# Questions tagged [mathematics]

For questions about mathematics, including our own system of mathematics and alien versions of mathematics, focusing on their effects on societies and civilizations.

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### How would shopkeepers deal with a nine percent tax? [closed]

We imagine a world with D&D currency (1 gold (gp) = 10 silver (sp) = 100 copper (cp)). And a city where all transactions attract a 9% sales tax which goes to the government. So if a thing costs ...
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### Calculating Living Area on a Concentric Shellworld

I'm not sure if I should be asking this here on on the Maths Stack Exchange, because this is a sort of mathematics problem but here goes: A civilization lives on multiple concentric shellworlds, each ...
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### Did I just discover that the ether that my etheric keels interact with is four-dimensional?

I have been working on deriving an answer to How should I determine the properties of keels and ether? myself, and I was looking at the lift equation: $$L = \frac{1}{2}\rho v^2SC_L$$ where: $L$ is ...
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### (Fixed) Fictional calendar is 345 days with 28 hours per day and 14 hours day and night cycle--how old are 13 year olds vs Earth calendar? [closed]

I had the worst brain fart earlier, sorry. My fictional calendar is currently 345 days with 28 hours per day, with 14 hours day and night cycle [I have no idea why I effed that up so badly prior]. I ...
396 views

### How fast could a single person introduce gene to human gene pool?

Okay so, in my superhero setting, the way humanity gets superpowers is due to a single mutation. People rarely had superpowers before due to the Dragon gene, but it was always a recessive trait and ...
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### How would people protect themselves in a world where scientific laws may be modified almost omnipotently with specialized applied math? [closed]

It seems that Mathematicians are more powerful than we expect. They've found the "Fundamental Universal Laws Rune", which is a mathematical symbol, that when added to the end of any ...
1k views

### How to measure land area for a map?

Is there a site, app, or technique that you can use to measure the area of your world’s continents. It is rather easy to find the surface area of your world if the map is equirectangular or just a ...
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### How much water must I dump on the Sun to put it out forever? [closed]

Water blows out fire and stop it from burning. How much volume of water, $H_2O$, is needed to put out the sun forever?
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### How would Mathematics and Sciences had developed in a strongly non-Euclidean universe? [closed]

The geometry of our universe is, on human scale, Euclidean. This means that our everyday experience gives us a good understanding of $\mathbb{R}^2$ and $\mathbb{R}^3$, which in turn is of great help ...
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### Numeral systems based on different colors rather than different symbols?

I want to portray a culture with a significantly different method of perceiving their own mathematical concepts, yet not so as to say something like just "they used a kind of number very often, ...
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### How can I have normal density matter in higher dimensions?

Background The problem of sphere packing in higher dimensions is well known. In summary, the volume that equal-sized spheres (or hyperspheres) can fill inside a cube (or hypercube) decreases with ...
587 views

### If a sun were orbiting around Earth, how far away and how big would it need to be to look similar to our sun?

So in my universe, there's only a single planet, contained within a spherical shell. Orbiting around it is a dragon, holding a "sun" for lack of a better word. This sun is not a star as we ...
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### Will this super flying brick meet his identical copy in another universe?

I’m writing a superhero story. The protagonist is a normal human transformed (long story) into a super-powered entity. The protagonist is unique in all of creation, according to my plot. The only ...
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### What are the elements of the oblateness formula?

