Questions tagged [energy]

For questions about sources of power, generation, storage, how much is needed to perform different tasks, etc.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
15
votes
5answers
884 views

How might kinetosynthesizing “plants” look?

Suppose that there is a moon, orbiting a gas giant, and that gas giant is a rogue planet - it moves freely through the universe, unbound by the gravity of a star. This means that one, the moon will ...
40
votes
19answers
4k views

With current technology, what would be the best way to store energy for future generations?

Let's say that the world has successfully converted and only depends on renewable resources for our home energy needs. In fact, we have a massive surplus - currently in the form of raw electricity ...
9
votes
4answers
812 views

No sunlight, just high-energy radiation?

Is it possible for a planet to have very little visible-light energy and receive enough energy to support life from ionising radiation? Dim light, including starlight and ionized-air glow is ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Energy manipulating superhero — how would it work

I want to make a superhero that can control all forms of energy. From what I've heard you can do a lot like, manipulate time and space, open blackholes, teleport, shape shift, and manipulate matter. ...
96
votes
26answers
30k views

How to survive the heat death of the universe?

The eventual heat death of the universe is an awful time to be alive considering you wouldn't have long left after the last star finally fades away. In this scenario there is a small group of about a ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Energy source for a generation ship

A generation ship was sent out a long time ago, to colonize a far away planet. However the ship failed to reach its goal due to navigational issues (which also means they didn't have any clue where in ...
25
votes
11answers
4k views

How would relatively cheap and abundant (but not free or limitless) electrical energy at an up-front cost impact society?

A group of scientists has been slaving away largely in obscurity for two decades, with very few publishable results. Suddenly, one of them has an epiphany, which turns out to be instrumental to ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the caloric requirement of a fire spell?

Let's take this image as our fireball in question: And let's further assume that it travels about 30 meters before burning out (twice the range of a WWII flamethrower) and travels at the speed of 20 ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Organic Material able to store massive amounts of energy?

I am looking for a (at least somewhat) plausible organic matter, which is able to store massive amounts of energy. After reading up on biobatteries and so on, I am aware that I would need something ...
2
votes
3answers
217 views

Energy gain/loss of using synthesized antimatter as a fuel?

Setting aside concerns of containment for now; how much energy would it take to create antimatter? And how much of it would we get back using it as a fuel in a matter-antimatter reactor? What I'm ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the implications for society if perpetual motion was possible? [closed]

Assuming perpetual motion was possible, what influence would that have on society? Would the ready availability of energy help the current third-world? Would that even exist given how history would be ...
80
votes
16answers
11k views

Can stars that are not powered by nuclear fusion exist?

Stars generate their energy by fusing lighter elements into heavier elements. The most common reaction in Sun-like stars is the conversion of hydrogen to helium via the proton-proton chain, but ...
22
votes
7answers
1k views

Power plants — literally

It is well known that some organisms can produce electricity. Therefore I think it would not be too much of a stretch to assume that also some plants might have evolved that ability (after all, it ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Solar flares: “the week the earth stood still”

I've been hearing and reading about that solar flare in 2012 that could have sent us back to the 18th century, by causing huge geomagnetic storms which would have prevented (every?) electricity-based ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

A Trillion Unruly Gods

Imagine that we live in a setting where there are a trillion humans (see linked question). A bit crowded, I know. Further imagine that at least the entire energy output of the Sun was available to ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the main problems with beaming light from the Sun to Saturn?

I recently finished reading the Kim Stanley Robinson novel 2312 - set, of course, in the year 2312. Part of the background to the political negotiations and ongoing terraforming in the outer Solar ...
0
votes
1answer
379 views

How much energy does this sun crushing ship, the CrushSun, use?

