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Questions tagged [materials]

Intended to refer to the properties of both hypothetical and real materials and their applications and properties.

0
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4answers
130 views

Energy beam pierces 200m thick steel wall. What happens next?

With a powered-by-phlebotinum (ergo very handy, very powerful) rifle, I am able to shoot high-energy beams which, in turn, can pulverize anything in their path in a considerable radius. The beams can ...
-1
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0answers
38 views

Historically Significant Materials [on hold]

So as part of the world I'm building, I need to decide on a set of materials (metal, woods and stones) that I need to implement. This is due to the magic system I am using and how certain materials ...
3
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3answers
100 views

effects of different materials on golem construction [on hold]

The most common material to be used in the creation of golems is clay due to it being the most easy to work with and because it is commonly associated with the creation and imitation of life. However ...
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3answers
85 views

How do I make a rock with magical properties teleport people? [closed]

Thinking about it, you probably need more context than that, so here we go. Basically, in my Earth/Alt Universe world, there's this new magical rock, let's call it, stranglium! Stranglium, on touch ...
44
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16answers
13k views

Build an impregnable fortress in the middle ages with modern technology

Let's say we want to build the strongest possible fortress¹ in a medieval (1300 CE) setting while having access to any modern technology and material. Said technology can only be used during the ...
-2
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2answers
102 views

A balloon that can float to space [closed]

I’ve heard there are materials that can withstand the image sort of the earth’s atmosphere, such as carbon nanotubes and Kevlar. Supposedly, a perfectly constructed bridge of such material could be ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

How can I ride a balloon in a hurricane? [closed]

Like the famous Annie Edson Taylor who went off Niagara Falls in a barrel. I would like to be the first to ride out in a hurricane at least from the inside out in the air in an unpowered craft. Could ...
28
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5answers
6k views

What do you make bricks out of in the rainforest?

Problem statement There exists a thriving Bronze Age civilization in a gigantic rainforest, bigger than the Amazon and Congo put together. This civilization is built in on the flood plains of a might ...
10
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5answers
2k views

How would a century of disuse affect this structure?

In my story, an ancient building has been abandoned for a whole century without any care or use from the inhabitants around. They refrain from approaching it because they believe it is cursed, which ...
-2
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4answers
129 views

Could the Romans have Invented Graphene? [closed]

This scenario is inspired by this article. Long ago, it was thought that this super-cool, extra strong material called carbon nanotubes is a recent invention. After all, what ancient culture could ...
0
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1answer
68 views

What would aliens use as raw materials? [closed]

I just realized that on earth many natural resources used for building throughout history could be considered unique to earth, materials such as bone and wood are products of terrestrial evolution and ...
21
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9answers
4k views

Indestructible silk: good armor?

I've been playing with different conceptualizations and types of armor for historical settings, especially armor with magic enchantments or made from weird materials. I was stuck thinking about ...
8
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3answers
1k views

How early can transparent glass windows be easily available?

TL;DR: How early can windows made of transparent glass (can look through) be readily available (not a rare luxury) to "common" citizens (at least top 10% of population)? Disclaimer: I know very ...
2
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3answers
225 views

Blackholes as Perfect Recyclers or Perfect Batteries: Safe storage, recharge, and usage

Consider the facts that a blackhole: Eats everything that passes through its event horizon. In layman's terms, it is defined as the shell of "points of no return", i.e., the boundary at which the ...
2
votes
3answers
206 views

Heavy, immutable steel: armour design

Imagine a metal that can be molded into (almost) any form using magic, but once the process is done the material becomes absolutely immutable. It is not possible to physically alter its form. It can ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Kidnapping Fire-Slugs

I have a slug that I need to kidnap. Not an ordinary garden slug; this slug is special. This slug's slime is violently reactive with the atmosphere on my planet, and explodes into flame on contact ...
11
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4answers
255 views

Wading through high-inertia particulates: how could pre-modern technology best approximate a protective, slick, waterproof suit?

