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Questions about science and the perception of science in a fictional world. Use [science-based] for questions on how to explain fictional things based on real-world science. Use tags relating to specific fields (such as for example [space-exploration], [astronomy], [biology], [xenobiology], [...

31
votes
10answers
4k views

Which jobs could western geniuses, who lived between 1643-1900, have in the modern age related to their talents?

I'm trying to write a comedy where as a plot device I have: Some of the greatest western minds of human history, who lived between 1643 and 1900, are transported into the modern age. I still haven't ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

How can an android produce blood-like substance via food?

I just discovered one of my friend is an android! That's a big shock, as she looks, acts, reacts, eats and drinks like a human. She didn't even know herself she wasn't human. While I partly ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

Repercussions of floating nuclear power station going into meltdown?

Set in an alternate 2010s/2020s, floating nuclear power station are now common as they can provide power to any city it is docked at (think along the lines of this real world example. or this ...
5
votes
4answers
299 views

Would a denser atmosphere hold in more moisture even if the temperature was exactly that of Earth's surface temperature? (Atmospheric Density)

(My world's details) I have a super-earth world. The surface of the world is shallower due to extra gravity, so shorter mountain ranges and fewer ocean depths. The world orbits a binary star system at ...
0
votes
4answers
128 views

Is there a way to provide evidence that causality runs in both directions?

Suppose in our own world, it turns out that an event in the future is extremely likely to happen, despite it being extremely to happen were the universe purely random. Some may call it "fate", but I ...
6
votes
1answer
402 views

How would this super-earth world be? (Creature evolution)

I have a super-earth world. The surface of the world is shallower due to extra gravity, so shorter mountain ranges and less ocean depths. The world orbits a binary star system at a distance of the ...
26
votes
11answers
5k views

Which plant species would be most likely to recover after a decade of no light?

Presume a decade of darkness, after a several months of steadily shortening daylight. Assume that the temperature and weather patterns remain (inexplicably) fairly unchanged. Ten years later, when ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

What is the ideal human atmosphere?

What would be an ideal atmosphere for humans? I have been searching to find out what we can breathe and cannot breathe. The percentages and mixes are lost on me. Could there be an atmosphere more ...
46
votes
7answers
4k views

Learning new physics from a superhero

Last week, a young woman came by my physics lab. She demonstrated the telekinetic ability to rotate things from a distance. We did some quick tests, but we couldn't find any previously known ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Voodoo via particle entanglement

In a world where science has advanced to the point of a healthy understanding of particle physics, scientists have begun working towards remote matter manipulation. In theory, it seems that one would ...
3
votes
2answers
132 views

What would happen if a spaceship had a total power failure in regards to the crew? [closed]

On a spaceship with a total loss of power, say for instance, because of a system failure or something, what would happen to the people aboard? Would they become hypoxic? And would it get warmer or ...
-1
votes
1answer
60 views

Question for Rocket Science [closed]

Could a nuclear fission rocket engine ever work? Do you think it could work better than rocket fuel?
10
votes
6answers
290 views

Do moons determine the speeds at which tides move? Is there a limit to this speed?

I'm writing a short story that takes place on an imaginary planet that is 88% ocean. The planet has two moons and one continent that is regularly flooded under 500 to 1500 feet of water. The tides are ...
-5
votes
4answers
244 views

On a planet without gravity, how can water stay on the surface? [closed]

In a fictional world that is round, and has no gravity, how would you go about making the water not fall off the planet (Or even people, for that matter?. Is there some kind of futuristic force field ...
5
votes
2answers
129 views

Could Organic systems ever power circuits?

I have a race of mainly insectoid aliens known as the Erepo who have virtually bioengineered a ecosystem around themselves. Now I currently have them using either organic systems they can "grow" or ...
3
votes
3answers
304 views

Designing an Earth-like alien that can survive the harsh conditions of this desert planet [closed]

The planet or orbits a G type star like the Sun that’s 20 percent brighter than the Sun, it orbits once every 130 days at 0.5 AU with an eccentricity of 0.08, and rotates once every 335 earth-days. ...
1
vote
3answers
216 views

What would happen if there was only a gentle breeze blowing constantly?

Let's say the classical element of Air is controlled by three deities. One creates the air itself, just being present for the second one to move it at a steady pace, a gentle breeze that blows over ...
13
votes
8answers
3k views

How can a ship dock in space?

Due to the outcome of this question (Is there any way to Terraform Ceres?) I am now working on the concept of shell worlds. Docking would be done by large spires with adjoining rings where once the ...
8
votes
7answers
800 views

What's a plausible way prove the existence of the “electron” to the doubters? [closed]

So, at many colleges in the North American region, most famously the New Jerusalem University and Chicago Collegium, much old world, pre-apocalyptic information is often taught at schools, including ...
11
votes
9answers
4k views

Could scientists test a theory of everything?

I'm ready to reduce a certain amount of scientific rigor for a good story. In my world, some person invents a theory of everything. Is there a way that scientists would test the theory, to prove that ...
3
votes
8answers
1k views

Can the future theoretically be predicted through analyzing the exact patterns of the universe? [closed]

My neuroscience is a little fuzzy, so bear with me. If your wondering how this ties in with world building, it's for a science fiction novel I'm writing, in which there is no magic. I am hoping to ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Nuclear propulsion: viable long-term launch strategy?

