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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.

44
votes
6answers
9k views

Can I use a trebuchet to launch satellites into space from a lunar colony?

I've got a lunar colony that struggles to obtain resources, so they're looking for ways to launch satellites into orbit without using up a bunch of rocket fuel. One plucky engineer has suggested ...
5
votes
2answers
174 views

Deep Space Communication Infrastructure

What kind of technology would be required for a space travelling civilization to have an effective communication system or network that is similar in speed to the telegram? How would it work? This is ...
8
votes
7answers
705 views

Could I have an earth-like planet from which sun and moon would never be simultaneously visible?

On earth there can be hours where the moon is up during the same time the sun is in the sky (daytime moon) due to the combined rotation of earth and orbit of the moon. I would like to have an earth-...
4
votes
4answers
513 views

How would the US re-conquer a Moon Base?

The year is 2030. The US has set up a moon base with about 2,000 people. The base can theoretically survive indefinitely, growing it's own food and 3d-printing supplies, but in practice it needs ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

How much liquid hydrogen to stop neutron radiation?

I have a spaceship that's powered by an efficient hydrogen fusion drive, but the drive outputs a large amount of dangerous neutron radiation as a side effect, and those neutrons are not captured and ...
0
votes
1answer
567 views

Azidoazide Azide Storage and Weaponization

AA (azidoazide azide) is a hyper-explosive 14 nitrogen molecule. My questions are: what are some theoretical ways to store it so it doesn't explode on you but on the enemy you throw it at, and what ...
6
votes
3answers
416 views

Replacing Jupiter with a brown dwarf?

This is a purely hypothetical question but I can't find a satisfactory answer to it. Let's say somehow Jupiter collects enough mass to be considered a brown dwarf. Let's assume Jupiter achieves a ...
54
votes
11answers
11k views

How would people conceivably escape a planet too large for chemical rockets?

I was reading this article from NASA about chemical rockets and they argue that, with a planet 50% larger than the Earth (assuming similar density, about 1.5G surface gravity), it would be impossible ...
3
votes
3answers
426 views

Space elevator into a blackhole. Possible?

Inspired by Spaceship orbiting a black hole under the event horizon - a prison where no one escapes, I was wondering if it is possible to make a space elevator that goes down into a black hole. In ...
6
votes
2answers
221 views

The Great Deoxygenation Event

Assume an Earth-like or super-Earth terrestrial planet in a state comparable to Precambrian or Archaen Earth. The atmosphere is mainly nitrogen and carbon dioxide, perhaps some methane, but very ...
5
votes
2answers
825 views

What if a traversable wormhole hits the earth?

So, I the question of what if a black hole hits the earth has been asked to death by various people, but what if the somewhat tamer wormhole hits the Earth? In particular, we'll say that one mouth is ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Fire Hazard of Human Domed Cities on Planet with Methane CO2 Atmosphere?

I'm working on a sci-fi book, and a chapter I'm currently on is about a guerilla attack on a human city on the planet. The outer atmosphere is mostly CO$_2$ and methane. The aliens breathe methane (...
3
votes
1answer
267 views

How can a civilization survive proton decay?

In a very distant future people have survived by slowing the metabolism to extremely long timescales, reducing the energy consumption per time. It is causing thought processes and movements to be ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Lunar maria, always on the side facing the planet?

Suppose we have an Earthlike planet, with a rocky moon orbiting it. Under what conditions would dark lunar maria form on its surface, and would they always be on the side facing the planet? For Earth’...
6
votes
2answers
234 views

Advantages and disadvantages to having 12 DNA bases

So I was curious what would be the advantages and disadvantages to have 12 DNA bases? For example could it be used to store complex memories in an organism, could it cause very complex structure in an ...
5
votes
2answers
164 views

Could gas be harvested from a Chthonian planet?

