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Questions tagged [hard-science]

Requires answers backed up by equations, empirical evidence, scientific papers, other citations, etc. Contrast with: science-based and reality-check tags. This tag should never be the only tag on a question because this tag frames how a question should be answered, not the topic. Review the tag info before using this tag, and flag your question for moderator attention once posted to have the hard-science notice added.

-1
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2answers
134 views

Could implanting false memories change someone's perception immediately? [on hold]

This question is about how the brain works in that aspect, if it's even known. I mean with the question that a person might react to something with fear, happiness, disappointment, or whatever other ...
2
votes
1answer
321 views

Splitting the atom with a hammer

In a world of superheroes the job of blacksmith is given to the very strongest of them. Question Is splitting an atom in a human-scale piece of work by using a human-scale tool even theoretically ...
6
votes
1answer
103 views

Feasibility of an Antimatter-Catalysed Ram Augmented Interstellar Rocket (AC-RAIR)

A fictional starship that I am designing functions via a form of Bussard ramjet that uses hydrogen from the interstellar medium as reaction mass, not as fuel. In order to accelerate the propellant, ...
6
votes
2answers
243 views

How hot is my dragon?

Little side project on fantasy story with dragons (or wyverns to be exact, but they're equivalent for the purpose). I have dragons roaming the country side, laying waste and ruin in their wake. As ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

How can spacecraft manufactured on the moon be powered?

Background: The moon has been selected as the base for human space exploration. Rather than ship tonnes of material out of earth's gravity well, interplanetary spacecraft and space stations will be ...
10
votes
2answers
278 views

Bouncing Beads of Blood - Just how cold would it have to be?

My heroine has been stabbed - run through the abdomen by a foot-long dagger - and is bleeding to death. She is currently crawling toward her salvation through a very cold place. She is magically ...
10
votes
1answer
221 views

Could the equator of a world be a closed-time like loop?

Most works of fiction have quite imaginative views of time travel. Mighty machines that teleport in time instead of space. Gaping portals in space that take you to another time. Mystical beings with a ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

Build a real life Flash - How to create the speedforce in real life?

In DC's TV-series (and comics), Barry Allen is The Flash: a superhero powered by the speed-force. This speed-force allows him to move incredibly fast, can be transferred to others, and there also ...
18
votes
2answers
436 views

The mass of an economically feasible non-microscopic traversable wormhole

Background In my hard sci-fi settings, there is an advanced Type II Civilization, that are progressing toward Type III Civilization (yes, I am referring to Kardashev Scale). They are sprawling across ...
11
votes
3answers
740 views

How could a vampire pathogen operate in hard science fiction?

While the vampire is a monster of folklore, modern technothrillers (e.g. Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency, Ultraviolet, Blade, Underworld, Daybreakers) have portrayed vampires as humans infected by a ...
0
votes
2answers
228 views

If a Mount Everest-sized mountain had Earth's sea level atmospheric pressure at the top, what would the atmospheric pressure be at sea level?

I'm designing a world with earthlike gravity where the human colonists are intended to live on top of a gigantic shield volcano as tall as Mount Everest. What would the pressure be at the bottom? ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

What will it cost me to travel through Time? (Part 1: Travelling forwards in Time - Time Dilation)

There are many questions on Worldbuilding about what item(s) a time traveller should take back in time in order to alter past events or even simply to survive. There has never as far as I know been ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

How would floating islands work? [duplicate]

Soaring among the clouds over an earth-like planet, islands... on which fortresses are built for strategic advantage, on which stations for the dragon air force are built, and which can be relatively ...
6
votes
3answers
199 views

Effects of Explosive Decompression on the Human Body?

Many science fiction stories, movies, and shows involve characters undergoing explosive decompression, the technical term for a rapid drop in pressure, usually all the way to a vacuum. Frequently, ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

Beer Goggles in the Antarctic

Background A large colony lives in the Antarctic in a network of bases. They have so far evaded the dreadful worldwide plague. When they venture outside their base they don their climate-proof ...
35
votes
5answers
7k views

Can a planet survive a supernova?

