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Questions tagged [chemistry]

For questions that have to do with chemistry, chemical reactions be they biological or artificial, or the industrial processes of chemistry.

8
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2answers
206 views

What would be an ideal alloying metal for gold coinage?

This is something of a practical question more than anything else. Consider a setting in the modern world, where a large country e.g. the U.S. has collapsed and been replaced by a sort of modernized ...
9
votes
1answer
110 views

A reciprocal metabolism is needed on a world overrun by crazy plants

In this paper by Bains et al, an alternative to oxygenic photosynthesis is discussed. Apparently, 4 times the amount of biomass can be produced using hydrogenic over oxygenic photosynthesis. Oxygenic ...
5
votes
2answers
150 views

Which hydrogen halide to have in blood to replace water?

So I want to have an alien creature on a planet with a halogen atmosphere. It will have to be at a temperature where the hydrogen halide is liquid or solid. This hydrogen halide I would have as the ...
6
votes
1answer
113 views

Making Titan's atmosphere transparent

I'm interested in what kind of events / processes would it take to make Titan's atmosphere more or less transparent. The year is around 2150. The technology has progressed, sure, but it's nowhere ...
19
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16answers
6k views

Is it dangerous for a ship's crew to get stranded in a nebula?

Some Context I'm creating a universe where humanity has reached the stars. They've colonized a few star systems and, obviously, FTL drives are a common thing. The part of the story I'm currently ...
8
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2answers
213 views

What type of acid could burn through skin and any type of metal?

This is my first time using this site and i'm excited to get answers to roadblocks that have prevented me from finishing my writing in the past. However, you may have to excuse some mistakes I make ...
3
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7answers
2k views

Is it hypothetically possible to create a giant levee that is a non-physical forcefield or electronic membrane?

What examples are there in science fiction of molecular shields that can cancel out or "eat" certain molecules--and are they plausible? Is it hypothetically possible to create a giant levee that is a ...
15
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2answers
223 views

A blue flamestorm blasting through a system of big yellow caves?

What I "want": My fantasy world has lots of volcanos. Deep under the surface there is a root-like form of life predominant. It grows in big bundles and searches for important minerals, gases, fluids, ...
-3
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1answer
138 views

An Organic Polymer that can be hardened into a glass like substance?

Continuation question from this: The Biology behind a slime that uses hydrofluoric acid to disable and digest prey. I've designed a slime that has a bunch of acids and non reactive polymers in its ...
5
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2answers
132 views

The Biology behind a slime that uses hydrofluoric acid to disable and digest prey.

So I've been working on a low magic world where magic is actually just another form of energy that can be actualized, similar to alchemy in Full Metal Alchemist. Although development has taken a ...
0
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1answer
133 views

Oxygen producing metabolism

What kind of realistic oxygen producing reaction used by life could exist in a carbon dioxide / ammonia atmosphere? There are also many volcanoes, either immersed or not, water oceans and you can even ...
4
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2answers
133 views

Ammonia planet- atmosphere

On my previously asked question about the biochemistry of life on my ammonia. it leads me to my next question to ask. first things first, the life on this planet is boron based. they breathe methane ...
3
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2answers
89 views

Batteries and resource restrictions

I've prefigured a specific setting as being middling in technological progress when compared with its neighbors. This setting does not have access to hydrocarbons, has severe cultural and political ...
7
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4answers
537 views

Ammonia planets

In an alien atmosphere, where methane is the main gas instead of oxygen and ammonia is the main solvent instead of water. Similar to how photosynthesis on earth plants work, by taking in carbon ...
17
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6answers
3k views

Is there any reason to use tungsten crucibles?

So, in my setting, there are dwarves that make good steel. Shocker, I know. To refine the ore, they rely on the bloomery process like everyone else, using anthracite (when they can get it), charcoal (...
13
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6answers
3k views

How can I dissolve metal hinges safely?

So, I've wound up in jail again (not my fault - I didn't start that fire, honest!) and I need to get out of here before the mayor has a chance to check his safe. Unfortunately, I left my lockpicks in ...
49
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6answers
6k views

Could Cobalt bind to nitrogen the same way iron would to oxygen in an alien respiratory system?

