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Questions tagged [physics]

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

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Spearguns without rubber?

I want a medieval civilization to be able to hunt under water. However every weapon I can find to spearfish under water seems to be rubber based. I don't want to introduce rubber to my world as it ...
GreedyGroot's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
1k views

Would it be possible for a living being the size of a planet to survive?

I've been thinking what is the theoretical size limit of a living being? I asked myself this question: Could a living being grow to the size of a planet? This super massive organism would have its own ...
Matheus Soares's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
55 views

Is it possible to create a rocky moon with high volcanic activity but that has underground water?

I am creating a moon for my gas giant, I am going to give the data and a little more context but first I need to make it clear to everyone that there is no life on this moon and I do not plan that, ...
Idon'tknow's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
36 views

Estimating energy of tidal friction in alternative moon scenarios

The moon loses kinetic energy due to tidal friction. I would like to quantitatively explore the energies involved in alternative earths in which the moon is larger or has a different orbit. I asked an ...
spraff's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
207 views

What is the best kind of nuclear reactor to use for a criticality accident if I want to expose my crew to a huge amount of radiation?

I've recently been making an attempt to write a short story that leans very heavily towards hard sci-fi. My area of expertise is primarily in biology and neurology, and the backbone of the story is ...
the-protean's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Would mining asteroids cause meteorites

I wanted to know if the mining of Asteroids would cause a problem with meteorites for nearby planets. Like if a company came in and started blowing up moons, asteroids or dwarf planets would the ...
Tycho's user avatar
  • 155
1 vote
2 answers
252 views

Looking to shape a magic system based as much as possible in actual science [closed]

I am looking to create a magic system that is grounded in science. My initial thought was the ability to manipulate electrons on the atomic level. Since I do not want the magic users to be walking ...
Chason Arthur's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
105 views

At what rate does my planet become tidally locked?

I am designing an alien planet for a speculative evolution project. It is slightly less massive than Earth and is orbiting around a red dwarf, within the Goldilocks zone. It takes 220 Earth days to ...
Ambjörn's user avatar
  • 208
2 votes
1 answer
89 views

Crafting a Water Cycle for a Cube World with State-dependant Gravity

So I have a cube world with the standard 6 sides, with a top and bottom that do not change. We can ignore any rotation of the other side-sides for the sake of this question. I am trying to come up ...
IVIX's user avatar
  • 91
8 votes
6 answers
2k views

Negative pressure projectile propellants (Alternatives to gunpowder)

While I was looking into alternatives to gunpowder I stumbled onto a comment talking about an ignited chemical propellant that could be placed in front of a bullet and effectively suck it forwards out ...
Wey Newman's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
75 views

UV radiation from conventional blasts? [closed]

Continuing from this question Blast will produce shockwaves at a close distance, so earplugs are a given. But what about the UV glasses? Temperatures exceeding 2500K are required to produce UV ...
EMS's user avatar
  • 287
3 votes
2 answers
380 views

Can a cube-shaped(ish) world have uniform(ish) gravity when composed of ideal materials, including antimass?

I'm trying to design a cube world while sticking somewhat closeish to real physics, but am not entirely sure about the physics involved with objects of non-uniform density, specifically as relates to ...
DDriggs00's user avatar
-2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is carbon-223 theoretically possible? [closed]

In my story, there's a stable isotope of carbon with 217 neutrons (it doesn't have to be 217, I just like the number). Based on humanity's current observations of the universe, could this isotope ...
le_chat's user avatar
  • 61
3 votes
1 answer
116 views

A smart way to ground yourself to help a person who is being shocked by electricity [closed]

:) I am currently planning a scene for my fantasy novel that involves electricity. I'm unsure if regular electricity with its properties known to us works in the context of my magical world or if I ...
Aki's user avatar
  • 39
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

How disadvantageous would symmetrical, four-fingered hands be?

I'm working on a fantasy world in which orcs are more obviously similar to swine and I want them to have hands which look like they could have evolved from pig's feet. My "concept design" is ...
1ridgewilliondollars's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
326 views

Where would aurora borealis be visible if the earth was rotated to move its axis?

The magnetic north pole, geographic north pole (centre of the axis of rotation), and solar-system-north are all approximately aligned, and aurora borealis is visible at the north and south poles ...
spraff's user avatar
  • 2,249
1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Post-war apocalyptic desertification scenario lasting at least 1000 years

I am writing a story, in which humanity is struggling to survive and rebuild civilisation hundreds of years after a devastating war with AIs. I'd like the world to be covered in deserts, where humans ...
Eillis's user avatar
  • 31
9 votes
9 answers
5k views

Will nothing bad happen if I just create infinite energy?