The Sun has nowhere near enough mass to enter the branch of stellar evolution that would lead to a supernova, fortunately for us. However, there are planets that orbit stars that are destined to go ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

A Decoy Planet made of expanded polystyrene. How big can I make it?

Note: This is different from the previous question Building a full-sized Lego Earth - what would it look like at various levels?. In that case it was about making a solid full-size Earth from Lego and ...
1
vote
2answers
240 views

Can a planet's atmosphere be in orbit around the planet? [duplicate]

Imagine a planet somewhat like Saturn except that its rings are its atmosphere instead of rocks and ice. Is this theoretically possible? (a) If so, what conditions would need to be true and what ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Why would a male marsiupial agree to accept responsibility for carrying half of his mate's joeys?

I'm looking to create a species of marsupial that is heavily K select, which is to say they put significant effort into raising their young after birth (both of them :P ) in which both the male and ...
5
votes
3answers
536 views

Ideal size for a relativistic generation ship?

Assuming the ship has access to fusion power, a large volume of solar panels, and crude antimatter power generators (say maybe 1 gram a day per generator, or whatever is reasonable for technological ...
7
votes
2answers
131 views

Calculating an eccentric enough orbit to allow a dip into atmosphere and escape again

How would I calculate if it is possible to have an eccentric enough orbit around a gas giant to dip the periapsis some depth(how deep?) into the atmosphere of a gas giant like Jupiter or Saturn and ...
5
votes
5answers
274 views

Ultrapowerful chemical propellant for guns

I'm building a moderately hard scifi future setting that focuses on space and land warfare and I'm trying to decide what would be the most realistic from an engineering standpoint of artillery tech ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Counteracting Perverse Incentive effects in 1902 Hanoi rat population

A perverse incentive is a reward system that has the opposite effect to the one intended. In Hanoi, under French colonial rule, a program paying people a bounty for each rat tail handed in was ...
4
votes
3answers
348 views

Building a full-sized Lego Earth - what would it look like at various levels?

Lego representations of Earth have been made at various scales, for example this one: Suppose Slartibartfast made a full-size Earth from Lego (including the oceans being represented as solid blocks. ...
31
votes
10answers
8k views

In theory, could all mammals be wiped out by a single pathogen?

Pathogen Note: For the purpose of this question I define a pathogen to include viruses and/or bacteria. Edit: I don't exclude other biological agents such as fungi that might have the same effect. ...
8
votes
7answers
397 views

A possible solution to stealth in space

I'm sure most worldbuilders will have heard the aphorism that in space "Everyone sees Everything", or that "There Ain't No Stealth In Space". I'd like to propose a possible solution to this. The ...
3
votes
3answers
223 views

A planet that cannot be orbited [duplicate]

I'm wondering if it is possible for a planet to be impossible to orbit stably over a significant length of time. The shorter the length of time the planet can be orbited for, the better. It should ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Square thrusters on spaceships

My question is pretty basic, would square thrusters and RCS ports have any real drawbacks over round ones? I know that angles on windows for airplanes is a problem because of the pressure, so I don't ...
77
votes
17answers
17k views

Would a 'World Tree' be feasible in real life?

A livescience.com article claims that trees can reach a theoretical height of 400 to 426 feet (122 to 130m). This is due to the tree being unable to carry water up to the top at that certain point due ...
5
votes
3answers
133 views

Could Multicellular Life Evolve Sans Cryogenian?

Prior to the Cambrian, there have been three separate ice ages--the Huronian, from 2.4 to 2.1 billion years ago; and the two Cryogenian ice ages, from 720 to 635 million years ago, split in such by a ...
8
votes
2answers
135 views

Tolerable range of surface gravities for interplanetary colonists?

Human physiology is adapted for life at 1G, but planets colonised by future humans will likely have different surface gravities. What is the range of values for surface gravity that humans can ...
6
votes
1answer
303 views

What size would a planet have to be such that I could throw a tennis ball into orbit?