Ok, so the formula for calculating oblateness of a planet (in this instance, a gas or ice giant) goes like this: $\text{Oblateness} = C\frac{R^3}{M P^2}$ I have seen C defined as a constant that ...
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### What level of Endurance does a player have to have to shrug off a 9mm round from a pistol? [closed]

Weird one, but here we go. Setting: -A modern world, with the same laws of physics/same materials, weapons, etc. -The player is a normal human. Think baseline average American citizen that has a ...
153 views

### What is mathematical formula for finding the mean surface temperature on a planet in our solar system?

This question is to assume the common solar luminosity of approx $4 \times 10^{26}$ Watts. The mean flux of Earth at, for example, 1.1 AU would be about 1176 watts--but how can I calculate mean ...
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### How would the human brain aid a human computer interface/implant in solving complex problems in realtime/dynamic uses [closed]

Hooking up a computer to the human brain or somehow connecting the brain to a computer is nothing new in the realm of sci fi literature. But say you want to merge the human brain and a computer ...
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### Which numeric base should I use for universal measurement unit prefixes? [closed]

I'm developing a story where Earth is obliterated by an asteroid and the small mars colony collapses into chaos shortly after. The last survivor enters a criogenic chamber for indefinite amount of ...
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### Pyramid step height question: is my math correct? [closed]

I'm writing a bit involving a pyramid. The pyramid is 400 feet in width, 150 feet tall, and one side has 100 steps ascending to the top. The first step is 36 inches (3 feet) tall, and each successive ...
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### How to create a custom gematria system for a world? [closed]

I just recently asked What are the origins of the various forms of Gematria? and What are the rules for constructing a gematria system? Now I am wondering how to create a custom gematria system for a ...
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### A solution of P=NP breaks quantum ciphers [closed]

Somebody finds an effective NP-complete algorithm. Then he breaks quantum ciphers by reversing time (time can be made backward by quantum symmetries, so the difference between forward and backward is ...
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### What Would Be The Technological Limitations of a Civilization That Never Developed the Concept of Zero? [duplicate]

I have been brainstorming a short-story idea about an advanced civilization that develops on earth 60 million years after humans go extinct. Said civilization discovers time travel and decides to meet ...
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### How large can individual Dyson segments be before they get torn apart by tidal forces or orbital variations?

Yet another follow up question in my Dyson sphere series. Assuming the arrays are orbiting at 1 AU, the distance between an inclination of 0.01 degrees is 26,109,754 meters, meaning that there must be ...
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### How can extraterrestrials know more advanced math, and use it, to systematically beat the USA stock market? [closed]

In one of the later episodes (I can't remember which, just edit this post pls if you do) on The Event, an NBC TV series from 2010 to 2011, someone (I can't remember their name) asks Thomas (acted by ...
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### Feasibility of cylindrical rasterization? (Alien GPUs)

Background / Rationale Many fictional worlds feature sapient herbivores, but rarely spend much time considering how their tools and technology would differ. In the course of writing my story, however, ...
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### A mathematical problem that no computer can solve, but a human can

I am aware this is in the gray area of “story question or world question” but I think it is at least mainly world based. So in this reality set in the far future, somehow a certain math problem has ...
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### Please Check My Fictional Calculus (Halting Problem, Incompleteness)

For a story, I'm having a character invent a new kind of calculus. Halting Problem The new math efficiently solves the Halting Problem. What is the Halting Problem? Provided you have code like this -- ...
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### Inside an o'Neill cylinder, would an enclosed room feel the same "gravity" as an open space?

I know that the "gravity" in an O'Neill Cylinder is from Centrifugal effect. Calculated by: F=mω^2r F is centrifugal Force m is the Mass ω is the Angular velocity r is the distance from ...
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### How might other civilizations discover irrational numbers

The first number shown to be irrational in our world was supposedly the square root of 2. I know that the irrationality of π is likely out of reach for a civilization that hasn’t discovered ...
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### Could an underground civilisation deduce the size and shape of their planet?

