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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4
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2answers
57 views

Could Mercury have liquid metal lakes?

(Just to clear up all confusion. I am talking about Mercury the planet and not the element.) The premise of the question is based on a group of people who are driving across the surface of Mercury at ...
8
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1answer
190 views

Poison in the wine, antidote in the cup?

Probably every reader/viewer of sci-fi/fantasy has at one point encountered the classic bit of trickery: "The poison wasn't in the drink - it was in the cup!" - I am imagining a hypothetical ...
4
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3answers
102 views

Finding an ideal UV-transparent refrigerant, or how to miniaturize a Fulminium reactor

In my setting, I have Fulminium crystal reactors. Fulminium decays emitting an electrical current spontaneously, but at a greater rate when stimulated by UV light, and it also emits UV and orange ...
23
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8answers
3k views

Initial conditions for a fluorine hellscape

I'm curious what it would take to get a planet with so much free fluorine that you can have an atmosphere of predominantly or purely fluorine. I realize how improbable a planet like this is, so I'm ...
4
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2answers
213 views

Technological development of an electricity producing species?

I have some intelligent dragons that can discharge electricity.(Lets assume they can somehow release this electricity through contact with an object/animal when outside the water, as air is of course ...
17
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16answers
6k views

Realistic way to damage bullet proof glass using common substances

Ok so here's the scenario. I've got a hero fighting a stompy robot that is covered in armour that stops the hero's electricity based attacks. However it still needs to see and thus has a camera that ...
23
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8answers
8k views

What's stopping me from inventing a planet with oceans of mercury?

It doesn't necessarily need to be breathable by humans. But it should be room temperature (at which mercury is liquid). My concern is whether mercury oceans could remain stable or would they all get ...
5
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3answers
253 views

On an established Mars colony, what would be the best ways to produce oxygen aside from using water?

Let's say there's a viable city of 150,000 people on Mars, the colony has been around for 50 years or more. Private corporations have funded most of it and they have a large presence on planet. I know ...
7
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2answers
578 views

Fictional drug where withdrawal is fatal? (like Melange in Dune)

Could a chemical compound change a human body in a way that a regular quantity of that compound is needed to stay alive after the first dose? The short answer would be yes, there are already such ...
5
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6answers
516 views

What single or two materials are suitable to fit inside of a glass bullet to make it explode on impact?

In the world my friend and I are making, the different races throughout the planet have decided to work on advancing the development of Airgun technology. The main reason for this was that once ...
6
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4answers
308 views

How can an environmentally conscious dragon avoid uneccesary damage when using his acidic breath?

So, I decided to up the ante with dragons and make them much more destructive by giving the aqua regia as the breath weapon. The problem is that the dragon in this story is a sweet and cheeky kid, ...
5
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1answer
116 views

What substance would make a good lava ocean?

I'm starting work on some fictional star systems, and I want to create a planet that has lava oceans. I found an excel spreadsheet a while back that does calculations for stars and planets, and based ...
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1answer
47 views

Rotating ice lake of high molar hydrochloric acid

Say I have a rocky airless world with size and density to produce two gees orbiting around an old dim star. Could I have a round(ish) lake with a high molar hydrochloric acid ice? It could be ...
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0answers
61 views

Is it possible to extract energy from blood to power prosthesis?

I know this question is kinda weird, but there is a real problem with prosthesis and implants inside or outside of you, normally they need a source of energy. If you extract the energy from your own ...
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3answers
130 views

Making minefields with potash

Many modern explosives would have changed the history of sieges and raids. A modern phoenix bomb (american claymore) can injure and entire shieldwall of soldiers. A field of mines and phoenixes and ...
3
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2answers
272 views

How can I mass produce steel without coal?

So, Suppose for a moment that there is a society on the verge of an industrial revolution. They live on a super-continent. The continent has a circumference of around 40,000 kilometers (If I recall ...
6
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1answer
167 views

What would we notice if the fine structure constant started to increase?

What would we notice if the fine structure constant started to increase? Wikipedia says: For instance, were α to change by 4%, stellar fusion would not produce carbon, so that carbon-based life would ...
29
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8answers
7k views

What happens if King Midas produces gold en-masse

Suppose King Midas learns to turn off his power to turn things into gold, and passes on that ability to his children. A few centuries later, King Midas has thousands of descendants, all of whom can ...
2
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1answer
82 views

What color would plants be on a hot spring planet? [duplicate]

I had an idea for an alien world I want to set a story on and if this question proves popular I might ask other questions regarding this world. The world in question is an earth like moon orbiting a ...
3
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8answers
403 views

What's The Most Dangerous Chemicals I Can Make From Air?

Let's say that I have a special sword that has macroscopic maximum thickness, and has a minimum thickness of 1 atom. It's also incredibly wear-resistant, which would make it usable. Let's say that I ...
14
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8answers
2k views

Portable source of fire for use by a flame-mage

A character in my world has the ability to greatly control flames. He can even amplify a small fire to a large inferno if necessary. However, there is one problem: He can't create fire out of nothing. ...
5
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2answers
150 views

Tungsten-based life using molten sodium chloride as solvent

My idea is to have organisms that use molten salt as their solvent in the chemistry of the creature. So what I was thinking to have the cells consist of tungsten polyoxometalates but my issue is the ...
6
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4answers
526 views

What are you actually moving when telekinetically moving/shaping fire?

