Law of Equivalent Exchange in FMAB explained is it a real law
Edward Elric in FMAB. (Image credit goes to Studio Bones)

The Law of Equivalent Exchange is not a real scientific hypothesis. Rather, it can be extended metaphorically instead as a law that governs our deeds and results. For all things we do, we face consequences and these consequences are also a product of the time, energy, and everything in between which has been invested in the particular work.

These acts and results are balanced in nature, but this isn’t scientifically believed or stated as this just stands as a mere belief and not a scientific assurance of anything absolute.

The realness of the law is only existent in faith and nothing more. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood extends this faith into something absolute to prove or validate something like alchemy as science which has been considered magical and mystical.

Conclusion

The Law of Equivalent Exchange is both limiting and necessary. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood explores the various facets of this law and extends it for the purpose of reinstating and validating the theory of alchemy. The law and the story, both act as metaphors for human expectations and aspirations and how amidst all of that, nature demands balance.

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