Useless Backstory "Why are you waking me up Sergeant? And why did we enter near-light speed?" "We received a distress call, and there wasn't enough time to notify you, sir." "What kind of distress ...
6
votes
3answers
277 views

On the viability of living balloons

This is not a question on whether or not floating, balloon-like organisms are biomechanically viable - I already know the answer to that, which is yes. This instead deals with the plausibility of such ...
5
votes
3answers
549 views

Can Earth become a micro Death Star?

Can we harvest the fission energy inside of Earth and produce a energy beam powerful enough to destroy Near Earth Object such as an asteroid? Is this technology probable in the next couple of ...
2
votes
2answers
339 views

Using magnetic repulsion to build zombie-proof building

There has been much thought on how to create a zombie-proof building but I think I have this figured out. I propose a building that covers an area of about one city block, so: 264 x 900 ft, that ...
71
votes
14answers
8k views

How to harness Jupiter's gravitational energy?

I am currently orbiting Jupiter, the rent is pretty cheap and the view is magnificent. However, my former electricity provider refuses to connect me to earth's grid for petty reasons like "are you ...
3
votes
7answers
757 views

What would the industrial age be like without oil and coal?

Consider a civilization with the industrial age technologies. Oil and coal are rare (probably used up). All products produced by oil and coal are also nonexistent. The civilization has invented ...
39
votes
22answers
9k views

What would be the ideal power source for a cybernetic eye?

After nearly a decade of development and public prototypes, the Mizaru company is ready to unveil the cybereye. A fully cybernetic eye that provides its user/host with high definition vision, enhanced ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I feed my black hole?

Strange title I know, but you'll understand why quickly. I wanted to use a black hole to create absurd amounts of power for hopefully obvious reasons (kind of useful). The problem with natural large ...
13
votes
14answers
2k views

What are the risks with massive banks of batteries/capacitors?

In redesigning a large number of my ships, I've decided that having larger ships generate enough power for FTL was too convenient and made balancing the factions varied FTL methods difficult (both for ...
22
votes
17answers
5k views

Shooting an energy beam into the Sun (from the Earth) in order to destroy it

This question is about a fictional scenario where an evil suicidal scientist has built a high-energy weapon somewhere on earth. His intention is to shoot a beam of some form of energy (or high-energy ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Energy in a human body?

I would like to make a magic system that follows the laws of conservation of energy, making it so that you can use magic to do something that you can do physically, like lift things, as well as do ...
7
votes
2answers
287 views

How would technology adoption of Lithium Air battery work?

I want to have a world when humans got serious about global warming and succeeded in making Lithium Air battery work. Since the lithium air has same potential energy density as gas, and electric ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

If Mars contains coal, will it become a dominant source of energy?

In the year 2099 A.D, humans made a major discovery. There is a rich source of fossil fuel buried beneath layers of Martian soil. It is estimated that the coal deposit that was discovered could fill ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Could an animal species evolve to use electricity?

Yesterday I was driving at night on an unlit road (nothing nefarious, I swear), and there was a truck behind me with a ridiculous amount of headlamps on, and catching a glimpse of it in my mirror it ...
11
votes
13answers
6k views

Hypothetical energy source with higher output than Dyson Sphere

For my Science fiction and Fantasy genre book, I need an energy source whose energy output should be much more than even a fully functional Dyson sphere. Can you please suggest some hypothetical ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a way to buy oil from a country under embargo?

I have a situation where a large oil field is discovered in a country ruled by a junta with abysmal human rights records. On the one hand world oil prices are very high, which puts pressure on ...
9
votes
12answers
964 views

Synthesizing fuels with excess energy

Inspired by this question on putting massive capacitor-banks on spaceships I have been wondering about alternative ways to store excess energy from ever-running reactors. In this question I would ...
8
votes
9answers
934 views

If energy is conserved, how much energy do I need to reasonably use skeletons as a tomb defense?

Imagine a world of magic. This magic can do anything you want it to, as long as physics agrees (totally useless addendum: physics is actually a very pendantic guy, but rumour has it his mistresses ...
6
votes
2answers
322 views

A plant/fungus and an animal that form a single species?

