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Questions tagged [physics]

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

8
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2answers
276 views

What would be the effect of a very very fast sword strike

Let's imagine some very powerful dude with absolutely ridiculous strength/speed/durability. I'm not asking about the credibility of this, let's suppose it's magic. He's got some magical sword as ...
7
votes
3answers
170 views

Effects of a supermassive ship colliding with a planet

The basis of my story revolves around a single survivor escaping a massive colony ship gone critical above the skies of an alien world. After his escape via escape pod, the ship crashes halfway across ...
8
votes
2answers
301 views

Syrup Atmosphere

As you look at the properties of the atmosphere as you scale up or down, things get weirder and weirder. One good example is the fairyfly and its environment. Fairyflies are so small that at their ...
6
votes
2answers
632 views

What is the effect of being sliced by an ultra-thin object? [duplicate]

Can you survive being sliced by an object if it is thin enough? The following properties hold for this object: It is composed of a non-toxic, body-temperature material, equivalent in weight to ...
-6
votes
1answer
97 views

What if a helium-filled ball was thrown towards the earth? [closed]

Suppose some alien hovering 100's of miles above the earth has constructed a big ball/sphere and filled it with helium, and decides to throw that ball towards the earth. Would the air-helium density ...
5
votes
3answers
225 views

What would be easy or difficult to do with the power to directly control light?

Without going into too much detail, let's say someone has a superpower which gives them "control" over actual, physical light: Photons, electromagnetic radiation, what have you. This power requires ...
9
votes
5answers
429 views

Could a nuclear explosion occur naturally on a planet with crazy enough (but still possible) conditions?

My question here is if there is any circumstance, however unlikely, that could lead to explosive nuclear fission that was not set off by intelligent creatures. I'm working on some bizarre planets for ...
3
votes
0answers
185 views

Physical laws for a multiverse with white holes? [closed]

My fictional worlds reside in a multiverse. More specifically, they reside in a universe within that multiverse that is very similar to ours. But here are some big differences: White holes are in ...
-1
votes
1answer
194 views

Could a blimp house an entire colony on Mars?

What is surface to weight ratio needed to help slow the decent onto Mars? Assembled and inflated in space could a blimp be big enough to include everything needed to jump start a colony and land? ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

How long until the micrometeorites stop?

In my setting, a The Moon is a Harsh Mistress-style mass driver existed around Mare Tranquillitatis, and was destroyed by a 100 megaton nuke in a preemptive strike. While I understand that the nuclear ...
1
vote
4answers
267 views

Cheap Space travel

A disclaimer: There is a lot of real Science involved. Imagine a world which is exactly a copy of Earth (at least in terms of power as a species and technology). There is a company that aims to make ...
6
votes
3answers
150 views

Life in the water/snow line of a protoplanetary accretion disc?

So I was reading this article recently, titled Stellar Outburst Brings Water Snow Line into View: http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1626. In short it's about a protoplanetary accretion disc around a ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Are flatlanders stuck in 2D? [closed]

A 3D creature "Boo" decides to visit flatland for a vacation.There he becomes friend with a flatlander "Elo" .They talk, eat and enjoy (don't ask how). While leaving Boo tells Elo about his world and ...
-1
votes
2answers
115 views

Could a civilization generate electricity without metalworking? [duplicate]

On a world that had no oxygen (and thus is very unhelpful to would be metalworkers who require fire), could the natives find a way to use magnets to generate electricity? If so, to what extent? Is ...
5
votes
2answers
121 views

How might the cooling of the Earth's core be accelerated?

Essentially, what would be the most efficient way of causing the Earth's core to cool as much as possible without damaging human civilization in any other way (the outcome can damage it, but not the ...
9
votes
6answers
4k views

Are there physical laws making this kind of revival impossible?

