Identifying handwavium

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A guide to identifying Handwavium strains and contamination levels

There are several methods to determine the strain of Handwavium in a sample, and how much is included. Most of these require specialist equipment and at least a couple of hours.

Master Tasters
Those who work with Handwavium extensively usually have more advanced versions of the Tasters available to them. These are usually personalised, and don't hit the market. They have, however, led to a more advanced scale. Seemingly based around the Web hexadecimal convention, it actually gives one hexadecimal digit to each full colour with the convention of 0 being black, 1 being white, and F being Underwater.

For example, F72AD0 translates roughly as:

Green-Unknown and/or Inconclusive

The most widely used method is based off a device created by The Professor, nicknamed the Taster, and subsequently copied by most factions. While each has its own quirks, they all basically work the same way: a sample is placed in a small compartment in the device, and in about a minute (during which time the device beeps a quiz-show theme tune) it lights up an indicator on the device along with a short maniacal laugh. These indicators are seemingly based on the RGB colour model used by televisions for so long. This scale assumes seven basic types of Handwavium and seven levels of contamination:

Colour Type Level
White None Clean
Yellow Power/Engines Becalmed
Red Material Enhancement Fair
Magenta Computer Enhancement Choppy
Blue Life Support/Gravity Heavy
Cyan Mechanical Enchancement Stormy
Green Biomodification Tidal

Black is reserved for unknown or inconclusive readings - the more one knows about Handwavium, the less often this happens.

The Level scale comes from the fact that, since we are measuring the amount of Handwavium in a sample, it would make sense to measure how high the waves are.

Since the end of 2010, devices which can give a percentage for the contamination level have become available, but the widespread use of the older and easier-to-make version keeps the colour code in use.