In the supernatural plane of existence known as The Exhibition, time appears frozen - nothing is moving, falling objects are suspended motionless, the works. In addition to this, while outside ...
4
votes
7answers
235 views

What pockets should Spider-man use?

Before we get into the question, I'd just like to say that this isn't specifically for Spider-man, but more of a general "character who moves around a lot and finds themselves upside-down quite often"....
2
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5answers
1k views

Weaponry made from brittle steel: splintering projectiles

This is about a fictional material that is meant to be very similar to steel, but very brittle (under regular conditions). This means it breaks under stress instead of being strained signficantly ...
12
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4answers
5k views

Would it make any difference If I use diamonds as arrowheads?

Let's say I have a plenty of supply of diamonds for my archer's arrows and my blacksmiths can easily work with diamonds. Would diamond arrows be superior to iron arrows?
33
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12answers
7k views

Weaponry made from extreme light-weight steel: swords and daggers

Imagine there was a material that was mostly identical to steel in almost every way, but instead of a density of $7.85–7.87 g/cm^3$ it would be a tenth of that. That is about 4 times lighter than ...
1
vote
1answer
226 views

What Would Beaches Look Like if Silicon Didn't Bond to Oxygen?

I was on a beach recently and was contemplating what it would look like if Silicon just didn't bind oxygen very well/at all, perhaps similar to gold. I'm not sure if something else would take the ...
14
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7answers
2k views

Alternative skeleton material for an Earth-like planet

On earth, the skeletons of Osteicthyes and all their descendants are made of a mixture of collagen and calcium. We can do this because Earth contains food sources for all these animals containing ...
15
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9answers
6k views

Would it be possible to make a water mill without metal?

I'm making a human society that has a lack of metal ore and no knowledge of metalworking at all. However, industry must still continue, metal or not, so I'm thinking about a water mill made out of ...
1
vote
3answers
125 views

Closest thing to Unobtainium Crystal that can save memories

My story happens in basically our real world stretched here and there, much like Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, my story world also has some kind of rare elements of alien origin, that have ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Metallic oxygen as a possible future material?

I'm researching possible materials that maybe be used in the far future. I came across something called metallic oxygen. If oxygen is compressed to 10GPa, it turns into a dark red solid O8. If this is ...
11
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1answer
250 views

Best material for windsilk

I'm developing a silkworm that spins webs of a particular kind of "silk" and weaves thin, fragile webs. The magic part of this is that it also spins wind. The following addresses how this works and my ...
18
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8answers
2k views

Identifying extra-galactic artifacts

Setting In the near future a group of explorers land on Mars and proceed to explore the cave system under Pavonis Mons. While exploring the gigantic interior of the lava tube, sensors indicate the ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

What would be the effect of magic ultraviolet rocks on developing societies?

One of my favorite bits of set dressing is magic glowing rocks. You see them in movies, video games, and every other manner of medium conveying fantasy settings. Personally, I'm perfectly okay with ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Floor Material: What would mer-society like to use for comfortable floors?

The mer-folk are typical top-half human, bottom-half fish. They can breath with either lungs or gills. Their homes are mostly below water, but some do also extend above. This allows them to do ...
1
vote
1answer
186 views

Which parts of our civilization would survive 1000 years? [closed]

If some catastrophic event happened that wiped out humanity tomorrow, not destroying any objects or places, which parts of our civilization would survive for 1000 years? What would the world look like?...
2
votes
5answers
151 views

Chemical element made with alternative particles

In my earlier question, regarding airships, I mentioned fictional gas, as light as hydrogen but non-flammable. Is it possible to make chemical element, with atoms made not from nucleons, but with some ...
10
votes
4answers
267 views

Is it possible to make pulleys and cams required for compound crossbows with medieval or early renaissance technology? [duplicate]

I am thinking if it's possible for craftsmen of late medieval times to achieve precision required to repeatedly make crossbows enhanced by use of cams or pulleys. As far as I know, pulleys were used ...
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votes
6answers
322 views

Why would spaceships still have acrylic/glass windows when force fields are cheap and reliable?

