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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20
votes
6answers
411 views

What kind of “fog” could be harvested (and processed) for fuel?

In my setting, a permanent "fog" hangs over the ocean. It is thick, granting low visibility to anyone within it. Instead of water droplets, however, this fog would consist of some substance or ...
32
votes
12answers
7k views

What should be done with the carbon when using magic to get oxygen from carbon dioxide?

So, I'm working on a flintlock fantasy series, and my protagonist is what's called an Arcane Engineer. This is someone who makes magical devices. Among those she has made there is a mask that let ...
11
votes
3answers
248 views

Is a carbon planet with seas of methanol on its surface scientifically possible?

I am creating a carbon planet with seas of methanol on its surface, but I am not sure that this is possible. It is predicted that carbon planets are depleted of water, since the available oxygen ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

What element could be used on a fictional metal-poor planet for biological oxygen exchange?

I'm working on a hard sf novel about humans being forced to survive on a metal-poor planet. They have to take dietary metal supplements at first but eventually a bio-engineer rigs the biochemical ...
5
votes
2answers
468 views

What would happen if the Earth passed through an interstellar dust cloud?

I understand an interstellar dust cloud as "an accumulation of gas, plasma, and dust in our and other galaxies. Put differently, an interstellar cloud is a denser-than-average region of the ...
23
votes
1answer
587 views

Plausibility of helium dominated atmospheres on super-Earths

I've been using this helpful diagram a lot for worldbuilding. Now I came to think about the fact that helium is more massive than hydrogen, thus a scenario where hydrogen escapes, but helium is ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Reality check- atmospheric percentages, gravity, mass, and pressure [closed]

What would changing these qualities do to an earth-like world? Would humans and other earth-like life be able to survive, and what effects would this have on them? And what modifications would need to ...
12
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4answers
1k views

The Sword in the Stone

I am trying to recreate King Arthur's the Sword in the Stone using chemistry. I have a couple ideas how this could be done Would any of these work or how it might work? Arthur removes the sword from ...
5
votes
0answers
73 views

Relationship between Ocean Gases and Atmospheric Gases [closed]

A version of this question is posted in Chemistry SE but doesn't seem to be getting traction there. Perhaps this SE is a bette place for this question? If you think it belongs on a different SE please ...
10
votes
1answer
226 views

Would A Biological “Cold Haber” Process Deplete an H2/N2 World of its H2 or N2?

Based on my reading on some science papers, large, wet terrestrial planets likely exist that are swathed in a thin atmosphere of nitrogen/hydrogen ($H_2$ & $N_2$). If life evolved on such worlds, ...
3
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4answers
347 views

Helping the Roman Empire with chemistry and metallurgy [closed]

You are a modern chemist and metallurgist and unexpectedly get sent back in time to the era of Caesar Octavius Augustus. After spending a couple years learning ancient Latin, what changes or ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

The ability to reduce the movement of particles [closed]

Let's say that there is someone with the ability to reduce the speed of particles' movement (or vibration), he can reduce the movement of molecules, atoms and electrons. I want to know what will this ...
5
votes
3answers
242 views

Realistic melange - Part 1: Formation

Melange, also known as "the spice", is a fictional drug in Frank Herbert's famous Dune series, which has many benefits (and some drawbacks). In this series of questions, I'll try to see how many of ...
6
votes
4answers
274 views

How dangerous are sodium salts?

I am in the early stages of planning a story called The Four Flamingos of the Apocalypse. The premise is that the Four Horsemen have manifested on the surface of the earth and are tasked with bringing ...
3
votes
3answers
157 views

What would be the chemical composition of the crust and core of a planet comprised primarily of diamond?

