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Questions tagged [electromagnetism]

For questions involving the fundamental electromagnetic force. This includes electricity, magnetism, light, and other phenomena.

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105 votes
9 answers
19k views

What could make a star green?

Stars are never green. When a star's spectra "peaks" in the green range, it also releases a significant number of waves of the adjacent colors - so "green" stars appear yellow or ...
Zxyrra's user avatar
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41 votes
20 answers
9k views

Reasons why air travel isn't feasible, but ground travel is?

My story takes place on an Earth-like, inhabited world that is far larger than Earth, has roughly 110% of Earth's gravity, and has unusually high (and generally unexplained) EM emissions permeating ...
Brian Lacy's user avatar
40 votes
10 answers
10k views

Do all devices go out at the same time in an EMP attack?

Is there an order in which different kinds of (unshielded) electric devices go out in the event of a high altitude EMP? For example, first small gadgets, then electric vehicles, then grids. Or do all ...
VilleJP's user avatar
  • 641
31 votes
18 answers
25k views

How might telekinesis and pyrokinesis work if they were possible?

New here! Now let me be clear: I'm well aware that telekinesis and pyrokinesis are both impossible, as I've been rudely informed on every science forum. Nonetheless, I don't just want to "make it up" ...
BurningScroll's user avatar
28 votes
14 answers
4k views

How to prevent electronic advancement beyond the early cold war era?

Here are what I wants in my world: Early generation of computer with a bulky size and very limited capability, like the text-based computer in Fallout universe. Limited guidance and detection system. ...
arlilo's user avatar
  • 417
26 votes
14 answers
5k views

"Shields at 10% one more hit and..." What?

How do force field work in many sci fi fictional universes? I remembered the last time I checked the strength of the electromagnetic field a.k.a force field is proportional to the power output from ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
26 votes
4 answers
4k views

What would be the side effects of a massive, strong magnetic field?

A permanent static magnetic field appears on the surface of a planet that is sufficiently large and strong to attract non-magnetized ferromagnetic objects up to 100 miles distant from the source, with ...
rsandler's user avatar
  • 729
22 votes
10 answers
12k views

What would happen if magnets stopped working?

I asked a similar question earlier: What would happen if electricity stopped working?. But I was also thinking about what would happen if magnets stopped working. This question is very related to what ...
AMACB's user avatar
  • 853
19 votes
10 answers
4k views

Can a rogue radio signal from the moon or near orbit realistically go unnoticed?

I'd like some fact-checking for a somewhat lively discussion going on over here. Feel free to wander over for details, though they aren't necessarily relevant. (Also, I hope this can serve as a useful ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 14.4k
18 votes
7 answers
5k views

What EM band would be least noticed if I started globally broadcasting white noise on it?

Suppose I created a private network of peer-to-peer cellphones and started handing phones out to people globally. Now, these phones don't have to use the common cell phone bands of the EM spectrum... ...
SRM's user avatar
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18 votes
12 answers
4k views

Potential workings of a device that makes the area around it appear in greyscale?

Basically I'm thinking of a strategy game, something like starcraft, and you have a unit that emits a field that causes the area around it to appear in grayscale. Is there any kind of potential ...
Java Revengeance's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
3k views

Can lodestones be used to magnetize crude iron weapons?

Imagine a setting where humans have to compete with another sentient race, which can only be harmed by magnetized weapons. Humans have only basic technology, and magic is very very rare. Would it be ...
Nightingale's user avatar
14 votes
6 answers
2k views

How would one go about making a subdermal Faraday cage?

Exactly what it says on the tin: how would one go about making a subdermal (i.e. under the skin) Faraday cage? Specifically, are there any physical or biological principles that could be applied to do ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Inducing a Solar Flare

Is there a way to induce a solar flare / coronal mass ejection (CME)? For instance, could a very tight glob of charged particles reconfigure the the Sun's corona leading to this type of event? Is ...
Englishman Bob's user avatar
14 votes
6 answers
885 views

Species that can create magnetic fields

I am trying to come up with an explanation for how a creature could create strong magnetic fields with a high level of control. I'm thinking that their 'writing' would be similar to how computers ...
Kat's user avatar
  • 141
13 votes
13 answers
5k views

Could somebody get temporarily stuck/“glued” to a wall by way of energy or some other force?

My story takes place in the future with advanced technology and I have a torture scene where I need prisoners to be immobilized against a wall—-but not permanently. I’m wondering if it could be done ...
Jay Dee's user avatar
  • 492
13 votes
7 answers
7k views

What size EMP device would be necessary to wipe all data in a Google-sized server farm, without major physical damage?

