Questions tagged [physics]

For questions regarding the physics relevant to fictitious worlds. General physics may be off-topic.

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6
votes
4answers
427 views

Would there theoretically be an accompanying effect to something moving beyond the speed of light?

I have only encountered the "Sonic Boom" a couple of times in my life, once when I was lucky enough to watch Concorde fly over my town in the late 70's. In a story I'm writing someone claims to have ...
-1
votes
1answer
99 views

Implications of a scifi society's industry

If a space faring society has access to such resources, and technological capabilities that they are able to make alloys strong enough to build large, armored space vessels, extract gas from a gas ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

The characteristics and effects of high speed rotating domes

I'm currently designing a world for a story that I'm writing that is based on a system of magic that deals with barriers, specifically domes. To get to the point one key characteristic is that these ...
2
votes
4answers
171 views

Could a 15-year-old girl throw a device similiar to an iPhone on the ground and shatter it? [on hold]

In my story this girl was spying and need to destroy a communicator once she sends a message telling what she learned. Apperantly the people she was spying on caught her. Would she have the strength ...
-2
votes
0answers
77 views

What would happen if Earth's core was turned into Plutonium? [on hold]

What would happen if Earth's core was instantaneously transmuted into Plutonium without any volume changes? Would the core of Earth collapse or would we still have a normal planet? What would happen ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

How much damage can be done just by heating matter?

By some eldritch means I am able to heat matter (raising the kinetic energy of the matter's particles). I want to weaponize this ability, and need some guidance for its implications. The obvious use-...
33
votes
19answers
8k views

Is it possible to encode a message in such a way that can only be read by someone or something capable of seeing into the very near future?

Say you have some way of seeing somewhere between a microsecond to 0.1 seconds into the future, or at least the most likely future. Is it possible,through something like a flip-book effect or some ...
3
votes
6answers
167 views

A Mecha, made out synthetic muscles, and advanced materials

I have been thinking about this for an unhealthy amount of time, truth be told. Simply put, a 4 meter, eight meter if stretching the limit, tall mecha, made out of carbon based synthetic muscles, ...
20
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6answers
6k views

What is the maximum viable speed for a projectile within earth's atmosphere?

Assume a projectile, made of a very heat-resistant and durable material (something like tungsten), formed like a modern saboted tank cannon shot. If tungsten, like suggested, is not ideal, you can ...
7
votes
1answer
67 views

How would the atmospheric circulation look like on a planet with high axial tilt?

Assume an Earth-Clone, that has an axial tilt of 90°. How would the circulation of the atmosphere look like? Would there still be three convection cells?
5
votes
3answers
74 views

What plasma temperature range to expect from Earth atmosphere common elements?

I intend to write a character that has the ability to turn nearby gasses into plasma for combat and utility purposes. However, I've been studying how plasma works and (as someone who is not as savvy ...
8
votes
6answers
327 views

How to figure out that you traveled 570 million years into the future while in space on a small shuttle craft?

I want a character to get sucked into what she thinks is an FTL-wormhole-gate. While it turns out that the gate is indeed a traversable wormhole, it does not allow for FTL travel. The gate transports ...
-1
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1answer
106 views

Is liquid metallic hydrogen, when used as a spacecraft fuel, a chemical fuel? [closed]

Is it scientifically sound to call liquid metallic hydrogen a chemical rocket fuel?
31
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7answers
16k views

A medieval fantasy adventurer lights a torch in a 100% pure oxygen room. What happens?

Exactly what it says on the tin. Kleeber the warrior is wearing a gambeson and carrying the standard adventurer's gear (leather backpack, 100ft of hemp rope, bedroll, spare clothes, waterskin, dry ...
3
votes
7answers
338 views

What would be needed to scientifically be able to stand on cloud?

Inspired from people walking on water using cornstarch plus myths such as monkey king, several gods in heaven/celestial palace, and other fiction works. (image from Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama) I ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

What would happen if temperature-translation symmetry were a thing? [closed]

According to wikipedia, various symmetries in natural laws result in conservation laws. What conservation law would arise if temperature were translation symmetric, and how would this affect the ...
4
votes
3answers
316 views

What would happen if you robbed the momentum from a falling object?