Chthonian planets are gas giants that orbit their stars so closely, the intense heat from the star strips off the gas giant's atmosphere, leaving behind a tail of gas. This turns the gas giant into ...
5
votes
3answers
792 views

Railguns designs for hand held rifles and spacecraft

I'm writing a book and I want to use rail-guns for advanced space age factions in warfare. I would like to make them as realistic as possible so I did a bit of digging myself, but most of the ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Time dilation due to constantly accelerating drives [closed]

I am writing a story on a civilization that has the ability to make constant accelerating drives. The ships will accelerate with 8g's (heavy worlders) for half of the trip and then de-accelerate for ...
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 ...
-2
votes
3answers
231 views

In a world without aging, how do we age?

EDIT: As it turns out the method I had thought of using to combat aging doesn't work the way I expected. As such I have rethought this question in more vague terms. New Question: Using current ...
7
votes
1answer
234 views

What would Alien Talking Heads sound like?

We know from the International Pronunciation Alphabet (IPA) and the research that gave us the IPA, what sounds typically used in human speech (certainly not all sounds that can be made). This is all ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

Limits of energy generation in mixing animal and plant by-products or storage

In the question of a biological cannon How would a Biological Cannon work? , one option was to use biological by-products for chemical propulsion of the cannon ball. It might have also been propelled ...
7
votes
2answers
393 views

What are the conditions of an Earth-like, water-ball planet?

I'd like to explore some details on a so-called water-ball planet (i.e. a planet in the habitable zone of a sun, covered by a 100 km deep ocean). I am particularly interested where life could develop ...
3
votes
3answers
276 views

The Tree of Youth

There exists a single solitary tree at the mouth of a small river. This tree is basically a fountain of youth, granting immortality to anyone who eats it's grapefruit-sized fruits. As you can ...
7
votes
2answers
317 views

How would I calculate how much of Venus would be covered in water if 8.8E16 m^3 was added to its surface?

If $8.8 \times 10^{16} m^3$ of water volume is added to the surface of Venus, how would I calculate how much of Venus would be covered in water? The land of Venus has its topographical features with ...
9
votes
2answers
459 views

Could you turn the asteroid belt into one giant full spectrum interferometer?

For the purpose of this post, full spectrum means a non-trivial number of frequencies within a non-trivial band. So human eyes aren't full spectrum within the visual range (each cone is wide band, ...
26
votes
9answers
3k views

How would characters find out they were living in a rotating habitat with only medieval tech?

Three natives who study their version of science on the surface of a large rotating habitat located in a cylindrical shape in the space between our solar system and Alpha Centauri, are trying to ...
-4
votes
1answer
112 views

Would it be possible to see large satellites in the sky through the smog in 2145? [closed]

If it's around 2145, given the current rate of climate change (and atmosphereic pollution build-up), would it be possible to see large satellites in the sky? Or would they be completely obscured by ...
9
votes
6answers
845 views

What near-future propulsion system(s) could be employed by my spaceships?

In a near future setting I am working on, humans have built space-habitats and have established colonies on celestial objects such as Luna. Their spaceships cannot go faster-than-light and have their ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Relativistic effects on brains encoded in light

I am trying to build a hard science-fiction world where the interstellar travel might work like this: Travellers bodies are scanned and all relevant information regarding body structure, neural ...
5
votes
3answers
129 views

Lethal Low Pressure Fronts

On a giant 50 mile high volcano, created and sustained by magic, there is extreme weather. Storms, high winds, snow, everything you'd find at the flanks of exceedingly high mountain. Explorers have ...
3
votes
2answers
598 views

Planet with an inactive and connected lithosphere?

As you know, Earth has active and moving techtonic plates known as the lithosphere. They float on the asthenosphere and slowly move about. Here's my question: Can a planet with a hot molten core have ...
3
votes
3answers
180 views

Is it possible to augment the human body's muscles or nerves to simulate weight and force?

Decades in the future, people have been able to augment their own sensory inputs in their brains and nerves to feel, see, taste and touch things that are not really there. Also, they can modify their ...
13
votes
10answers
2k views

Is using thermal energy an effective method to powering an implanted tracking device?