AFAIK, inanimate bodies and life forms are in the end a large set of subatomic particles (and atoms, and molecules) and energy. Unless my basic knowledge of Physics fails me, you can return a particle ...
-3
votes
2answers
115 views

If humans adapted to survive car crashes what would our physiology be like? [closed]

A good scenario for this situation would be roads got more dangerous and cars were not improving for more people to survive car crashes. in this world they became more common. what would our ...
-3
votes
2answers
250 views

Could a 2-litre milk carton be used to knock someone unconscious? [closed]

More specifically: could a 2-litre milk carton like the one pictured below be used to knock someone unconscious via a single blow to the head, or would the carton burst from the force? Here is some ...
-1
votes
1answer
149 views

Could a natural satellite in geosynchronous orbit be used as a counterweight to a space elevator?

Could a natural satellite in geosynchronous orbit be used as a counterweight for a space elevator? Does the counterweight need to be of approximately the same weight as the anchor? If so, I suppose ...
-2
votes
5answers
173 views

How to transform matter from an immaterial state to another more solid state

Does matter, physical things that can be observed and measured by our five senses, have wavelength (or phase) the way that radio waves do, and if so can that be manipulated somehow? Let me explain... ...
6
votes
3answers
259 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

What kind changes can be found on Earth if we have a red giant as our star [closed]

Let's suppose we have a red giant as our star, what kind of climate would be on Earth and will there be any change in plant, animal and human life both physically and mentally. What about the ...
1
vote
3answers
156 views

Lifting water from a subterranean lake by boiling it?

A medieval-tech desert city relies on a nearby subterranean lake for their water source. In lieu of employing thousands of slaves carrying pots up a long series of tunnels, could the intrepid desert ...
9
votes
2answers
458 views

What would the minimum mass of a water world need to be to form ice Vll, due to pressure, at its core? What about ice X, ice Xl, and higher?

I'm thinking of a planet in a Goldilocks zone similar to Earth's, with a similar atmosphere, and similar atmospheric pressure and temperature at the surface. Gravity would be variable, based on the ...
6
votes
2answers
407 views

Time dilation difference of two spacecraft at different relativistic speeds, if the faster one circles back

I have the tables explaining time dilation for a single ship at different relativistic speeds, but am unsure how to modify that to work out for two ships at different velocities, and the two different ...
0
votes
1answer
119 views

What's faster than an Ion drive interstellar ship? [closed]

I have a dilemma. I'd set up a ship (it's a couple of centuries old) as an Ion drive ship and now my brain is exhausted trying to recall what would be faster. I think FTL is the way to go but what ...
6
votes
1answer
227 views

Size and Effect of Ocean Tides on My World

I'm building a world that orbits close in to an M-Dwarf sun. I've figured out a bunch of the physical parameters of the world, I just can't quite get a solid handle on my tides. I know my tides will ...
3
votes
5answers
280 views

Worlds with different physics

So I have some worlds with different physics, and need some way to explain it. As with other sci-fi, it would seem best to find something plausible but may be extremely unlikely or have negligible ...
1
vote
3answers
97 views

Getting through a force field [closed]

I'm writing a children's book where there is a force field over a park. I need a way for my characters to get through the force field without them totally shutting it down. I'm thinking something like ...
-7
votes
1answer
128 views

What would this being's 'voice' sound like? [closed]

I have a being that does not have vocal cords, and instead, speaks to 3-dimensional beings(humans) by manipulating air to produce what sounds like human speech. What would its voice sound like?
6
votes
1answer
303 views

Could a light mage microwave your face?

First post, so I’d appreciate suggestions and help on how to make this question better. Question Suppose there’s a sorcerer with power over light. He can use these abilities to perform all the ...
2
votes
0answers
74 views

How do I find my troposphere boundary? How will this affect my weather patterns? [closed]

My world has a radius of .87 REarth, an average temperature of 278 K, and an escape velocity of 9.3 km/s. My atmosphere is 1.81 atm at sea level and has a 14052 m scale height. Is this enough to ...
33
votes
7answers
4k views

How to create an annual celestial event for a world

Yesterday while Green, Andy and I were recording new episodes for the podcast we stumbled upon a bit of a problem that we need someone with physics/astronomy knowledge to help out with. We want to ...
3
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2answers
157 views

What are the implications of being removed from time and/or causality? [closed]

My setting explores the idea of there being something significant about the subjectivity of quantum states such that it's almost as if the Many Worlds interpretation of causality is somehow ...
6
votes
5answers
587 views

How would the landscape appear under the influence of extreme windstorms?