I'm not sure if it's even feasible, but I have a server farm in my book, of a size that puts it on par with Google's. I want to wipe out all the data stored on the hard drives, without destroying the ...
John S.'s user avatar
  • 233
12 votes
2 answers
5k views

Would nanotechnology-scale devices be vulnerable to EMP?

For the purposes of this question, let's use the definition of nanotechnology from the tag wiki excerpt: "technology that works with sizes of less than 100 nanometres". An EMP can vary in frequency ...
user's user avatar
  • 28.9k
12 votes
3 answers
551 views

What is the most powerful magnetic field a planet could generate?

What is the most powerful magnetic field that could be generated by a planetary object? The measurement of 'powerful' will be field strength ($\mathbf{B}$-field) at the planet's surface, in teslas. ...
kingledion's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
4k views

Could a species evolve a special organ that stores pure energy & allows it to control its own magnetic field?

Could a species, over centuries of evolution, evolve a special organ that stores pure energy and allows it to control its own magnetic field? What possible steps would have to happen for this to occur?...
Jacob wools's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is it possible to use a planet's magnetic field for transportation?

On a planet, a species uses magnets (i.e. float in the air) instead of wheels for transportation. Roads are easy enough, just slap some magnets in it, at it works. But I was wondering about the ...
OneSurvivor's user avatar
  • 3,082
11 votes
2 answers
664 views

How would an earthlike planet be affected by continual EMPs?

Suppose there's an earth-like planet, perhaps even modern day earth itself - and at one point in time, it began to be bombarded by a continual stream of Electromagnetic Pulses. For the sake of ...
Parson's Phone's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

What could make a star violet?

Part of a series I'm starting since the recent What could make a star green? did quite well and others could use the information here in their worlds. There aren't any "violet" stars. When a star ...
Zxyrra's user avatar
  • 20.6k
11 votes
2 answers
410 views

How would a planetary ring react to a magnetic field?

So for the story I'm writing, I'm designing is a gas dwarf with a very strong magnetic field and a planetary ring with a slightly inclined orbit. However, the rocks within the ring are very sensitive ...
Mattias's user avatar
  • 1,430
11 votes
2 answers
299 views

Would interplanetary transmissions in the Wolf 359 star system be detectable by Earth?

Inspired by: How much electromagnetic transmission noise does Earth have to emit to be noticeable? Premise: Assume that the infamous Wolf 359 star system has one habitable planet and a second, ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 124k
10 votes
3 answers
588 views

Could I use a series of magnetic asteroids to create a magnetic field for mars?

If I push a couple of magnetic asteroids into mars gravitational field, could they form an interlocking series of magnetic fields able to protect mars from solar winds? Size limits for asteroids is ...
Clay Deitas's user avatar
  • 4,262
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can we identify distinct "colors" beyond visible light?

Let's talk about the visible light "rainbow" In almost all depictions of the electromagnetic spectrum, visible light is shown as a rainbow, and adjacent parts of the spectrum are monotone in color - ...
Zxyrra's user avatar
  • 20.6k
10 votes
3 answers
946 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 ...
SealBoi's user avatar
  • 14.9k
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Would my compass still work?

Imagine a world with a very wacky magnetic field, the magnetic poles are not aligned at the top of the axial tilt and the sun is active enough to cause huge northern lights each night. I know ...
Liath's user avatar
  • 18.6k
10 votes
2 answers
505 views

What Effect Does Moving the Magnetic Poles of a Planet Have?

On Earth the planet's magnetic poles line up fairly well with the geographic poles. This makes things like navigation very straightforward as all compasses point to (roughly) the north pole. However ...
Liath's user avatar
  • 18.6k
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do I give my planet a stronger magnetic field? Playing with variables

Let's say I have a terrestrial planet superficially like earth, except that it rotates much slower (about 10-15 days per rotation) and its atmosphere is ideally several times thicker. If I want this ...
n_bandit's user avatar
  • 1,140
10 votes
2 answers
331 views

What is a usable formula for determining the necessary strength of a planet’s magnetic field for it to be habitable?

To my understanding, part of the reason life is able to exist on Earth besides its ozone layer is due to its magnetic field, which protects the planet and its life against solar winds and keeps the ...
Pleiades's user avatar
  • 2,280
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can a charged particle as big as a soccer ball create destruction equivalent to an atomic bomb?

