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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.

2
votes
1answer
336 views

Would it be possible to create “Hard Light” out of photons and similar particles? [duplicate]

Let me clarify what I'm asking if you don't understand. I am asking if it would be possible to create an object [any object (preferably a sword)] out of photons and (if needed) other particles. when ...
4
votes
4answers
215 views

How to alter the atmosphere as to make aerospace engines highly volatile?

When thinking about a potential answer to this question about preventing flight in a cyberpunk dystopia, I had an idea that I do no possess sufficient knowledge to prove/disprove.  Thus you'll be ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
259 views

Is an interstellar clock orbitally possible?

A Kardashev Type III civilisation has need of a long-scale timepiece, and as such has arranged a series of planets around a black hole such that their orbital periods can be used to tell the time in ...
5
votes
1answer
386 views

A localized artificial magnetosphere for Mars

Mars has a couple of problems with regards to colonization such as lack of atmosphere, lack of magnetosphere, weak sunlight, and a few others. Of concern in this question is how to shield human ...
5
votes
1answer
251 views

How would gravity work in this alternate universe?

In my universe, gravity varies with the inverse of the distance (instead of the inverse square of the distance). I already know that this means that all circular orbits around the same object will ...
10
votes
1answer
451 views

How much energy does it take to fuse 1m$^3$ of seawater, and how much energy is released by that fusion?

So, assume that you have 1m$^3$ of normal Terran seawater you can adiabatically raise to an arbitrarily high pressure/temperature in situ (say, by compressing it with nuclear shockwaves from all ...
11
votes
3answers
704 views

Natural subterranean cave formations on Mars

Is it possible that subterranean caves do/have existed on Mars? We know of the past existence of water on Mars. Which region (if any) of Mars would we likely find/expect to find a cave system below ...
25
votes
17answers
7k views

Need a way for Earth not to detect an extrasolar civilization that has radio

The exposition is that a civilization exists about 200 light years from earth and has been capable of radio communication for several thousands of years. They are not trying to hide from detection but ...
7
votes
1answer
323 views

How to fire your engines for a near-future trip around the solar system?

Background I was pondering my answer to this question. I asked myself, "Why would I only do a 45-minute burn and then float for 3 months to get to Mars?". Then I answered, "Because you only have so ...
2
votes
2answers
270 views

How would water behave on a planet with no moons?

My novel is set on a planet covered in 90% water with no moons. How would the lack of natural satellites effect the waves and wind?
7
votes
1answer
338 views

How cold can a planet actually get?

The coldest place in the universe that we have observed is in the Boomerang Nebula. Similarly to a refrigerator, heat is carried away through a fluid, resulting in a space colder than the surrounding ...
7
votes
2answers
412 views

Could a carbon/silicon/oxygen planet exist?

I'm exploring various kinds of potentially habitable planets as part of a universe-building exercise, and have recently delved into the fascinating concept of carbon-rich planets. My question is ...
1
vote
1answer
252 views

Post apocalyptic science based story

This story takes place in our world around the year 2116. Global warming couldn't be avoided and a runnaway effect suddenlty started increasing temperatures much faster than experts predicted. Over ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

Preserving the dead

Suppose there is a culture on earth that sees dead bodies as holy items and letting them decompose is a sin. I have seen many examples of mummies preserved so well that they almost look like their ...
14
votes
1answer
682 views

How does one calculate the tidal heating of a satellite?

I've been searching for hours, and most formulas I can find use complex/imaginary numbers or variables that I don't know or can't find out (such as the imaginary part of the planet's love number, ...
3
votes
2answers
210 views

Could we seed Earth's atmosphere with hydrogen?

Suppose the chemical reaction: $$3CO_2+2H_2\rightarrow 2H_2O+2O_2+3C$$ This reaction could be used to filter out $CO_2$ from the atmosphere, slowing down or reversing climate change. The solar system ...
8
votes
6answers
231 views

How wide would my cylinder be to allow air 500m below water surface?

I'd like my (very well funded) group of scientists to conduct an important excavation, in-situ with fully breathable air and comfort. I realize a pipe down to the surface would require a pump and ...
7
votes
1answer
281 views

How structurally strong would an object need to be to survive a trip through an ergosphere?

Let us assume we have a Kerr metric (rotating) black hole of 10 Sol-masses, spinning at 300 revs/s (as measured by a rest frame observer). What yield strength (assume that yield strength is limiting ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Designing a binary asteroid pair

I am interested in building a little world involving a very realistic asteroid pair, orbiting each other, and would really appreciate some help with numbers and science for this. I would like two ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

What would flora and fauna look like on a world in constant sunlight? [closed]

If a world existed in which, by any mechanism you like, the world were constantly exposed to sunlight or visible light of comparable brightness on all sides (so no side is correspondingly in permanent ...
-2
votes
3answers
560 views

Transfer of knowledge from mother to child before birth [closed]

We humans take the about 25% of our life learning before getting a job. How would it be possible for a mother's (and possibly father's) knowledge to be transferred into the brain of baby before it ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Runaway Starship Ramps

This question is partially a spinoff of some points that came up in another recent question at Worldbuilding about interstellar space travel. Runaway Truck Ramps I live in Colorado, and on the ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How to get rid of all the heat in my spaceship?

