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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.

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7answers
2k views

Need a suitable toxic chemical for a murder plot in my novel

I need ideas for a chemical or disease which kills the victim upon holding it in the palm for about 4 or 5 seconds. The death isn't necessarily immediate, as it might take days to kill the victim in ...
3
votes
2answers
166 views

Making iron tools from blood [closed]

So, I read a while ago several threads about making iron objects/blades from blood. In my conworld there are giant predators that would, according to my calculations, have enough blood so that 12 of ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

Can you forge iron from oxide dust?

I've been looking over the internet and on here to find some kind of evidence for this, but nothing conclusive, so I was hoping for people with a better understanding of smelting, chemistry and ...
-3
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3answers
212 views

Are atoms present in the vacuum of space?

I'm currently writing this story where an intelligent lifeform, instead of human eye-sight, is able identify the chemical composition of their surroundings, by detecting and "mapping" all the atoms ...
9
votes
3answers
359 views

Can the Meissner effect explain very large floating structures?

James Cameron's Avatar featured floating mountains which stayed aloft due to the Meissner effect; they contained large quantities of the room-temperature superconductor unobtainium, which, due to ...
21
votes
9answers
6k views

Assassin's bullet with mercury

This is something I have been wondering: if an assassin wanted to kill their target with a bullet from a sniper rifle, can they dip it in liquid mercury so even if the bullet itself doesn't kill them, ...
28
votes
17answers
6k views

How could indestructible materials be used in power generation?

Background: In this scenario assume technology is initially equal to our own, but a method is discovered to render material indestructible. The affected material is treated as requiring infinite or ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

Deities vs You /Liquid Anon/ What'd be the most optimal carrier fluid comopsition? [closed]

Liquid Anon is my little OC, a total badass, with the ability to assume any form and color at a whim. Donut steel! A magnetorheological fluid (MR fluid, or MRF) a type of smart fluid in a carrier ...
1
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2answers
133 views

By any scientific/pseudo-scientific means could plasma be used to increase the lifespans of living creatures?

In my semi-realistic science fantasy RPG, I want there to be a newly discovered chemical element that is perfect at generating plasma for use in various futuristic weapons and to increase the ...
3
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2answers
129 views

Carbon cycle on planet with mainly CO2 atmosphere

What effect would having CO2 in your atmosphere in place of, on earth, Nitrogen have on the carbon cycle? would the carbon cycle even work? I'm engineering A theoretical tidally locked planet with an ...
6
votes
3answers
440 views

How can I get different colours of ocean? [closed]

We think of oceans and large lakes as being blue. How can I get other colours in a way that is reasonably compatible with what we know from terrestial bio-geo-chemistry?
11
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2answers
2k views

What color should the snow be in this chlorine world?

This question is in the same context (the same world) proposed by Steven L. Gillett in his book: "World-building". And actually there have been some other questions about this same chlorinated world. ...
8
votes
1answer
119 views

Carbon cycle in a sulphur-based biochemistry

I'm designing a world with advanced life forms that use a sulphur-based biochemistry (see this link for context). I would like to create a carbon cycle analogous to Earth, where: Photosynthesis ...
5
votes
1answer
209 views

Realistic alternatives to oxygen-based respiration? [closed]

Background I'm developing 6 to 10 sapient alien races for a short story. Basic Story Setting The short story takes place in the Milky Way sometime in the next 1000 years. These races will be at ...
24
votes
7answers
9k views

Chlorine Trifluoride as a Space Weapon?

Pretty self-explanatory. Could a spaceship use a "ClF3 Mortar" to fire copper shells at enemy vessels? At first glance, this seems like a good weapon: it can burn even in space and can set fire to ...
8
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5answers
1k views

Absorbing heat from unlikely places

Living in polar climates can be quite difficult, and staying warm can often be such an issue. But not anymore with the heat sponge! This nifty little organ draws heat from even the coldest water to ...
4
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3answers
844 views

How many litres of gaseous helium would it take to lift 80 kg on Earth?