Charged particles such as protons are associated with the strong nuclear force and coulombic interactions, but as they're tiny, we can only perceive them through static. If a proton gets as big as a ...
McGucket's user avatar
  • 699
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

Infantry portable coilgun power sources

I am envisioning a weapons team that can carry around a coilgun about the same size as a recoilless rifle. The L55/12.M Crew Served Coilgun from Kaelo Engineering is the newest advancement in ...
Boo Radley's user avatar
  • 1,196
9 votes
3 answers
682 views

How do passive, toggleable magnetic clamps function?

See, I'm a low-g cargo shipper by trade. We get all sorts of containers in all kinds of shapes that we need to fasten to the deck plating, and to do that we use magnetic clamps. Now, these clamps are ...
Joe Bloggs's user avatar
  • 66.4k
9 votes
2 answers
759 views

Under what circumstances will magnetic levitation kill Average Joe?

After the WorldBuilding community helped Average Joe start his own microstate, Joe has become scientifically inclined, and uses his money to conduct somewhat dangerous research projects from his ...
Zxyrra's user avatar
  • 20.6k
9 votes
4 answers
278 views

How could a planet's magnetosphere fail?

I have a hypothetical world in the works and I have a rough idea of what it might be like. My idea is that the planet was life-supporting with a widely varied biosphere. The magnetosphere failed and ...
MintySweeTea's user avatar
  • 1,548
9 votes
1 answer
138 views

Electro-signaling camouflage for animals?

In an aquatic environment that most predators developed shark-like electroreceptive organs, what would be the counteractive measures against it? Copper shells can disguise electric fields, but how it ...
Cauê Moraes's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
379 views

How could a technological society exploit an absurdly strong, permanent magnetic field?

In a previous question on this site I asked about the side effects of a having ludicrously strong, permanent, static magnetic field on the surface of a planet, capable of pulling in non-magnetized ...
rsandler's user avatar
  • 729
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

What is Plausibility of a Megalodon sized creature attacking a human? [closed]

I have a speculative zoology world with large sea creatures. The astrobiologists don't have a submarine, but they have hi-tech scuba suits. I'm wondering about the reasons for why such large creatures ...
New_Archaeoceti_325's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Could a solar flare create terrestrial areas of background radiation?

Inspired by this question from yesterday. Solar flares can give off a large amount of radiation, but on Earth this is typically absorbed before it reaches anywhere but the poles, and even then only ...
Random's user avatar
  • 5,996
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Lodestone Furnace or Forge

I had a thought last night about how to build a more efficient furnace in a fairly low tech society. (I build Games, so this is part of my world mechanics) My question is: How feasible is this idea ...
TolMera's user avatar
  • 248
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

If all the iron and nickel in the inner core was transmuted into gold over two weeks

If some kind of insane wizard began a ritual that would turn the inner core of the earth into gold, what would happen? Over the course of 15 days, the entirety of the core will become gold. Each ...
Piomicron's user avatar
  • 2,299
8 votes
5 answers
760 views

How can I weaponize solar flares?

Could a solar flare be coaxed from a star with a magnetic weapon, possibly by manipulating magnetic reconnection? Could the resulting flare be aimed at a planet (or space fleet) with any accuracy? I ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 9,437
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there any way humans could influence whether/when a magnetic pole flip happens?

Are there any actions that humans do that could influence whether a magnetic flip (I believe the proper name is geomagnetic reversal) happens? Are there any ways humans could theoretically influence ...
headshothank's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
280 views

What can temporarily disrupt Earth's magnetosphere?

I'm trying to find some type of space weather or other natural occurrences that would result in the intensity of Earth's magnetic field dropping for a few hours to maybe a week or two at most. ...
C. Hess's user avatar
  • 546
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are the specific effects of an EMP on electronics?

Within the next decade or two, Earth is attacked by an alien fleet. The various militaries have some forewarning and are able to destroy the attackers by launching most of their nuclear arsenal at the ...
The Dark Canuck's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
267 views

How much of a star can be covered in starspots?

Many stars, including the Sun, periodically display starspots, cooler areas of the surface associated with higher local concentrations of the stellar magnetic field. They can sometimes be a couple ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can the human body hypothetically be magnetized/magnetically aligned?

I was thinking about how an MRI uses a strong magnetic field to align the spins of hydrogen atoms in the body. What I was wondering about was if the human body experienced a magnetic field much ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 369
8 votes
4 answers
587 views

Can this unique planet be colonized?

In the story I'm writing, a gas dwarf (named Eden) is discovered in a triple star system. Its atmosphere is mainly oxygen and water based, and its gravity is slightly higher than Earth's. Unlike our ...
Mattias's user avatar
  • 1,430

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