Two vastly dissimilar organisms turn out to be the same species upon gene sequencing. In this hypothetical animal species one or more components of the life cycle is a fungus, algae, plant, lichen or ...
6
votes
4answers
363 views

Dyson sphere construction

Often in science fiction, writers attribute the enormous energy capability of an advanced civilization to Dyson spheres. I've never heard of a detailed schematic of how the energy from the star is ...
3
votes
5answers
433 views

Multi-purpose Fictional Chemical Element Needed

I am looking for some guidance in creating a chemical element. I want to know if it is scientifically plausible for a single fictional element to do all the things I need it to, even if at a stretch, ...
3
votes
8answers
859 views

Buying energy from the sun?

How could an organization force solar energy to be bought from them? Something like: A large structure (in space presumably) fully/partly blocks sunlight reaching Earth, so anyone here wishing to ...
3
votes
1answer
259 views

How can an advanced civilization harvest energy from an x-ray binary?

An x-ray binary is a binary star system consisting of a star and a stellar remnant. As matter is ripped from the star and is then accelerated into the neutron star/black hole by its gravity, x-rays ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

What would be the general scientific understanding in a fantasy setting? [closed]

What would be the general understanding of "science" for a Tolkien-style* nation where steam power has yet to be invented, and the discovery of electricity has not been made yet? I am particularly ...
0
votes
3answers
382 views

How does a dragon evolve to harness energy from nuclear source?

Caveat: No cold fusion! Questions Q1: Where can my dragon source for nuclear energy on Earth set in medieval age and how does it convert this energy for fight or flight? Difficulty:⚠ Q2: How can ...
27
votes
12answers
4k views

What is the best way to use my two portals?

To avoid being too broad, I'd like to use the portals for purely altruistic purposes (health, environment, safety), and not for scientific or military acheivement (e.g. - not an instant space elevator,...
12
votes
5answers
460 views

Constant artificial light

Is a scifi setting of constant artificial light everywhere plausible? I'm thinking to the point that the average adult person has not gone out of a city and has no experience of general darkness (...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How much power can you send via a laser through the atmosphere without catastrophic effects?

Assuming that you had: some sort of amazing power plant on the moon that can create an unlimited amount of power a similarly amazing solar panel on earth that can receive an unlimited amount of power ...
9
votes
3answers
865 views

Feasibility of Capturing Hydrogen from the Solar wind

Solar wind density is very low even at Venus it is only 10 or so H+ ions per cm$^3$ but it is moving at a brisk clip of 400 km/s for the slow wind and 750 or so for the fast wind. So (feel free to ...
8
votes
6answers
452 views

How to explain lack of fosil fuels on an Earth-like exoplanet?

Planet - habitable, tidally locked planet orbitting red dwarf. Aim: a realistic answer (neither involving handwavium nor aliens that used it all) why a virgin planet that already experienced a while ...
7
votes
18answers
705 views

Disabling a spaceship while leaving it repairable?

I'm looking for a weapon a ship can carry that can disable a ship without any permanent damage to its subsystems or significant hull breaches. This will mostly be used by pirate factions (capturing a ...
6
votes
2answers
239 views

I cast my stop-time spell and really, really, really want to punch my sworn enemy - which of these two scenarios is more believable?

I spent my life, my fortune, my family connections... I sold my children into slavery and my soul to Ilnarren... Wanted posters hang from from the Abyss of Shrondir to the expanse of d'o (most ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

How long would it take for nuclear energy to become adopted in a world on the brink of collapse?

For reference, I'm going with the accepted answer given here: How would technology adoption of Lithium Air battery work?. In my world, it makes sense that governments would be very interested in ...
4
votes
4answers
834 views

Would it be possible to “teleport” energy?

This is for a storyline that I have been building. Currently, scientists are able to teleport spin cubits in laboratory conditions. This is often mentioned in connection with information transfer. ...