I have dragons in mind for my world, but I'm trying to find logic in how would a medium-sized anything fly off and still be a danger to humans. So far, I have a lizard-like cheetah with wings, ...
2
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3answers
882 views

Real “Alchemical Transmutation” of Some Other Mineral Into Gold? [closed]

While obviously you can't really transmute something like Lead into Gold (as far as I know), is there any real-life mineral or element that could be used to artificially create Gold from whatever its ...
6
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1answer
158 views

Exploding vertebrates

Colobopsis ants explode when they are losing a fight, a behavior which is probably meant to discourage predators from hunting that species. It may also turn tides when in ant wars for territory. ...
0
votes
1answer
151 views

What could be added to cigarettes to enhance soldiers?

Some of our soldiers that keep our border safe have brought back a new "commodity" used by Evorian (Border country) soldiers. They call them "cigarettes", and they have become pretty popular in our ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

How can I turn diamond into graphene?

The goverment of Africa decided that it would no longer tolerate the diamond mafia, so the corporation of DeBeers was hunted down and disbanded, to put it lightly. Now, all the diamond mines have been ...
9
votes
3answers
227 views

What kind of transports would be invented in a world with an enhancer-material?

You have a material that greatly enhances electric and magnetic sources or electro-magnetism in general. In this world, the material, is known to be a naturally occurring liquid found in geological ...
5
votes
5answers
290 views

Ultrapowerful chemical propellant for guns

I'm building a moderately hard scifi future setting that focuses on space and land warfare and I'm trying to decide what would be the most realistic from an engineering standpoint of artillery tech ...
21
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5answers
5k views

How long would it take a body to decay and the bones to fall to the ground from a tree?

Death occurs in extremely high humidity and an average temperature of 23 C (~75 F), both of which continue for six weeks. At that time, temperature begins to fall over the course of eight weeks to an ...
5
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2answers
157 views

Would it possible for a creature to melt down rocks in its stomach and spit out lava?

Worldbuilding and biology have always been two huge passions of mine, especially when it comes to dragons. So well, at the moment I'm working on a little project in which I'm attempting to make ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Need to check for screenplay (Aziroazide azide) [closed]

For a screenplay - I need to know if the following is possible; joining the components to make up Aziroazide azide from three separate lakes where the items exist pulled up to a mother ship where they ...
5
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2answers
135 views

Creating a gas/substance that prevents or inhibits aggression?

Deep within the labs of Nox (the company that brought Soma to the masses) a group of radicals lost in the company bureaucracy are trying to make a substance that either prevents or mitigates ...
10
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3answers
134 views

Chemical process for a radiosynthetic Ganymedian organism?

I'm trying to build an underwater ecosystem under the ice crust of Ganymede. I know Jupiter emits a large amount of ionizing radiation and synchotrons and thought that would maybe be able to replace ...
-1
votes
1answer
68 views

How long would it take for an uninhabitable amount of pollution on a planet to disappear? [closed]

If the world (Earth) were to become so polluted that the surface would become uninhabitable, how long would it take to become as unpolluted as it was before humans? By pollution I mainly mean ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

Are there chemical elements deadly to mushrooms but not to humans?

Are there any chemical elements dangerous to fungus/mushrooms that wouldn't threaten the human species. The chemical elements I'm looking for would be in the periodic table of elements. It doesn't ...
-5
votes
1answer
87 views

Which are the things like that, which have or has that effect(i. e., death or else 100% confirmed permanent paralysis for sure for life) like that? [duplicate]

I want to build a world but an element of the world is causing me problem and that element is that I need such a "thing" or a group of the "things" with which a person laces a food item of a "STRONG ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I feed an entire population on corpses?

