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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.

6
votes
2answers
130 views

Contamination of orbital warehouses

So I'm thinking about orbital warehousing of raw materials but I'm wondering whether one would actually need an orbital structure to store the goods inside or could you just strap a booster to the ...
2
votes
4answers
365 views

How to identify a new species?

If a parasitic creature was discovered, how would officials determine whether that parasite was a new species or an existing parasitic species? How long would that process take? Assume the species ...
3
votes
2answers
247 views

Can there be a naturally occuring superfluid?

Is there any way for a planet to host, even a tiny amount, of matter in a superfluid form, without outside intervention, given that Helium-4 becomes a superfluid below 2.17K, and that according to ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How to design a zero-g nuclear reactor?

My worldbuilding involves a reasonably near-future, high-realism space station research outpost, and I'd like it to be powered by a nuclear reactor. However, I need as much detail on the actual ...
-2
votes
1answer
133 views

Alternative flight [closed]

For the last couple years I been trying to find a semi realistic way of flight for my story's world compared to the 'normal' way of doing it (Say like using jet engines). Mind you these is a world ...
1
vote
3answers
325 views

What practical issues might prevent making a conventional-explosives bomb-powered spacecraft?

Project Orion was a project to construct a spacecraft that rode the shockwaves of nuclear blasts as a form of propulsion, but the project was abandoned because of budget cuts, environmental concerns, ...
4
votes
4answers
396 views

New armour development for hard sci-fi novel

So I'm writing a story (set well into the future and on a different, but similar to Earth planet colonised by humans) and as part of it I am including specs and designs for the armour that the ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

Igniting Jupiter [duplicate]

One of the defining moments in the book and film 2001 A Space Oddesey is when Jupiter is converted into a star, thus bringing its various moons into play as habitable worlds. Arthur C Clarke was a ...
3
votes
3answers
258 views

Will my bird likely be able to fly in this atmosphere on this planet?

I'm working on a species of large bird, and trying to determine whether they will be able to fly or not. I know that this equation likely applies: $$ A = \cfrac{L}{\cfrac{1}{2} v^2 \rho C_L} $$ ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

expert (early) musketmen vs expert archers, who wins? [closed]

I have two sides in a conflict, one utilizing a larger, highly trained, military of soldiers and archers. This side is invading (crossing a large body of water, with appropriate logistical hurdles ...
4
votes
2answers
912 views

What would it take to set the atmosphere aflame? [duplicate]

This question came to me when I was watching a video about Nuclear weapons, which said that scientists at the time were worried that these weapons would set THE ATMOSPHERE ITSELF AFLAME. So naturally, ...
6
votes
2answers
157 views

Maximizing the vertical range of livable air pressure

In Larry Niven's short story "Bordered in Black", there's a planet (Sirius B-IV) with much lower gravity than Earth. As a result, the planet has a gentler atmospheric pressure gradient, i.e., the air ...
8
votes
2answers
218 views

Feasibility of causing a head to explode using infrasound only

I am creating a creature which uses infrasound to immobilize prey and I have done a little bit of research on the effects of Infrasound on animals, finding that 177 dB with a frequency between 0.5 to ...
1
vote
2answers
200 views

Can haptic holograms be used to make something akin to a holodeck?

If the holograms are really advanced like the hologram of Snoke in The Force Awakens and they are haptic, which means you can feel them, can they be used to make an immersive virtual reality ...
2
votes
3answers
267 views

A predator that uses an airborne chemical to make prey not be afraid of it

There is a predator that lives in the forest. It is roughly the size of a large bear, and moves quite slowly - a person could outrun it at a light jog. Nor is it agile - although its arms and jaws ...
1
vote
3answers
240 views

Spherical shape Galaxy - Is it possible or not? [closed]

can galaxies exist in spherical form? If yes, can you tell me how is it possible and whats the size limit of such galaxy If no, what is the reason it can't form spherical shape? BONUS: How will you ...
3
votes
4answers
234 views

How would a neutron star affect the habitability of planets orbiting a companion star?