My magic system introduces an additional energy form that one can convert at a rate leaving out surplus energy, thus generating more than what was initially utilized. For instance, using Arcana to ...
Xenophile's user avatar
  • 1,332
3 votes
1 answer
70 views

Binary Star System Physics

I am envisioning a planet that has two orbiting stars: a small yellow-white F class and a larger orange K class star. The stars were once closer and created a more tumultous tectonic history but since ...
Zip Zap's user avatar
  • 125
5 votes
2 answers
163 views

Could a planet have metalloids but very few metals?

Could advanced technology be created by an intelligent species on a planet where there are very few true metals and only large amounts of metalloids? I envision a planet sparse in accessible metals, ...
Zip Zap's user avatar
  • 125
3 votes
2 answers
156 views

What would a beacon of light activated on Earth's surface look like from space?

Would it be physically possible to have a beacon on the Earth's surface so powerful its beam would continue outwards past the Earth, further into space, and out into the cosmos? What would that beam ...
iolim5678's user avatar
  • 175
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Could variation of the universal constants affect computation?

One of the obstacles to realistic - yet interesting - space battles is that of effective computation. If all trajectories and whatnot can be computed much faster than a human could follow, it leaves ...
Spitemaster's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
528 views

Effects of a hypothetical "proton-decay" bomb for a fictional story

I initially asked this question on Physics Stack Exchange, and was then redirected here. I would very much appreciate the input of any physicists who might be reading this. I'm writing a science ...
Nicola's user avatar
  • 183
-1 votes
2 answers
142 views

How could this creature use firearms?

This is a species that has human-level intelligence and very similar to a bonobo/chimpanzee, so it's clear to see why they may struggle with guns. Hard to see how they could shoulder many kinds of ...
Terra's user avatar
  • 151
10 votes
7 answers
3k views

How would I pull off FTL travel in a universe where inter-universal travel is also widely used?

I'm trying to implement proper FTL travel in my story. I have already looked at the Alcubierre Drive, but every implementation of said drive that I've seen is too outwardly obvious for my taste. ...
viridianskyes's user avatar
-3 votes
3 answers
352 views

Is it possible for a type 3 civilisation to use a blackhole bomb to stop a gamma ray burst?

A gamma-ray burst can be caused for multiple reasons. Some of the more common ones is that either a supermassive star undergoes a supernova and collapses into a black hole, two neutron stars collide, ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
693 views

Is it theoretically possible for a planet to orbit a star that is orbiting a black hole outside of the event horizon? And what would it look like? [closed]

I have written a book in which a planet orbits a star that orbits a black hole. I would like to know if this concept is completely impossible, or if it could, in theory, occur. I realize this all ...
MGJ's user avatar
  • 61
5 votes
1 answer
673 views

Speed of light in higher-dimensional space [closed]

In science fiction, one of the widely used tricks for achieving faster-than-light motion is traveling through "hyperspace". By that I mean, entering a space with more than 3 spatial ...
SCP_org's user avatar
  • 61
7 votes
2 answers
129 views

How close to a star could a dense asteroid belt reasonably form?

I would like to have an asteroid belt "close" to a star. I want it to contain "large" asteroids. Is this plausible? I believe the location of our real life asteroid belt is ...
spraff's user avatar
  • 2,249
12 votes
13 answers
4k views

Data storage on marble statue

In my novel I need incriminating international information somehow embedded in/on an erotic marble statue. Is this possible? If so how would it be done and how info later be retrieved? I've searched ...
Why's user avatar
  • 129
5 votes
3 answers
201 views

Would the discovery of a room temperature superconductor with a high critical current improve ion drives?

I'm just an optimistic, uneducated bum, so if any of the terminology or ideas are wrong I apologize. So I understand that ion drives are very economical but very low thrust. Partly because powering ...
BigDumb's user avatar
  • 377
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

How would the "Hardness vs Toughness" dynamic of gems apply if it were possible to make shields out of them?

From my understanding, "hardness" and "toughness" in the context of material sciences (or perhaps specifically gems?) refers to two separate properties: "hard" materials ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 153
0 votes
0 answers
84 views

How do Mermaids Create Fire? [duplicate]

Fire is useful. It generates heat to warm your house or cook your food, or to lights the fuses of your bombs. It's also handy if you can start a fire underwater and take it to the surface, so you can ...
ArchduchessFerdinand's user avatar
10 votes
8 answers
5k views

Could Mermaids Tear a Warship's Planking?