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war. The world has become a barren wasteland that is inhospitable to the the human race, which has been forced to take residence in hive cities. ...
1
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1answer
75 views

Redox Magic 3: Renaissance France

This is part 3 of a series. Part 2 can be read here. These questions exist to prefigure the likely impacts, throughout the history of a world, of a specific magical power. Imagine this world is now ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Making a medieval smoke bomb, quickly and reasonably

How would an individual in medieval times, the days of castles, knights and horses, be able to make a quick fix smoke bomb, I read out of potassium nitrate and sugar, but I'm pretty darn sure you ...
1
vote
3answers
146 views

How to maintain container temperature for as long as possible?

I have two magical stones. The first one—let's call it fire stone—is a stone that able to increase its temperature equal to that of a normal fire. The second one—as you might already guess, is the ...
37
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7answers
6k views

What would be the necessary conditions to rain bubbles?

What would be necessary in order for bubbles to rain down from the sky, whether they are actually soap or something else? Would it even be possible? Aside from a bunch of little kids (which would be ...
10
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4answers
239 views

Is it possible to make high-compressive-strength cement on Mars?

I was having fun reading this article about making cement on the moon when I asked myself (and now you), is it possible to make a suitably high-compressive-strength cement on Mars? Since concrete is ...
46
votes
11answers
9k views

Time Warp: Modern chemist as court alchemist

Premise The premise is an adept modern chemist is transported back in time and is to serve as the court alchemist to a wealthy prince in the late 16th century. Assumptions: "Transmuting" gold is ...
11
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1answer
270 views

How would crystals be different in hyperbolic space?

Let's say our world is set in a hyperbolic space with a curvature K of −1 per 9 square meters. How would crystals be different than those in our world (assuming that the atoms are the same as the ...
7
votes
4answers
466 views

What would it take to create insulin in the post-apocalypse?

In post-apocalypse fiction, diabetics, if they are ever even mentioned, are typically portrayed as utterly, irrevocably screwed. In fact there was a pretty cynical example in Dies The Fire (a book ...
1
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1answer
185 views

What would a sea made of Iodine look like? [closed]

If it was possible, what would a sea made of liquid state Iodine look like? How would it smell? From my research, I've seen people saying its liquid state is somewhat "invisible" since it generates a ...
23
votes
10answers
3k views

Realistic geological and chemical composition of an edible planetary surface

We all at some point in our childhoods thought that the moon is made out of cheese. As such, I thought: under what circumstances can a planetary surface form in such a manner that it is edible (and ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

Redox Magic 2: Iron Age France

This is part 2 of a series. Part 1 can be read here. It's the same premise, in a different era. Imagine that you live in France during the iron age. One day, you and five friends have the ability to ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Redox Magic 1: Stone-age France

Because my setting is incredibly varied, I've been advised against attempting to ask this in a single question, and have broken this up into a series. Each context will be roughly analogous to a ...
2
votes
3answers
230 views

How to develop ecosystem in science based way? [closed]

I want to create artificial ecosystem. I don't want to do it in random way like "We have cats but lets name them kads. They live in forest... of mushrooms. And there is a river. I think it is enough....
3
votes
0answers
102 views

How much longer would it take to reach technological parity without access to energy dense resources like fossil fuels to bootstrap development? [closed]

If the only difference in our hypothetical world is where fossil fuels like coal and crude oil are nonexistent, the advent of an analogous Renaissance Era, subsequent Age of Enlightenment, and ...
12
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2answers
1k views

How much hydrogen and oxygen can I add to an atmosphere before it explodes?

Hydrogen and oxygen gases can be combined to form water and a lot of heat. As with many exothermic reactions, the heat from this process can provide activation energy to the reaction of more H2 with ...
1
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1answer
95 views

Is this planet's sulphur dioxide atmosphere feasible?

My planet is highly volcanic, as such the atmosphere is filled with gases put off by the volcanoes: Like Earth Nitrogen also makes up most of Marhdii’s atmosphere at 43%. Also like Earth, Nitrogen ...
8
votes
2answers
243 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
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1answer
155 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 ...