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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.

37
votes
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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
42 views

Redox Magic 3: Renaissance France [closed]

This is part 3 of a series. Part 2 can be read here. It's the same premise, in a different era. Imagine that you live in France during the European Renaissance (roughly 1400-1500). One day, you and ...
10
votes
4answers
165 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 ...
44
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
votes
1answer
241 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
345 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
vote
1answer
155 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
155 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
votes
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
124 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
88 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
votes
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
vote
1answer
75 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
215 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
129 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
159 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
118 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 ...
20
votes
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
votes
2answers
218 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
230 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
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
151 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
votes
1answer
138 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
votes
2answers
159 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
votes
2answers
94 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
votes
4answers
583 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
votes
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
votes
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 ...
50
votes
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
187 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
votes
2answers
547 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
201 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
105 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
252 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
votes
1answer
60 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
230 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
112 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
102 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
192 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
140 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
70 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
96 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
104 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
votes
3answers
140 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
223 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 ...