Spaceships are a peculiar thing. We've got them in all forms, sizes & colours. They run on nuclear fusion, creating loads of power driving all sorts of shenanigans... but they still generate lots ...
0
votes
1answer
146 views

What type of an engine malfunction would make a good plot device? [closed]

I am writing a book that follows a colony of people living above Venus, in an Airship. At the beginning of my book, a major engine malfunction is discovered that, if let left uncorrected, will result ...
-1
votes
2answers
137 views

Feasibility of ocean-spanning railroads? [duplicate]

I answered another question with the possibility of a world-girdling railroad. Another poster on that thread did not feel that was viable for Earth. I've been pinging around on the Internet ... I find ...
5
votes
2answers
163 views

Communication and Navigation for space flight on Europa

Considering the rather hostile radiation environment on Europa, what communication and navigation systems might be used with near-future manned spacecraft? What would the ranges and features of this ...
-2
votes
1answer
187 views

Accelerating a massive spaceship

How much wattage would you need to accelerate a four petaton spaceship by 1g for a year? This should be about enough to reach near light speed, which is perfect for interstellar cruising, but I'm ...
5
votes
3answers
534 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
630 views

Circulation patterns on a tidally-locked binary planet

A targeted hard-science spin-off from this question: In a tidally-locked planet that rotates about a barycentric point that’s located outside of its own sphere, what would the coriolis forces be like?...
38
votes
10answers
9k views

Create “gold” from lead (or other substances)

I am writing a setting for a role-playing game. In it an alchemist has finally found a way to create gold from lesser metals. Like his former historical models the alchemist is so jubilant over his ...
2
votes
6answers
1k views

What kind of protection system could be used against railguns?

What kind of system using modern technology would be able to counter a railgun projectile on a vehicle (both land and sea)? Would a think slab of angled armour in the shape of "<" work to cover the ...
7
votes
3answers
470 views

How big would a human have to be to have a full set of redundant organs?

I'm trying to design a realistic genetically engineered nanotech super-soldier with a full set of redundant organs. How much more interior volume and thus height/weight/muscle mass would a human body ...
5
votes
1answer
199 views

What's the fastest a genetically or technologically enhanced human could regenerate?

After watching this brilliant video by Shoddycast about Stimpaks in the Fallout universe: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CLY-FMxsb2U I started to wonder. Just how many of science fiction's most ...
0
votes
0answers
63 views

What might allow a kaiju to exist in real life? [duplicate]

Assuming we prescribe to the theory that kaiju are not the result of years of evolution or sudden, drastic mutation but rather purposefully designed and created weapons of war, how could they be built ...
-4
votes
2answers
241 views

How to escape from a small super-earth? [closed]

My question is about real physics or what is still possible given humanity's current understanding of how the universe works. No magic permitted, no bullshit with scientific terms and expressions ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

How long would a day be on two tidally locked earth sized habitable planets?

So for my story I want to have a binary planetary system, where both planets are about the size of earth and are habitable by human people. I'm also thinking that they will be tidally locked to each ...
8
votes
2answers
312 views

What would it look like inside an Alcubierre field?

For the purpose of this questions, let's assume my crew has solved all those nasty problems of survivability inside the field, not unleashing a devastating blast of particles at their destination, and ...
6
votes
1answer
228 views

How long would would it take algae to spread through the sea

Our intrepid interstellar crew arrive in a new solar system. The find a planet in the Goldilocks zone. However the planet has no life, but is otherwise earth like*. The atmosphere is 80% nitrogen, 20% ...
11
votes
1answer
185 views

How can I tell if an atmosphere is suitable for life as we know it?

I've seen a couple questions before (like this one and this one) that ask about the habitability of a planet, with a key part of that being if the atmosphere is survivable. It seems like we should ...
5
votes
5answers
407 views

How many humans would there need to be for almost every body to have a doppelganger?

There are a number of stories about persons with exact look alikes. In general this seems to be a rather rare phenomenon. But if you assume more and more humans it should become also more likely ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

Can you make arbitrary food out of yeast?

In his Robot Series, Isaac Asimov mentions "yeast substitutes" as a way of creating enough food to feed everybody in the Cities. It's also mentioned in Prelude to Foundation. Here's a few quotes from ...
3
votes
1answer
196 views

How Long can Humans survive [closed]

How Long? There have been many questions about how long humans can survive under various conditions. These range from the atmosphere being removed to an increase in gravity. However this question is ...
3
votes
5answers
274 views

Acceleration in space

Scenario: I have a generation ship moving between two star systems. Given that such a ship needs to have a completely self sufficient life cycle system to make it viable, ejecting mass continuously ...
2
votes
1answer
351 views

Calculating G-Force and Velocity

Simplifying a larger problem. Building a sci-fi text game and I don't want the science to be too wrong. Imagine I have two points in space which are 111,125 kilometers apart and it takes 17 minutes ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Plausible Cure for N. fowleri

This is a rather nasty, if rare, brain-eating thermophilic amoeba which lives in warm waters in North America (and elsewhere?). It kills by infecting the brain via the olfactory nerve after it enters ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

How could humanity live on the Sun? [duplicate]

Suppose a synthetic material is created that can withstand the heat of the sun. Suppose also that this material is incredibly insulated, strong, durable, flexible, etc... And it's also cheap. It can ...
3
votes
1answer
422 views

The Bering Land Bridge--Open For PERMANENT Business

This is the Bering Sea today... ...and this was the Bering Sea as recently as 25,000 years ago. Truth of the matter is, the Bering had been shifting back and forth from land to sea for 100 million ...
0
votes
1answer
268 views

How fast can a bullet go before it starts to evaporate/break up due to air friction? [closed]

If you fired a standard 9x19mm Parabellum and then somehow magically accelerated it to Mach 10, would it survive the trip, and if so, would it still be an effective projectile? What are the factors ...
6
votes
3answers
268 views

Feasibility of life/existence of a world devoid of transition metals

I was wondering if it is possible for life to evolve in a world which lacks any transition metals. I am wondering this because, it could give a plausible explanation for a world which is very ...