In my world, some individuals have the ability to absorb and distribute momentum from sources around them. I am considering what would happen physically if someone was taking all of the momentum from ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

How could you build an artificial planet-sized magnetic field?

I'm conceiving of a world where humans can readily terraform worlds that were once considered "dead" due to the planet's magnetic field being long gone. In such a situation, what could humans do to ...
8
votes
2answers
104 views

Figuring out the math for the Sphere of Meteoric Conversion

I'm presently in the process of developing my plans for a flintlock fantasy series. It's high magic, but one form of magic in the setting, Arcane Magic, is heavily based in science. The energy that ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

What technology can be used to create liquid suit? [closed]

I'm new to WorldBuilding, so please let me know if I'm doing something wrong or should add more information! Thanks in advance. Explanation Liquid costume/suit is technological solution of future ...
2
votes
2answers
233 views

Handheld Speargun used out of water for manhunting

Can I have a character make use of a handheld speargun in a postapocalyptic setting to shoot people and pull them back (or at least retain them) with the gun's cord? I came across some criteria/...
5
votes
2answers
140 views

Is my plasma weapon design any good?

I'm currently designing the armory for my far-future hard-scifi setting. Technology is quite advanced and for the purpose of this question assume that liquid metallic hydrogen (LMH from now on) is ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

what would be needed for a sword that glows? [duplicate]

how would it be possible for a sword that glows a very dim light at all times. What materials would be needed to do this? would this hamper the effectiveness of the blade?
5
votes
1answer
89 views

How to find the density of a planet and its core taking into account the gravitational compression in them?

Consider a planet $P$ of radius $r$ larger than Earth, whose mass is $r^3$. By the square–cube law, this planet will have the same density as the Earth... assuming that the gravitational compression ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

pressurizing a space suit [closed]

So was writing a short story about space and I had a random idea. Could you pressurize a suit with something other than gas/air? In theory you could literally put pressure on the person or fill the ...
24
votes
13answers
5k views

Justifying the use of directed energy weapons

In my scifi setting I want a broad range of slugthrowers (bullets, smart ammo, grenades,...), exotic weapons (flame/chemthrowers, high tech blades, nano-bots,...), and directed energy weapons (heat ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

What trajectory would an interstellar asteroid move in if a super creature jumped off it? [closed]

The recent interstellar asteroid Oumuamua is the inspiration for this question. if a humanoid creature that had all the abilities to survive in space had hitched a ride on this asteroid and chose to ...
0
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2answers
195 views

What would a Superconductive Fluid do if drank/inhaled by a human?

Hypothetically speaking, if there was a substance you could drink/inhale (in an alternate reality) with superconducting properties, how would it influence the brain and the body? The superconducting ...
4
votes
3answers
117 views

How to find the radius of a planet given its internal composition?

Consider a planet very similar to Earth, with the same radius and the same mass. In a very simplified model of its interior, 70 % of its mass is magnesium silicate and the remaining 30 % is iron. This ...
3
votes
3answers
168 views

What energy sources could exist beyond fusion? [closed]

I'm looking for possible sources of energy that could one day replace fusion. I'm not necessarily looking for cool sounding names, as I'm trying to avoid technobabble, but ones that could somewhat ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Looking for a layman's plasma simulator [closed]

Modelling plasma in a magnetic field is hard, it has to be or we would have fusion power already. Do you know of an application that could be used to simulate the rough / dumbed-down behaviour of a ...
5
votes
1answer
386 views

Post-apocalyptic aircraft

I have a post-apocalyptic scenario, set in the ruins of an American metropolis with flooded streets. Boats are used most of the time, but aircrafts have advantages, for battle or if you have to get on ...
-3
votes
1answer
117 views

How to calculate time to reach fractions of the speed of light when accelerating at 1g

Currently writing a scifi novel and am trying to do the math to establish time frame of the lore. The main points are that in 2068 CE Earth sent a generation ship to colonize Proxima Centauri. They ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

How big would my character's wings realistically be?