I'm making this whole other alien world and I made it an ammonia world, so there is a lot of nitrogen in the atmosphere. Would nitrogen be a good gas to breathe in an ammonia world and would Cobalt be ...
0
votes
3answers
146 views

A chemical other than alcohol that lowers inhibitions

I'm looking for an existing drug or chemical that most closely matches the following criteria, which will be listed from most to least important: lessening of social and moral inhibitions doesn't ...
14
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2answers
529 views

Regrowing body parts: What are the costs?

Everybody has seen superpowers like superstrength, flying, and regeneration. While flying and superstrength are quite straightforward regarding the energy cost, regeneration is not. In this question, ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Could there be a helium based life form somewhere in the universe?

I've been thinking, could there possibly be an organism that is based on the element of helium? If yes, what would it look like? (Images are welcome)
5
votes
1answer
195 views

Energy cost of creating body parts from nothing but energy

What amount of energy would you need to expend to create an arm out of nothing but energy? Of course we have $E = m c^2$ telling us the energy any amount of mass represents. Given the average of a ...
7
votes
2answers
100 views

Cross-linked polymers available to pre-industrial people?

Cross-linked polymers are vitally important materials used all the time in modern life. For example, the resins used in composite materials are usually some type of cross-linked polymer. What type ...
2
votes
5answers
249 views

Is the idea of being “fused” to/into a material as a result of a teleportation accident plausible?

Assuming it were possible to phase through matter/teleport, is it possible within the laws of physics/chemistry to end up stuck/fused to solid materials? Obviously we lack the real world ability to ...
0
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1answer
59 views

How might an advanced civilization separate astronomical amounts of Magnesium Ions from astronomical amounts Oxygen Ions?

An advanced civilization collects enough Magnesium and Oxygen, from all over the Galaxy, to equal the mass of a star, and then reacts the Magnesium and Oxygen to produce Magnesium Oxide. The ...
1
vote
1answer
226 views

What Would Beaches Look Like if Silicon Didn't Bond to Oxygen?

I was on a beach recently and was contemplating what it would look like if Silicon just didn't bind oxygen very well/at all, perhaps similar to gold. I'm not sure if something else would take the ...
1
vote
3answers
104 views

Chlorine Trifluoride-producing microorganisms

Quick Context Basically I need one of my charaters to produce a lot of chlorine trifluoride, but human biochemistry wont allow that, so I was going to get a micro-organism to do the job and produce ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Chemoautotrophs and human edible food? [closed]

Autotrophs are lifeforms that consume simpler molecules than the large protein, carbohydrate and lipid molecules that heterotrophs like humans ingest, these large molecules are made by autotrophs and ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Metallic oxygen as a possible future material?

I'm researching possible materials that maybe be used in the far future. I came across something called metallic oxygen. If oxygen is compressed to 10GPa, it turns into a dark red solid O8. If this is ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Making Gunpowder out of Corpses

Story Info On a fallen world that still has firearms. Society is still advanced in a way, but is more tribal/feudal in nature. There is an armed priesthood that preaches and deals in death. To the ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

A world where underwater fire is possible [closed]

We perceive water as a fire extinguisher, based on observations related to the atmospheric conditions on our planet. However, Let's see if we can circumvent this limitation. Actually, water ...
-9
votes
4answers
129 views

Can we produce Iodine element? [closed]

Can we produce Iodine element that is different from Iodine in salt? (The Iodine should be a new production and not made from separating other chemical compounds). If we can produce this element, is ...
4
votes
3answers
68 views

killer mechanism/organism similar to rust and virus

I need a mechanism/organism similar to rust and virus, that will both impair the ship's components AND will kill crew, so the only thing left are a few lucky survivors on a crippled ship. Presumably ...
9
votes
2answers
89 views

How do puffer lizards puff up into flight so quickly?