If I was affixed to the surface of some solid spherical body in space (so as to ignore effects like me floating away), would it be possible for me to throw a tennis ball so that it went into orbit ...
0
votes
2answers
180 views

What is the limit of an immortal being's memory? [closed]

-In my story, my main character comes across an immortal being, chained and isolated under a mountain for countless years; subsequently losing memories from her past over time, while still being ...
10
votes
4answers
221 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 ...
29
votes
13answers
6k views

Can a planet have a day that's always longer than night?

This question has been rewritten to incorporate all clarifications. On Earth, half the planet is illuminated at any time (let's ignore eclipses). Axial tilt lets day lengths vary, but over the course ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Are Planets with mainly one climate Biome Plausible? [duplicate]

So i'll start by saying it feels like a somewhat stupid question in the sense that the answer is no, but im wondering if (for back story of races in a story) its realistically possible for a planet to ...
23
votes
4answers
679 views

Could Earth and the Moon be the same size?

Many questions on this site hypothesize about two planets in close orbit of each other, each developing their own civilizations. How feasible is that? Some 4.5 billion years ago Theia, a planetary ...
9
votes
1answer
121 views

What are the fundamental limitations of echolocation in Earth's atmosphere?

I'm writing a cyberpunk novel where one of the characters has an augmentation that allows them to echolocate. The idea is that there is a device on the center of his forehead (is there a more optimal ...
7
votes
1answer
617 views

Hot rods into space!

Based on this question about an impossible barbell planet, how hot would the bar be if it extended from halfway in the Earth's mantle to an altitude of 2r of Earth's radius? The diameter of the bar ...
13
votes
5answers
462 views

Solar recycling or: How to keep your star from dying

I was in the shower the other day thinking about the sun going Nova, you know...like you do, and a thought occurred to me: Could you turn the sun into a stable, mostly closed system? Some details ...
10
votes
2answers
942 views

What sort of acceleration would I need for my space ship to reach Eris in 3 months

I have been working on a sci-fi story for a little while now, and have recently discovered that I made a very big error in assuming the position of Eris. The main issue is that I had forgotten to take ...
-3
votes
6answers
428 views

Can magnetism be what causes my flat Earth to accelerate?

It has been determined by observation of the stars that the gravity on Flat Earth is due to it accelerating upwards at 1G. This is what holds people and objects to the surface. It has also been ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Approaches that could be used to define a given bacterial strain as a new species [closed]

I would like to know what are the possible approaches a scientist could use to identify a given bacterial strain as a new species.
9
votes
6answers
513 views

What kind of human music do badger-folk like?

Okay, so now that we've established that the badger folk (or Melinae sapien, if you want to be politically correct) are trading their ore to the humans for cat food. Now we need to determine what ...
5
votes
1answer
110 views

Explaining a Low-Mass Brown Dwarf

Considering the well-established relationships between stellar mass, surface temp, and luminosity, how unusual would it be to find a star (or brown dwarf) that possesses about half the mass of an ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Visual Cortex, superficial Brain Implant - Biological feasibility

In another question Everybody has a brain implant. What measures can a criminal take to escape justice? I assumed that a brain implant would be possible in the future for surveillance. In this ...
6
votes
2answers
279 views

Is a Titan-like planet with Earth-like gravity plausible?

For my hard sci-fi story, I would like to have a planet similar to Titan (very cold, nitrogen atmosphere, methane seas) but with a surface gravity in the region of 1g. Could this occur, or would the ...
0
votes
7answers
265 views

What are the options to incorporate teleportation in my story in a realistic fashion that adheres to the laws of physics?

I'm currently outlining my science fiction novel which deals with humanity reaching Type 3 civilization status. My goal is to place an emphasis on hard science fiction while featuring fantastic ...
27
votes
6answers
7k views

Would one atom of antimatter be lethal if annihilated inside the brain?

I am dealing with a dystopian story that tries to come up with some kind of total surveillence or control from higher authorities. The authorities threaten to kill those who disobey them by simply ...
14
votes
5answers
495 views

How much energy did it take for God to part the Red Sea?

EDIT Why this is a world-building query. If I had framed this as, "In my world where magic requires the expenditure of energy, a powerful wizard decides to open a path through a large lake,etc. The ...