I'm not a professional at world building or character building, still starting out, but I do want to make an attempt at having my fantasy character be somewhat realistic. He's 11 years old, 4.8 ft (...
11
votes
8answers
6k views

How many people would you need to pull a whale over cobblestone streets?

A whale, lets say a humpback (~40 tons) has to be pulled about 250 m from the port to the town square. The road is classic cobblestone. People put hooks into the whale meat with ropes attached and ...
20
votes
0answers
320 views

Plausibility of helium dominated atmospheres on super-Earths

I've been using this helpful diagram a lot for worldbuilding. Now I came to think about the fact that helium is more massive than hydrogen, thus a scenario where hydrogen escapes, but helium is ...
6
votes
4answers
252 views

Scientific synonyms for “forward, backward, up, down, left, and right” [closed]

I am not talking about anterior, posterior, etc... I am looking for words specifically relating to movement. Long description... In the mythos I am working on, mages learn to control objects in three ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Planet spinning at 90 degrees [duplicate]

I'm creating a planet and I was wondering what would happen in its situation. The planet's rotation axis is rotated 90 degrees, but still spins. Its gravity is twice than that of the Earth, and ...
17
votes
1answer
530 views

Electricity without electrons

The universe so far: If charged lepton fields are eliminated from the universe, charged pions become stable (having no decay path that preserves charge), replacing electrons to form bound "atomic" ...
6
votes
6answers
322 views

Can a machine benefit from stored heat energy?

Setting Overview My world suffers from an abundance of a particular type of energy. This energy can be safely absorbed and utilized by living cells, enabling, for example, a dragon's flight and fiery ...
2
votes
6answers
267 views

How can a twin on Earth grow old slower than his/her twin sibling?

I understand it might happen in a weak gravitational field. If I have twins on Earth, but one of them suddenly gets transported to intergalactic medium (without any great mass nearby), then the ...
8
votes
2answers
348 views

How would a rail gun affect the trajectory of a spacecraft?

What sort of force would a railgun need to produce to have a measurable affect on the trajectory of a large spacecraft? In the scifi book I am working on the primary craft of the story is a military ...
2
votes
0answers
103 views

Is Santa taking off risk creating a black hole, and will the good kids receive presents survive it? [closed]

Santa has to visit roughly 822 houses a second on Christmas day. At each house he has to stop, go down the chimney to deliver toys, then take off for the next home in a millisecond's time. As the ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Is it possible for theoretical particles such as tachyons to interact and/or bond with normal matter

I understand that particles such as tachyons don't really exist and are unlikely, but say for the sake of this question they do. Would these particles bond or interact with atoms? By interactions I ...
5
votes
2answers
316 views

A universe without light?

In the story Wang's Carpets (and part of the novel Diaspora), Greg Egan sketchily describes a high-dimensional universe which contains no analog for light, such that the aliens who inhabit this ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

Effectiveness of lasers of different wavelengths in space combat

I'm working on a game with combat between spaceships. It will not be hard sci-fi, but I'd like to base the mechanics on (simplifications of) real physics. When it comes to laser-weapons, I would like ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

The ability to reduce the movement of particles [closed]

Let's say that there is someone with the ability to reduce the speed of particles' movement (or vibration), he can reduce the movement of molecules, atoms and electrons. I want to know what will this ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Particle Accelerator Explosion

I'm writing a science fiction novel where a linear accelerator buried underground has to explode. Above the linear accelerator is an enormous server room which ideally would be heavily damaged. Atop ...
5
votes
2answers
101 views

If the nucleons in an atom were heavier, could it still be stable? [closed]

If the protons and neutrons had, say, a hundred times more mass than they normally do, could the atom overall still be stable? Would it affect the atom's electron cloud somehow, or would it still be ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Designing (a specific kind of) dark matter

There are exactly 2 force laws that can produce stable closed orbits: proportional (spring force) and inverse-square. The inverse square law occurs naturally for monopole central forces in 3 ...