Questions tagged [nuclear]

Questions about atomic nuclear phenomena and their effects on the world. For heat and power generation applications of nuclear phenomena, use [nuclear-power]. For weapons relying on nuclear phenomena, consider [weapons] and [weapon-mass-destruction]. Compare [radioactivity], [weak-force] and [strong-force].

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6
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2answers
262 views

What does the physiology and biochemistry of a vacuum adapted post-human look like? Part 4: Movement

I am a post-human adapted for permanent life in vacuum and micro-gravity. How might my physiology and biochemistry overcome the following challenges? Please note I have a strong cultural aversion to ...
7
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4answers
754 views

What if the Trinity test had ignited the atmosphere? Could we survive?

In the early days of the Manhattan project, there was a brief scare, based on some calculations by Edward Teller, that an atomic bomb would ignite the atmosphere. They later redid the calculations and ...
48
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5answers
13k views

Are nuclear weapons useful in space?

On Earth, nuclear weapons can wreak enormous damage to a country and for that reason, large-scale wars between nuclear powers don’t happen. But what would happen if humanity progressed just enough to ...
16
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5answers
6k views

Could the entire world have been destroyed by the existing nuclear arsenal in 1962?

Considering the nuclear arsenal that existed in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, could it have destroyed the entire world, following the events below? Edited question a bit: Considering the ...
6
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4answers
623 views

Could there exist a quantum virus which breaks someone's body down to fundamental particles?

In the Animorphs series K.A. Applegate mentions: A quantum virus. It breaks down the very forces that holds subatomic particles together. It can take weeks or even months of agony as your body ...
3
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4answers
737 views

Nuking all the ice

I've been trying to envision a scenario where global warming is accelerated to the fasted possible speed. One scenario I thought of was detonating large scale nuclear warheads on the North and South ...
1
vote
6answers
293 views

Why might aliens want to start the apocalypse? [closed]

There is a group of aliens, called the Erubians, who often go out to study and experiment on species less developed than them. They are a type 2 civilization, and their main goal is to study all ...
30
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16answers
26k views

Best places to be on Earth when an all out nuclear World War III breaks out?

This is a world building question in a preventative context because those people or countries would be left fully functional while others gone and the safe areas is where the world building would ...
26
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12answers
5k views

Spaceflight without transistors and nuclear power - how to bend the history of physics?

As stated in the topic: I would like to have Project Olympus-style space stations served by Apollo-like spacecraft in a world where neither nuclear power (and weapons) nor transistors were developed ...
25
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6answers
9k views

Can one nuke reliably shoot another out of the sky?

A quick glance at real world anti-missile systems seems to show that they do work, but imperfectly. The problem naturally gets harder when the incoming missile is extremely high-velocity. If your ...
26
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5answers
5k views

Practicality of a thorium-powered, superheated-steam car?

At the beginning of the 1900s, the Doble Steam Motors Company built steam cars. Their engineers solved many of the problems steam cars had until then by using superheated steam and a condenser to ...
7
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2answers
3k views

What if the Earth's Core was made of Uranium? [closed]

What would happen if the Earth's inner core suddenly changed to unprocessed, natural uranium without the volume of the core changing? How soon would we notice any changes? What would be the ...
3
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2answers
3k views

Is outrunning a nuclear mushroom cloud feasible? [closed]

Okay, I was one of the lucky ones. I was in a windowless concrete building when the bomb went off, and I was far enough away to survive the shock wave and super-heated winds. Even luckier, I am a ...
25
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12answers
7k views

What could cause a post-apocalyptic, rapid desertification of vast areas of the world, similar to the land in Mad Max: Fury Road?

I apologise as this will be vague - but I am building a world set in the future (late 21st century) and looking at realistic ways for rapid desertification of huge land areas, say America, and ...
7
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2answers
388 views

What element would make up a creature if it used the weak nuclear force during its metabolic processes?

I was doing some research on how to design a scientifically possible alien, when I came across an interesting section on metabolism. I found it very interesting and read about the weak force, as ...
5
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1answer
247 views

Light Emitting Animals - What happens to the food chain? [closed]

In my world, an event has happened, some nuclear fall-out caused every animal to grow a special organ that emits light, but I'm wondering what effect that would have on the Food Chain? The world I'm ...
4
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4answers
7k views

How many people would survive the nuclear winter after a full-scale nuclear war, and where?

Could anyone could survive a nuclear war and all that follows? I have read many things saying they would, and read other science-based answers, but they all talked about a nuclear war that was ...
1
vote
1answer
794 views

Could a nuclear war cause the majority of Earth to be uninhabitable for hundreds or thousands of years?

I understand that nuclear bombs don't have lasting radiation effects on the area that they're dropped. Examples of this are Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where less than a century after an atomic bomb was ...
4
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3answers
304 views

How can the human race disappear in a few days? [duplicate]

Is it possible to eradicate the human race in one week? And if yes, by which way? Of course, the human race should do everything to survive. What could be more powerful than our will to survive? 1. ...
4
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2answers
248 views

Is this an appropriate manned interstellar mission profile?

My idea was to use 2 stages for an interstellar spacecraft (particularly the Orion Drive) and use it in a way similar to Project: Daedalus. Phase 1 would involve accelerating to cruising speed ...
-4
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2answers
227 views

Can fission create a steady thrust with less weight in space? [closed]

I have seen where atoms can be positioned one at a time to make a picture or write something. Can that same method be used to transfer an atom or atoms at a time into a nanometer width proton beam? ...
-7
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1answer
182 views

How could we produce electricity thanks to antimatter?

Imagine we had an easy way to produce antimatter, we could use it for interstellar travel, deadly weapons or more; but I've thought: How could we use it to produce electricity? As Antimatter ...