Not sure if this still falls under worldbuilding. Let's assume a civilization living with the following restrictions: No access to the surface or ability to observe it (no sky, no atmospheric samples ...
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### Winning the game of life

all lifeforms alive today want to live and reproduce as much as possible, because those with differing ideas are extinct or about to be. Clearly the meaning of life is nothing else but to keep your ...
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### Is there a mathematical way to calculate the density, volume, etc of a planet just using mass as data?

while I was working on the language I was thinking about the planet and I don't have the mathematical data, I have a fairly done map but not the data and it would be interesting to add it. As data I ...
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### How to estimate the price of an animal in a fantasy setting, or why does a duck cost more then a chicken? [closed]

I realise now that this is not the right place to ask this question, but for anyone else who happens to stop by and is looking for a good reference to use to price their animals, I've found a resource ...
1k views

### How long would a grey goo scenario take to finish coating an earth sized planet?

Okay, so the idea is that humans have found a method to terraform planets by way of an intentionally engineered grey goo scenario. The bots would be used to photosynthesize a sustainable atmosphere by ...
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### Space station stable population

An isolated space station that has 18 lab grown babies every day. The average lifespan is 120 years. What is the total size of the population for the birth death rate ratio to be even? Im having a ...
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### How can Empire A convince Empire B that it has a planet-destroying weapon without helping Empire B to recreate it?

By almost pure luck the wizards/scientists of Empire A made a gigantic breakthrough that allowed them to create a weapon able to destroy the world, i.e. the one and the only planet on which Empire A ...
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### Math on another planet [closed]

Mathematicians constantly create new axiom systems, and there are different concepts of information. My view is that mathematics gets where I am because mathematicians invented notations to write down ...
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### Estimating thrust and kg fuel for a generation ship's journey to Alpha Centauri

Premise: A generation spaceship leaves Earth around the year 2060 on a journey to colonize Alpha Centauri A (ACA). In this fiction, fusion power is achieved in 2040, improved over 20 years, and used ...
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### How Would Mathematics and Technology evolve in a world where people can teleport [closed]

I've already talked about this world in this How would criminals be punished in a world where everyone can teleport? Everyone in this world from the age of 5 can teleport to anywhere they have been ...
1 vote
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### What is the smallest size this black hole ship could be without killing the passengers via g-force?

Context: I'm trying to design a massive colony ship (as in, at least 3 billion tonnes unfueled), built by a hyper-advanced K2 civilization, that will be accelerated via laser pushers and will use a ...
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### Spontaneous linguistic evolution [closed]

I'm working on some world building, and I am making a conlang for this world. It's intended to be a slightly futuristic language, but with no influence from any existing language (in world) that ...
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### Why would my Dwarves decide that the Platonic solids are divine?

My Idea I’ve decided that my Dwarves are the foremost experts on matters mathematical and geometrical. Further, they believe that numbers are the key to unlocking the “secrets of the gods.” One idea I ...
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### How Much Solar Wind Does A Star Produce?

I need someone to give me a way to figure out how fast the solar wind from a star with a known mass travels, as well as how much solar wind the star releases in a given amount of time. I hope that it ...
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### How feasible is it that aliens would use a number field other than the standard real numbers?

I will begin this with a disclaimer that I barely understand the p-adic analysis beyond very general ideas of what the p-adic numbers are and how they are constructed. But this is a question I've been ...
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### Using transfinite numbers in a scifi story

I have been bandying about some exotic mathematics ideas as the basis for a hard scifi setting, and I wonder what technology/alien life would "make sense," here, given the physics arising ...
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### In what sense is the physical world effectively described by mathematics?

I'm not sure whether this belongs here or in the Physics SE - please let me know if I'm mistaken! After reading Wigner's article on "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural ...
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### How far can a society advance technologically without learning to count?

Inspired by Can there be democracy in a society that cannot count?, how advanced could that society get technologically without learning to count? What important innovation on a hypothetical tech tree ...
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### How many children can a society of 250-300 people produce in a year?

Basically, my world's societies (They're tiny-sized for reasons too complicated to explain in a simple post) are forced to provide about 1 human sacrifice every month (Because reasons) and to fight ...
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### Werewolf Size Calculation

Hypothetically if a human were to turn into a wolf, their legs would stay the same length, if not appearing slightly shorter due to the bending of digitigrade legs, but how big would a wolf be if it ...
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