So recently there was this interesting theory -the paper itself is quite readable, but here's an article link that expands on it. Basically, it states that aliens on those very habitable but massive ...
1
vote
4answers
154 views

Getting through the ice, to the ocean of Europa [closed]

Trying to figure out the practicalities of drilling through the ice on Europa's surface, to drop a sub into the water beneath. From what I understand the three most viable methods would be Wait for ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

How can you derive a meter if you were transported in a world with no knowledge of the metric system? [duplicate]

I'm making a novel where the protagonist is reincarnated into a world in a medieval setting? How would one go about this? Note that the world he is in may not necessarily be the same size as earth.
5
votes
4answers
318 views

Withholding Fusion Technology

I am designing a world where one world power or set of world powers have developed commercial fusion reactors. The fusion of this world meets all of the expectations fusion we believe might be ...
34
votes
7answers
4k views

Evidence of spacetime anomaly in local geology?

My current project features a contemporary scientist who is convinced that some sort of spacetime anomaly occurred in a tiny rural Yorkshire, U.K. community circa-1850; he believes a dilapidated old ...
2
votes
3answers
134 views

How could I explain an alien species' non tool based plant manipulation without using magic?

I'm trying to find a way to explain an alien species' ability to control plants, specifically plant growth for crops, without it being 'magic.' So they can ensure the health and size of the plants ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Two-moon question [duplicate]

I want two moons in my novel's new world, but hope to have minimal changes in tides, etc. Would it be possible to have a very small moon that doesn't wreak havoc on nature? Also, is it possible for ...
5
votes
6answers
584 views

A cure, a vaccine, and one tricky disease

FINAL UPDATE: Thank you for your amazing points and answers, everyone! I mixed up all your ideas and posted the final answer as a community wiki. So, I'm developing a bacterial infection where the ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Projectile that crystallizes a target

Can arrow heads containing certain substances cause skin and flesh to crystallize, giving the impression of the target being frozen? Do such substances exist?
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How would magic make skeletons be able to move on a very realistic and logical scientific level? [closed]

So, how would skeletons be able to move? How would magic hold the bones together and make them able to move? How would they show gestures and expressions if they don't have muscles or nerves? Would ...
6
votes
1answer
182 views

Water-walking animal

What are the requirements for mass distribution and body positioning that would enable a large creature (say, a panther) to walk on water (and still be able to dive down and swim if it wanted?) This ...
10
votes
3answers
995 views

Taxonomy of genetically engineered species

The Context I have a group of genetically engineered people known as 'crows'. Their genome has been meddled with significantly enough that they are unable to successfully reproduce with humans, but ...
5
votes
0answers
91 views

Are fullerenes a capable/reliable “part” for my microorganism to work? [closed]

What I need the microorganisms for They collect and store chemicals, can be manipulated to do what a bigger life form wants. With enough of these microorgansisms and some knowledge of chemistry one ...
6
votes
9answers
956 views

How do you study magic without it being a science? [duplicate]

I want wizards in my setting to study magic, building libraries of arcane tomes and conducting zany experiments, but I don't want them to be able to share the benefits of their research because that ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

What is the chance of the whole atmosphere vanishing? [closed]

So in my science class I have been studying Green House Gases and I have learned that the atmosphere is beginning to have holes, which then expose the sunlight from coming in. I am just wondering if ...
4
votes
6answers
274 views

Would there be anything preventing a world where humans get energy by photosynthesis?

Is there any restrictions to have a world where humans gain energy by photosynthesis?
-2
votes
5answers
133 views

What are some horrific experiments I can conduct on human subjects? [closed]

I've joined a secret organization where I can conduct any weird and twisted experiments I please without the restrictions of so called "Ethical Standards" or "Human Rights." But I'm having a bit of ...
3
votes
3answers
167 views

What's a scientifically plausible method for cryopreservation?

I've been working on a project and I'm trying to make it as scientifically plausible as I can get it to be. Since space is large, and it's physically impossible in this universe to reach the speed of ...
47
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Is a Terminator line(twlight zone) wide enough for people to live in? [duplicate]

I'm writing a story about a planet tightly locked in rotation. Would it be viable for people to live within the twilight zone of the planet? I'm not talking about just a couple people I'm talking ...
0
votes
3answers
445 views

How would a species similar to the Rito from BOTW evolve?

When I played Zelda: Breath of the Wild and met the heavily redesigned Ritos, I took an immediate liking to their designs. Although the fact that they're fully bird-like helps, it's mostly because of ...
-1
votes
1answer
56 views

how Could we control magnetic fields around us effectively? [closed]

I'm trying to write a story where a character controls the magnetism around him, how would this effect him and the world around him, what can potentially be his weaknesses?
0
votes
4answers
231 views

What classes should be included in a “restart the human race” curriculum?

I've mostly written a story from the point of view of filler programs in an online university, the characters initially existed to put human students at ease in RV classrooms with greatly diminished ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

How would the use of sacrificial magic work and how much power-mass ratio would it have? [closed]

In a world that was completely based on sacrificial magic, how would the much life/mass would the object being sacrificed give? Would sacrificing a human able to bring back another human?
1
vote
1answer
109 views

How would I make two biomes seem realistic as they change into one another? [duplicate]

I am building a world where there is a big desert and the next biome over is a swamp. The desert goes for miles, and the swamp is also huge. I know that some biomes do not go together, such as a Polar ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

The possibility and possible backlash of a thruster large enough to move a planet

Inspired from the game "Planetary Annihilation" a Halley Delta V Engine is a engine built in the ground that is big enough to move the planet when used. This can be used for two things in my mind. War,...
-4
votes
1answer
180 views

What requires more energy? Destroying a planet or splitting a planet in half [closed]

The question is rather simple, which of the 2 option requires more energy? Destroying a planet comeplety or splitting a planet in directly in half Would appreciate it if you show your calculation ...
-1
votes
2answers
114 views

Quantum Computer Sizes [closed]

Is there a (minimum) size limit for a quantum computer? I know that current computers can only go so small due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, but would this affect quantum computers?
26
votes
12answers
4k 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 ...