I have an earth like planet where stalkers live. They are:

  1. Humanoid about same height, strength & speed as humans
  2. Three pairs of eyes placed horizontally (Near UV, Visible, Near IR)
  3. Lightspeed neurotransmission
  4. Active camouflage like cuttlefish
  5. Biological radio for high bandwidth communication, range 1m
  6. Spoken language for most of the communication
  7. IQ similar to humans.

Their society is tribal, with technological level of pre-Columbian North America.

In our near future narrow wormhole opens close to the path of the spaceship headed for Mars research station. Two old theoretical physicists who traveled on the ship steal one small craft and traverse the wormhole before it collapses. Long story short they found themselves on the Stalker planet, alive but with no equipment at all. The Stalker tribe where they landed find them odd but amusing and accepts them as guests. Unfortunately their hosts are at conflict with larger nearby tribe, and beside some miracle they will be wiped out in few years.

Could two old theoretical physicists help their hosts turn the tide? Their bodies are healthy but old, their technology is lost, all they have is their minds and knowledge.

Humans could eat local food, drink local water, breath the air, and there's no problems with diseases. Stalker spoken language is very simple, humans could pick it up quickly.

  • $\begingroup$ Persuade them to debate string theory vs loop quantum gravity, whoever could make a prediction, compute parameters of standard model or thinks of an experiment that falsifies it wins youtube.com/watch?v=jEr038WOKFI $\endgroup$
    – Platypus
    Oct 14, 2016 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


Short answer, probably yes.

Knowledge of materials

  • metal
  • glass
  • semiconductors

Metal If appropriate ores are available, metallic objects tend to be much more durable than wood and stone. Similarly if silica and an appropriately potent fuel source is available, glass can be made. Semiconductors could be made, though transistors might be a stretch (for materials see http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/data/semicond/semiconductor/semiconductor-materials-types-list.php).

Glass Glass may be more durable or sharper than some types of stone. Transparent glass in the form of lenses would take skill most people don't have. Perhaps the Lightspeed neurotransmission would allow the inhabitants to make them once they have been taught the principle.

Semiconductors / Electronics Diodes would probably be the easiest useful semiconductors. With a suction mechanism a vacuum tube would be easier and require less exotic materials; still something conductive and very heat resistant, like tungsten, would be required. http://www.vacuumtubes.net/How_Vacuum_Tubes_Work.htm

Knowledge of electromagnetism/radio

It could be possible to detect the biological radio using little more than a long, preferably flexible, conductor like a wire and one diode made with semiconductor material. Without an amplified power source speaker or light the detector might be able to almost imperceptibly vibrate iron dust or something like that. To block, or amplify, the biological radio would take more parts for a transmitter; and not all theoretical physicist would have the electronic background necessary to understand how to construct radio transmitters. If either of them had an amateur-radio hobby (Ham https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio) this would likely be possible given enough flexible conductor and semiconductor material; though understanding of how to make a transistor or a vacuum tube would be necessary which hams don't usually know. An old theoretical physicists ham radio operator is plausible.


  • Refrigeration
  • Distillation

Refrigeration They may have intimate understanding of refrigeration. It has been used extensively for a long time in physics research. Refrigeration may be possible if appropriately shaped (probably metal) objects can be created; if more complicated distillation tools can be made with glass or metal tubing and variable temperature heat refrigerator sources then ammonia could be extracted from urine to make extreme refrigeration.

Distillation is a well known principle that may be useful, for concentration of poisons for example.

Knowledge of Mathematics and Classic Physics

With light-speed neurotransmission knowledge of principles of mathematics could be very useful, depending on working memory. Complicated math could be done very quickly. Teaching math and physics to produce large projectile weapons and understanding other simple machines (leaver, ramp, pendulum etc. see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_machine) would be obvious things to give. Once math and physics have been taught to one or more then they could be used as walking computers to work out details of construction of such things.


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