** * Xenobiology expedition 'Profundity': Log entry 634 * ** These things are remarkably tricky to study!! Puffer lizards live on the open salt pans of Arbslex IV (an incredibly Earthlike planet), ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

What’s the longest amount of time that a can of soda could stay fresh? [closed]

In the fallout series, people are often seen drinking Nuka-Cola, a rip-off of Coke. The earliest fallout game is 80 years after the war, the latest was 210 years. So how the hell could soda last that ...
2
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3answers
139 views

How could I explain an alien species' non tool based plant manipulation without using magic?

I'm trying to find a way to explain an alien species' ability to control plants, specifically plant growth for crops, without it being 'magic.' So they can ensure the health and size of the plants ...
1
vote
3answers
219 views

Life without excretion?

Is it possible with some chemicals as intake for humans to completely convert the food/chemical to energy to survive? This is similar to when we are talking about clean energy where water and some ...
7
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6answers
2k views

Projectile that crystallizes a target

Can arrow heads containing certain substances cause skin and flesh to crystallize, giving the impression of the target being frozen? Do such substances exist?
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votes
2answers
80 views

Synthetic Opiate Based Chemical weapon

So the idea is for chemical weapons to come back into use because they are marketed/propagandized as humane. I got the idea from a documentary on how easy it is to overdose on Fentanyl. Basically the ...
4
votes
2answers
496 views

Realistic applications of alchemy?

The original dream of the alchemists was to turn base metals into gold, however it's quite obvious that after that becomes cheap and easy it becomes basically useless since much of gold's value comes ...
5
votes
0answers
93 views

Are fullerenes a capable/reliable “part” for my microorganism to work? [closed]

What I need the microorganisms for They collect and store chemicals, can be manipulated to do what a bigger life form wants. With enough of these microorgansisms and some knowledge of chemistry one ...
5
votes
2answers
190 views

Is my idea for a creatures natural armor plates realistic?

First of all: I don't think that diamond is a good material to use. It isn't even really resistant to pressure. So... it's a stylistic choice and of course I want to know if nature could be this crazy....
10
votes
3answers
320 views

Bio ChlorineTrifluoride Pyrogenesis

So Chlorine Trifluoride is a very dangerous chemical known to burn through things like concrete and asbestos. It's so bad that the Nazis, THE NAZIS, decided it was too dangerous to use. So I need an ...
8
votes
4answers
292 views

How could a country broadcast digital data through tap water (instead of radio waves)?

Background: I'm toying with the idea of an alternate Earth that never developed wireless technologies. Radio transmitters, Wi-Fi, etc... were never invented, meaning that light-speed communication is ...
-1
votes
1answer
136 views

Azidoazide Azide Storage and Weaponization

AA (azidoazide azide) is a hyper-explosive 14 nitrogen molecule. My questions are: what are some theoretical ways to store it so it doesn't explode on you but on the enemy you throw it at, and what ...
3
votes
3answers
189 views

How to justify a scarcity of sulfur minerals, and the impact this might have on a fantasy world

I want to create a convincing world where gunpowder is a rare and expensive commodity, allowing swords and plate armour to still be used effectively despite the world having current level of ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

Scavenging metal resources in post-apocalypse after 100 years

This is another question for a setting I mentioned in previous questions (currency, ammo). The setting is: It's happening in post-apocalyptic SE Europe (Balkans specifically), about 60-80 years from ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Any poisons that mimic Syphilis?

In my tabletop RPG story the wife of a rich noble killed her husband. Her story is that he cheated on her and when she told him that she knew, he tried to kill her and she only defended herself. ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

Could N2O be a major constituent in an exo-planet's atmosphere?

Say there would be plants that release a lot of N2O (nitrous oxide or laughing gas). On Earth, N2O is a trace-gas and it is pretty stable. In our atmosphere it has a half-life of > 100 years, and as I ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

The Least Interesting Substance

There are many interesting places, many interesting worlds. This world is not one of them. It has an argon atmosphere, and the planet itself is made of a very unreactive, insoluble, extremely ...
2
votes
2answers
220 views

What reasons could there be for cement not setting?

I'm writing a scene set on a construction site where the builders notice that the cement they pour is not setting: it just remains in its liquid state or it is taking a very long time to set. This is ...