A star system consisting of two stars forms, with one being more massive. As such, the larger star soon exhausts its fuel and ends up as a neutron star. The secondary star has a semi-major axis of 700 ...
6
votes
1answer
272 views

Please help me calculate acceptable planet sizes & eclipse shadows cast by my binary planet system

I've been reading here for a little while, but this is my first question. I am trying to come up with either a concrete set of numbers for a single answer for a binary planet system, or a simple ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Color of the sky

I know the default will be blue, but just HOW blue, i.e., wavelength in nanometers? I have a world with the following stats: Radius: 4628 km. Mass: .35 Earth (2,09076 x 10^24 kg). Atmospheric ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

What land animal a large pack of trained war dogs can't kill? [closed]

With late XXI century tech, wildlife replication is becoming commonplace. Dodos? Small dinosaurs are piece of cake. Dinosaurs? Large birds are big to deal with, but doable. So long you get a viable ...
5
votes
5answers
216 views

How can a world with an extremely thick, microbe-rich atmosphere avoid global warming problems?

The sun is perfectly fine, but for generations, not a single human has seen sunlight. Earth is completely covered in black fog, reaching high up into the atmosphere, so that not even skyscrapers can ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

Could life develop in this ternary sytem?

Here is a link to an online animation of stars' movements in a trinary system. Basically, the three stars are orbiting around a barycenter; one (yellow in the animation, mass = 1) closer to it and ...
9
votes
2answers
977 views

Smallest Black Hole to 'heat' a Gas Giant

So I want a large power source to heat my new real estate on the Jovian moons. I create a micro black hole (MBH), maybe a few kg, maybe more and drop it into Jupiter. I expect the following to happen [...
-1
votes
1answer
191 views

Dropping a Micro Black Hole into a Gas Giant [duplicate]

Update: Joe Kissling raised some important objections in the comments - I'll play about a bit with black hole masses and update my question accordingly - any answer along similar lines might be ...
2
votes
2answers
197 views

How can one convince someone from the past that one really can transmute elements at-will? [closed]

The alchemists of legend and yore sought to transmute elements, among other things -- the classical "lead into gold", for one. Nowadays, we've figured out the nuclear physics required for ...
-1
votes
1answer
3k views

How much blood is needed to forge a sword?

Blood of most vertebrates contains hemoglobin, which contains iron. I've imagined a world where someone once had a seemingly stupid idea of using blood as a source of iron. Now, the world is ...
11
votes
5answers
623 views

How fast can dungeons be covered and how low can they sink?

My plot is to have temples,castles and cities built on top of the remains of previous structures repeatedly to create a multi-level underground dungeon. My goal is to figure out how many levels this ...
3
votes
3answers
192 views

what type of head anatomy would simians evolve

The end goal is to have human like beings with vestigial horns or antlers, but I am unsure of what types of horns they should be. Apparently there are three type of horn: living horn-bony ...
0
votes
2answers
170 views

How would an extrasolar spaceship communicate with Earth?

Given modern technology, what kind of bandwidth could you expect for communication with an extrasolar spaceship? For example, is HD video possible? Is it safe to assume it would vary by distance? Or ...
15
votes
1answer
719 views

Could this Very Specific Dragon Fly?

For starters, allow me to define more carefully what I am asking. For now I am not worried about any of the following, as if this question is answered they will be covered in later questions: Bones ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Can midcourse flip pose danger at relativistic speeds?

Consider an interstellar spaceship. It is a rather classical design, somewhat similar to the ISS Venture Star from Avatar: http://james-camerons-avatar.wikia.com/wiki/...
7
votes
2answers
350 views

Can a sounds frequency stun?

This is in reference to Could an organism have evolved to kill its prey by shouting at it? However, most answers here speak towards the brute force side of the equation, measure by it's decibel level....
3
votes
3answers
276 views

Powering a starship with solar cells

For a while now I've been building a science fiction world and I've been thinking what would be a feasible way to power a large ship capable of interstellar travel. I've always disliked the idea on a ...
2
votes
1answer
343 views

How many giant ants would it take to carry an adult/ how big does a single ant have to be to lift an adult? [closed]

Im writing a story about a less evolved world where a giant ant colony takes in a stranded stranger. In a world where ants are the size of a small tarantula, how many ants would it take to lift/...
3
votes
2answers
192 views

Would the sudden creation of a super-suit cause noticeable wind?