Force field technology has come a long way. The latest energy-efficient engines can guarantee stable energy output in any situation, making force fields extremely reliable and very cost effective ...
7
votes
7answers
429 views

What materials would we need to have melee weapons and body armor become the norm?

In a hypothetical scenario humans have discovered a new material that is decently expensive (not antimatter levels). Let's say it's slightly cheaper than gold. What properties would it need to have to ...
28
votes
15answers
5k views

Are there any structural materials suitable for production underwater?

One of the points made in a number of recent questions regarding underwater races has prompted me to review one of my older pieces of world-building. Namely: the difficulty of producing common ...
6
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2answers
160 views

Viability of options for super tall tower

I've been reading through other posts about such megastructures and they're getting me part of the way to my destination. Wanted to see about a few specific options my imagination has latched onto. ...
-1
votes
1answer
146 views

What would a medieval mech look like? [closed]

My kingdom has the tech and arncane knowledge to build mechs,A soul is harvested and trapped inside a crystal core to power the war machines,However im limited to medieval europe materials. How would ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Could a pearl make a good bullet?

If I were to use a pearl instead of a bullet in an old fashioned flint-lock pistol or a musket, could it survive? What would it do on impact? Would it be too light for an effective ammunition? ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Feasibility of organisms with translucent upper craniums

After reading this post about a sort of translucent biological visor I was inspired to incorporate a similar design. I'd like to create an organism with a translucent upper cranium, serving no purpose ...
6
votes
3answers
242 views

Non-Iron Skyscraper Framing

I'll confess that I have a real issue with iron--it rusts quickly. In fact, the History Channel program Life After People constantly states that, left to its own devices, the iron that makes up a ...
1
vote
3answers
75 views

Alternative Means of Transportation [closed]

I'm creating a realm where materials, food, etc are created through a magic artifact, transforming a specific type of sand. Magic is limited and a Wizard can't create flying or moving objects. The ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

What are the traits of and how could a compound(mosquito) eye be used for bug-sized equipment [closed]

How could a medieval nomadic explorer air-ship (bug-sized people) use the African mosquito's eyes for equipment building? there is no magic in their world apart from the fact that such a tiny species ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Effectiveness of a sound manipulator in different environments?

So I’m a super villain, I’ve captured a hero with the ability to manipulate sound and I’m having a hard time keeping him from escaping. This super human can create and manipulate sounds at just ...
-3
votes
2answers
153 views

The ultimate material? [closed]

Remember the metallic substance that the T-1000 was made out of in the movie T2: Judgment Day? I want to create a substance like that in a story with some modifications... So, the substance can move ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Harpoons… in space! [duplicate]

So I have a bunch of space pirates who make a living out of stealing spaceships while they are in transit and repurposing then for their own use later. As such, they can’t destroy the ship because, ...
13
votes
2answers
455 views

A ribcage capable of surviving the bite of a Tyrannosaurus Rex

What existing material (e.g. 410 steel, no unobtanium) and what thickness should the ribcage of a creature (of humanoid size and shape, let's say it's a genetically-engineered human) have, to survive ...
3
votes
3answers
216 views

Can a weapon that uses plastic materials be mass-produced with WW2-ish technology?

So, there's a WW2-1950's-ish era in my world, and currently I'm designing a couple of firearms. As far as I've read most weapons at that time mostly uses stamped metal and wood, and only a very ...
2
votes
6answers
432 views

Creating a steampunk-esque/cybernetic “Big Iron” revolver

I've gone through most of the--quite few surprisingly--steampunk questions and although one answered my question for how a steam powered arm may function, this arm has a lot of exceptions. I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

With modern or near future technological capabilities, hypothetical ways to produce negative mass assuming it exists [closed]

Assuming money and resources are unlimited, what could be some hypothetically feasible ways to produce negative matter with the current or near future technological capabilities of humans.