I had an idea for a story, where mermaids sabotage a ship during the age of sail. I wanted to ask for advice on it, and if it makes sense. Perspective would be especially helpful, since someone told ...
ArchduchessFerdinand's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

How could a hyperspace "ocean" work?

I've been working on a mostly hard sci-fi setting where there exists an extradimensional hyperspace that allows for superluminal travel and time travel called Deepspace or Darkspace, which has a very ...
Inanis343's user avatar
  • 511
3 votes
1 answer
398 views

Calculating drop time from a spaceship to a planet

In my story, we have a spaceship orbiting at "LEO" around a foreign planet. The planet has 0.6g gravity. same atmosphere density as Earth. The ship orbits at 600km with an orbit time of 100 ...
Noam Josephides's user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
5k views

What would happen if I fire a gun in an environment with hyper-gravity?

So I've seen a lot of research done into how guns react in low gravity environments as well as on space stations. However, for my story I was wondering how the trajectory, force and speed of the ...
Tycho's user avatar
  • 155
4 votes
4 answers
311 views

Crystals that change color continously

In my game there are crystals/gems/rocks which change hue shifting continuously the full spectrum of red-blue-green colors, the change in color is random and some times it slows down and stays the ...
Xenophile's user avatar
  • 1,332
0 votes
1 answer
107 views

Magnetic Metallurgy: Evaluating the Structural Implications of Introducing Magnetism to Armor Components [closed]

Would the implementation of magnetic properties in the metal plates, rivets, or scales of an armor compromise its structural integrity and make it more susceptible to fragility, considering factors ...
Xenophile's user avatar
  • 1,332
2 votes
5 answers
308 views

How large a mass could a spacecraft tow between solar systems?

For the purposes of this question, let's assume space travel does not involve 'shortcuts' through other dimensions (like so-called hyperspace) and that 'tractor-beam' technology exists. Provided the ...
king of panes's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
524 views

Could a torpedo fits through a smaller opening due to length contraction?

I was wondering whether a relativistic torpedo which is a futuristic cannonball measuring 1m in diameter could fit a small circular cracks on the surface of an energy shield with a diameter 10% ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

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 ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 62.3k
10 votes
7 answers
2k views

What range of altitudes would not be fatal for an astronaut falling from height on the moon?

Imagine I'm writing a sci fi thriller novel set in the modern day, on a space station orbiting the Moon. The crews are supposed to deliver supplies to a lunar station on the Moon, they board a shuttle ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
1 vote
2 answers
117 views

Maximizing efficiency of the The geodesic sphere (literally being on cloud nine)

I’ve read about the geodesic sphere from other questions here and the underlying thing that confuses me isn’t the materials or the physics since both work, it’s making people live inside one. But what ...
Science and fantasy entwined's user avatar
3 votes
7 answers
2k views

Combat between flying power armor: how would it work

In a certain world far beyond the reaches of our own, there are humans. Humans make war just like on Earth. They have an early modern level of technology- cannons, arquebuses, swords, axes, polearms, ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
865 views

What causes my expedition RTG to produce way less power when deployed in a magic realm

Dear colleagues from the Institute of Subatomic Research, as you will have noticed, our latest expedition to the Magic Realm (TM) through the Strange Portal (TM) was a considerable success. No one ...
Confused Merlin's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
288 views

How could entropy control go wrong? [closed]

The magic system of my story works by either increasing or decreasing entropy with the decrease requiring a specific spot ex. dust collecting into a concentrated point or the increase requiring an ...
Novus Pendragon's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
151 views

How might the surface of a tectonically active planet appear without a global ocean?

I hope this is "specific" enough, and sorry I don't really know formatting rules yet. I'm trying to build a habitable desert super-Earth, where water can only exist seasonally around the ...
Pseudosapient's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
298 views

Formula for determining maximum flight speed of superpowered individuals

I would like to be able to roughly determine the maximum horizontal flight speed of any superpowered individual using only the maximum acceleration that person can produce. To do this, I will need a ...
M S's user avatar
  • 2,404
13 votes
15 answers
4k views

Would Artificial Gravity With Short Range Be Possible?

Assuming a spaceship with artificial gravity was possible, would it be possible for it to have an extremely short range, like a few feet. So you'd be able to have a ship with 1g but not have it ...
Connor Dawn's user avatar

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