Ok, so I'm willing to bet at least one person has looked at the title of this question and thought to themselves "What?", so I'll try and explain this as thoroughly as I can. Most ...
3
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1answer
214 views

How long does an iron cage remain effective underwater

I'm working on an idea similar to the one presented in the Old Guard; basically an immortal character is trapped in an iron casing from which they cannot escape, that is sent at the bottom of the sea. ...
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2answers
128 views

Reversible Petrification: What is going on on an atomic level? [closed]

So, I'll try to keep this short. the petrification spell turns people to stone... or gold... or some other material. For the purposes of this discussion, we'll say the caster can choose any solid ...
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2answers
281 views

Is it possible to have a cold flame?

Imagine I have this make-believe psionic microbe-or-something that feeds off of the heat energy from combustion. And let's say that this new fire radiates cold instead of hot. The big problem with ...
2
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1answer
92 views

Twin worlds governed by nitrogen

https://www.space.com/amp/we-dont-understand-exoplanet-habitable-zones In the link above is an article about how atmospheric nitrogen could affect habitability of a planet. Examples given are a wet ...
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2answers
206 views

Could adding more phosphate groups to high energy molecules such as ATP meaningfully increase the amount of energy they carry? [closed]

I'm determining some of the biochemistry for some artificial organisms created for various commercial tasks, from industrial to military use. I'm trying to figure out if augmenting the energy ...
3
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1answer
318 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 ...
5
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4answers
434 views

Is it possible for water to exist in fiery places?

I'm new here and know very little about chemistry. For the sake of a story I'm building, especially with symbolism, I'm having a fire person and a water person coexist in a romance. However, I'm using ...
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4answers
109 views

How can an organosilcon lifeform break down silicates

I have a few organosilicon characters, and I like to know how things work. Some of these types of creatures make shells, but others just reinforce their organic flesh with the silicon. According to my ...
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3answers
1k views

Would a pool of petroleum explode if lit on fire?

A large pool of crude oil 60 feet in diameter and about 10 feet deep. It sits atop a 100ft. tall stone pillar with a 5ft radius hole that leads down into the earth. If the oil on top is exposed to a ...
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4answers
612 views

How to communicate when humanity loses all sense except smell?

This question is focused on a purely chemical messaging system for humans that provides the same degree of nuance that spoken human languages convey now as well as all the information that smells ...
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18answers
103k views

Does anyone know of a poison that can be ingested and is undetectable in autopsy? [closed]

I am a fictional writer and need info on a poison that can be put in food and is undetectable in autopsy. Symptoms also can't be too messy, no specific time in how long it takes to take effect.
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3answers
1k views

Can humans survive using only minerals as food? [closed]

In a world of no living organisms, space travel reaches the planet with the chemical composition of the earth but no living organisms are present and the space traveller has few types of equipment to ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Setting up a bonfire in a methane rich atmosphere: is it possible?

I am trying to describe the exploration of an hypothetical planet with a hydrocarbon rich atmosphere. Atmospheric pressure is around 1 bar, temperature around 10-20 Celsius, the main component of the ...
3
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1answer
66 views

Potential atmospheric compositions given a temperature range?

I'm generating a planetary classification system for a sci-fi universe. Right now I'm basing part of it off of Sudarsky's theoretical classification of gas giants (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
2
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3answers
112 views

Damage estimate for a large acetylene explosion

In a laboratory in a university building, a gas tap is accidentally opened at the end of the working day. The gas tap is connected to a bank of large acetylene cylinders. The gas tap is ejecting 0....
10
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8answers
466 views

What is the most powerful, plausible breath a dragon could have?

I am working on a dragon project, and have solved how my dragon makes each breath, but I would like to know the most powerful possible breath, and how the dragon might make it, (fire breath, ice/cold ...
4
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2answers
181 views

Could Uranus have a solid surface due to its internal composition and lack of internal heat?

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It is classified as an Ice Giant, which, unlike a Gas Giant, such as Jupiter or Saturn, is composed mainly of elements heavier than Hydrogen or Helium. ...
4
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1answer
198 views

how could a creature have a vacuum chamber inside its body

i want to know how an animal could have a vacuum inside itself (in an organ), survive, and also for it to be stable, what materials could be used to contain it, and how could it be implemented without ...
44
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9answers
11k views

How could I scientifically explain ice breath?

I'm sure there have been questions on here about fire-breathing dragons, and I recently saw a question about a lightning-breathing dragon, but back in fifth grade I wrote a 150-page story about a ...
10
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5answers
721 views

What useful materials exist on a lifeless planet?

Supposing you are trying to colonise planet that has no life what-so-ever but is otherwise an earth analogue. First thing that I realised is that there would be no oil. So they would need to make ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Defining what is possible with magic that manipulates the elements

I'm currently trying to refine my magic system which is able to manipulate the elements using the body's natural energy. As examples: I can create water out of the air by coalescing available ...
5
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2answers
424 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 ...
1
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1answer
56 views

How could hydrogen in a vacuum be removed/extracted?

What reactions or process could remove hydrogen from the vacuum without compromising it, then from there a way that animals could do it, the vacuum is in a rigid space, but hydrogen still seeps ...
22
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7answers
3k 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 ...
22
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6answers
5k 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 (...
4
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0answers
61 views

What should an inactive planet's topology be for nutrient circulation?

I'm trying to engineer an Earth mass planet built initially out of pure silicon dioxide (silica). So basically, imagine a glass sphere slightly larger than Earth somewhere in the Goldilocks zone, ...
3
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3answers
134 views

Alternative Pre-Modern Rocket Fuel to Gunpowder: Can you make a naphtha rocket?

In a pre-17th century world without gunpowder, can rockets still be developed? Could you perhaps make a naphtha rocket? RP1 is made from highly refined kerosene, which has been about since at least ...

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