I'm building a world with almost weekly extreme windstorms, driving the residents to either live underground or in the 'wind shadow' of sealed-off valleys. To sum up the windstorms' power, "You know ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

What mass would it take to turn Jupiter into a star?

I'm writing a science fiction story based on: turning Jupiter into a star. colliding Callisto and/or Io into Ganymede to increase mass and changing the orbit to provide warmth, atmosphere, and ...
4
votes
5answers
310 views

Swimming in the rain?

This question is inspired by salmon swimming up waterfalls. I am aware that it is an entirely different thing, but I felt that it was worth mentioning in understanding the question. “What would need ...
-3
votes
2answers
159 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 ...
48
votes
12answers
7k views

How would you know your floating island was losing altitude?

The question: What realistic environmental signs would telegraph to the occupants of a floating landmass that their home was slowly losing altitude? The planet: I'm working on a story that takes ...
11
votes
3answers
391 views

Feasibility of an 'Oxygen Radiation Zone': a non-pressurized natural formation on Mars that provides suitable atmosphere

CONTEXT and INTRODUCTION Humans establish colonies on Mars with slightly more advanced technology than we have today. The Martian colonists lose all contact with Earth. Over centuries, the Martian ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Understanding which materials can be found on planets

I am making a science fiction computer game where you can travel between planets. I would like the planets all to have some kind of differing materials. Now I have no idea about which kind of "...
10
votes
10answers
2k views

How could two alternate realities “blend” at a single point in space time?

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse The multiverse (or meta-universe) is a hypothetical set of various possible universes including the universe which we live in. Together, these ...
3
votes
3answers
418 views

Space elevator into a blackhole. Possible?

Inspired by Spaceship orbiting a black hole under the event horizon - a prison where no one escapes, I was wondering if it is possible to make a space elevator that goes down into a black hole. In ...
3
votes
4answers
615 views

Orbital Mass Accelerator. Space Elevator

Can two objects solar powered, equal in weight, traveling on the same orbital path in the opposite directions propel each other to intersect on the opposite side of the Earth in alignment to propel ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Can extremely powerful geomagnetic storms be made plausible on an otherwise Earth-like world?

I've been playing with ways to make my world interesting, and also further justify the limited use of ferrous metals. One idea I had was that my world might undergo regular and intense geomagnetic ...
6
votes
12answers
5k views

The BFG, instant death from anywhere? [closed]

Mounted in the middle of the Colonist main military base is the Massive Energized Particle Railgun. A BFG (Big Freaking Gun) able to draw on an effectively endless amount of power in order to charge ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

How could it be possible to exert gravity without mass?

Some of what I read in How could a 4D organism influence events in our world made me think in a different direction about a question I asked before. I'm trying to create a large sphere shaped field ...
0
votes
1answer
155 views

Do different angles of strike affect the destructive power of an asteroid?

I'm looking into the destructive power of a 5km asteroid strike, a bit smaller than the k-Pg event. How does the angle of the strike affect the destructive capability of a land-based impact. For ...
2
votes
3answers
144 views

If a civilization could build wormholes, what else could they build? [closed]

I'll start out by apologizing that my knowledge of physics is limited. But moving on. As I understand it, in order to make a wormhole you'd need an absurd amount of negative mass to keep the ...
1
vote
6answers
155 views

How to explain planet-specific resources? [duplicate]

In science fiction there are often these so-called "alien resources" found only on certain planet(s). How would this be plausible considering majority of complex elements are formed within stars? ...