Using my world changing invention and my massive intellect I have created the perfect defensive tool for myself and any minions valued friends I deem might need one. The tool is a super suit that ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

How quickly can I form a mountain chain?

I'm designing a world, and I want it to have major geological changes over a short period of time. This includes continental drift, which I'm assuming should have some interesting results. In ...
6
votes
2answers
382 views

Spatial dimensions with non-equivalent dimensional eigenvalues

Our universe is described as having three physical dimensions, plus one time dimension, where the eigenvalues for the physical dimensions are all the same, but the eigenvalue for time is opposite (x, ...
-3
votes
2answers
127 views

On the deflection of really big laser beams [closed]

So, lets say that for one reason or another, I have a Petawatt laser pointed at me, and nothing but a small, high quality, hand mirror to deflect it. Ignoring the obvious problems of firing a ...
0
votes
4answers
273 views

Can this food give off enough energy to melt metal?

I'm currently writing a story, but however I'm having trouble with one part. The hero is faced with a situation where he has to create a fire strong enough melt 5 kg of copper, and he only has a match ...
0
votes
1answer
466 views

Our Granite and Basalt vs. Their Granite and Basalt [closed]

Earth is constructed of two different rocks--continental granite and oceanic basalt. In an alternate Earth, this is granite... ...and this is basalt. As you can see here, the proportions of mineral ...
10
votes
1answer
245 views

Nuclear rockets and EMPs

Nuclear rockets, or as I like to think of them, "half way between a continuous small atomic explosion and reactor whose front fell off". There are many variants, and my aliens are using relative ...
0
votes
3answers
397 views

e=0. What Does That Mean for the Seasons?

Currently, Earth's eccentricity (orbital shape) is 0.0167086. Zero is a perfect circle whereas One is parabolic escape orbit and any greater becomes a hyperbola. And in the theory of the ...
3
votes
5answers
480 views

Virtual particles as propellant

I've read that even in a "perfect" vacuum, matter exists in the form of virtual particles that spontaneously pop into existence only to be immediately annihilated. This suggests to me that it might be ...
0
votes
4answers
3k views

What would be the effect of a .50 caliber bullet firing at 4,800 km/h hitting a human body? [closed]

In my Story currently there are magnetic revolvers only usable by those with enhanced strength, but I need to know what the impact of a bullet travelling faster than average because I know that there ...
3
votes
2answers
236 views

Recipe For the 300-Mile Wide Crater

66 million years ago, a space bomb ten kilometers, or six miles, wide raced through the atmosphere at 20 kilometers per second and landed on the Gulf of Mexico at an angle of 90 degrees. The result ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

In The Event One Wants a Gas Titan in His Worldbuilding Story

In recent years, we have discovered exoplanets that defy our traditional perspectives on how planets work. WASP-17b is twice as wide as Jupiter, yet half as massive, probably because of its orbital ...
2
votes
3answers
434 views

What technology can create water on an airless, desert planet?

Planet has these characteristics: Half of the planet is always on day, and other half is always night (it rotates at the same velocity as its orbit) There are no underground water sources; it's all ...
3
votes
3answers
286 views

Is there any way we could “see” smells?

I was thinking about making up a visor like Batman has in the Arkham series, where he "analyzes" a sample and then he can set a filter on his visor for particles of that compound. Something like ...
3
votes
1answer
882 views

Microphone implanted in and powered by the body

In an effort to reduce the murder rate I want to greatly increase the chances of getting caught. To do so I invented a device that will record your last words (and potential the murderer's and your ...
-4
votes
5answers
561 views

What would the composition of an “indestructible” material be?

I'm currently working on a Sci-Fi setting for my friends to use in a campaign (my friend is GM but he's too lazy to come up with a setting so I offered to do it), I've already worked out the minor ...