I’m creating a world for a webcomic and I’m running into some difficulties – namely, my own limitations. I’m not a scientist, and I don’t even know how to start asking the questions I want answered. ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Could there possibly be any alternative biomolecules that could store genetic information like DNA and RNA? [closed]

I study quite a lot of chemistry, biology, and other branches of those fields, alongside some forms of astronomy. As part of a large-scale project I have been working on for a few years and continue ...
8
votes
11answers
4k views

What is a writing material that persists nearly forever or for a long time? [closed]

I'm designing an alien society with a low population density. I intend for them to have 1 book per topic per place; books update annually as new information arises. I call them books, but they can ...
12
votes
8answers
5k views

Why did the “Orks” never develop better firearms than Firelances and Handcannons?

The Orks of my world are actually the technologically most advanced civilization. They are bigger and stronger than humans, have bone plates on their heads, greenish skin, and are more akin to the ...
10
votes
6answers
311 views

What type of chemical catastrophic event might reduce the bioavailability of iron?

I am imagining a world where an astronomical event occurs, like Earth collides with a comet, and humanity is all but wiped out. In their desperate attempt to recover, humans enter a form of stone age. ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

What are the effects of a nearby supernova on a young solar system?

I'm building a S-Type binary system where the primary star is a black hole. Yet the system formed as a O + K-Spectral class binary and the 20 solar-mass O giant went nova 2,7 myr after both the stars ...
4
votes
4answers
342 views

A weapon to rapidly change the Earth's atmosphere

I am seeking information and ideas from all you clever people. What I am trying to imagine is a chemical reaction that would change Earths atmosphere rapidly into something else which would be more ...
5
votes
4answers
235 views

Nanobots that search and destroy cells with damaged mitochondrion [closed]

I read somewhere that scientists are trying to create nanobots carrying functional mitochondria to search out cancer cells and restart apoptosis. Instead of trying to create nanobots with a fully ...
4
votes
2answers
128 views

If oxygen is extracted from blood, would the process cause any hormones within it to be extracted as well? [closed]

Let's say oxygen is continuously being extracted from the blood of a Giant Pacific, 1-and-a-third years old octopus and will be injected into a human using a process similar to this: https://www....
1
vote
2answers
160 views

How could the hormones of an octopus affect an adult man? [closed]

Let's say the hormones of a Giant Pacific Octopus, 1-and-a-third years old, enter the bloodstream of an adult male. How would or could that affect him?
58
votes
20answers
13k views

What could a self-sustaining lunar colony slowly lose that would ultimately prove fatal?

I've got a lunar colony that was set up to be self-sustaining before a collapse of life on Earth. The colony has survived on its own for several thousand years through a period of technological ...
8
votes
3answers
226 views

Are these atmosphere compositions for habitation in space plausible/do they cause problems I don´t see?

On Earth, our atmosphere contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, on average around 1% water vapor at sea level, 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Looking through ...
10
votes
4answers
349 views

Membrane impermeable to $N_2$ but permeable to $CO_2$ and $O_2$?

I'm looking for a way to bypass the bidirectional diffusive gas exchange that happens in human alveoli, to allow aquanauts to breathe a standard Nitrogen-Oxygen air mix at very high pressures (up to ...
21
votes
11answers
5k views

Could there be a material that inverts the colours seen through it?

I had a vision of a creature that touched things, and wherever it touched, it left a mark opposite to the original colour. For example when it walked across the grass the grass had red footprints, ...
2
votes
3answers
104 views

Is it possible to dissolve copper piping with an acidic or alkaline solution? [closed]

A character of mine needs to cover up a murder inside an apartment without removing the body. The best solution I've come up with for this is faking a broken pipe that appears naturally eroded over ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Creating a chemical industry from a medieval tech level without petroleum [closed]

You've been transported into a world with a medieval tech level. This world has coal deposits, but no petroleum deposits. You have no chemistry equipment with you, but you can use glassblowing or ...
7
votes
8answers
3k 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
296 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
421 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
votes
3answers
255 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
582 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
10answers
12k 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, ...
30
votes
17answers
7k 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
126 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
vote
2answers
152 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
votes
2answers
234 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
624 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
votes
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
212 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
935 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 ...
25
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
votes
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
votes
3answers
1k 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
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
180 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
166 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 ...

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