So in this world somewhere in distant future. The government has created I.D Chips that are designed to be biologically implanted into its own citizens. To ensure extra "security" and also act as a ...
24
votes
5answers
1k views

Plausible biological alternative for normal photosynthesis

People have been trying to imagine elaborate alien biologically possible ecosystems for a while. A lot of people seem to both want but ignore one of those fundamental aspects of our own ecosystem, ...
-1
votes
3answers
147 views

Speeding up the Processing power with a physical human brain possible? [closed]

I heard possibilities of enhancing the framerate of the human mind to "see" slower. With Cybernetic augmentation, would it be possible to do this with-IN a simulated world? If so, how faster? Also I ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

Does oxygen have the power to heal people? [closed]

I have come to notice that oxygen is used in medicine (hyperbaric chamber) to support fast recovery of bone's fractures, wounds and even cancer. Moreover, according some studies and publications ...
5
votes
5answers
271 views

Could Using Technology to monitor the thoughts of a human mind be possible?

I had this one idea of having the government create chips that monitor the thoughts of prison inmates as a way of preventing future crimes. At the same time still, give them a degree of freedom and ...
3
votes
2answers
181 views

No More Looking from the Same Side of a Mostly Liquid Surface Terrestrial-based Moon

Section 1: Non-Duplicate Proofs. Section 2: Background, THE QUESTION, and Useful Info. Section 3: Other cited ways of preventing. Section 4: Sources and Additional Resources. Section 5: TL;DR ...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

Need help / advice building a habitable body for a book

Information and Context I'm working on a story, based 220 or so years in the future in a hard-science universe (where a quantum jump drive has been invented). I was wondering if anyone could give me ...
3
votes
1answer
270 views

Would it be possible to have a small black hole dissipate as it 'sinks' into the earth?

I recently watched this Kurzgesagt video exploring the question of what would happen if you had a black hole the size of a coin. To summarize the video: A black hole with the MASS of a coin would ...
1
vote
8answers
209 views

Sea/Air fighters using current/near future tech?

The Setting I'm doing background work on a story involving a civilization about as advanced as ours materiologically. A significant part of their military operates along the continental shelf zone ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

Exoplanets geology [closed]

Science fiction sometimes plays with the concept of a planet with different geological structure than earth (for instance traveling through liquid water core in Star Wars) yet such imaginations often ...
4
votes
2answers
334 views

How will a dust storm affect infrared sensors such as thermal imaging?

The situation: the good guys are attempting to infiltrate an enemy base, and cause mayhem either in person and/or by planting explosives and running away. They know there is a big dust storm on the ...
1
vote
8answers
375 views

How could an earth like planet increase the amount of oxygen in the air

How could the amount (total mass) of oxygen be increased on a planet like Earth (with a similar atmospheric composition), preferably by natural processes? For the sake of having a ballpark number, ...
4
votes
5answers
320 views

What drives would make Casual Interplanetary Travel possible?

I am currently trying to make a world that has casual interplanetary commutes with near future technology (within one century); so, to find a reasonable top speed for crafts in my interplanetary world,...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

At what rate would this renaissance-esqe mining operation proceed?

There is a group of people with about renaissance-level technology clearing out underground granite. They have no access to work animals. 700 men are working at any given time. Mining Using ...
8
votes
10answers
934 views

Where to place my space-station so it observes one full planetary revolution per 24 hours?

For a SciFi project I work on I have a space-station orbiting earth that uses an 8 hour 3 shift system for its staff. Each shift is assigned to one-third of the countries and organizations on earth - ...
3
votes
3answers
290 views

White Dwarf mining?

This is a follow-up to Neutron Star mining. Assuming that problem can be solved, it would eventually degenerate to something similar to this case. And if it can't, white dwarfs seem like the next best ...
4
votes
2answers
799 views

Diamond as a building material

So lots of Sci-fi works use mono-crystalline diamond as a wonder material used to build all sorts of impressive and in some cases seemingly impossible structures, I'd like to ask about the science of ...