Questions tagged [science-based]

For questions that require answers based on hard science, not magic or pseudo-science, but do not require scientific citations. Contrast with the hard-science and reality-check tags. Do not use this tag as the only tag on a question.

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1answer
16 views

When will the last unambiguous evidence of mankind be gone?

Humanity just disappears tomorrow, lets say it is like the Thanos-snap but it kills everyone. How long until the last unambiguous evidence of our existence has disappeared? What was this last relic? ...
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0answers
81 views

Does a black hole have a speed limit for absorbing matter? [on hold]

Does a black hole absorb all matter at the same speed regardless of whether it is light or normal matter? Say it begins to suck in a photon and also some asteroid. Will both objects be accelerated/...
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2answers
78 views

Required RPM for a Hamster wheel style Habitation ring on a spaceship to generate roughly Earth-ish gravity [duplicate]

I'm looking at a ship that is pretty big. About 720 feet from nose to tail, with two stonking big rockets on the sides, these will flip for deceleration. At roughly the same rotational pivot point, in ...
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8answers
3k views

Which modern firearm should a time traveler bring to be easily reproducible for a historic civilization?

Eureka! Our hero just discovered the secret of time travel, but what to do with it? "I know!", he says. "I will travel back in time as far as I can and hand them a modern firearm. They will learn how ...
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1answer
116 views

Kinetic weapons - establishing an upper limit when dealing with grey goo

This answer to my last question suggested, rightly, that there are targets dangerous, and large scale, enough that there is neither overkill nor spillover damage when it comes to attacking a planetary ...
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2answers
93 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 ...
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2answers
164 views

If Earth Were a Gas Giant's Moon

Here is what we know of Earth: Mass: 5.972 sextillion metric tons Diameter: 7,917.5 miles Density: 5.51 grams per cubic centimeter Rotation: 24 hours Revolution: 365 days Core: 760 miles wide, ...
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1answer
123 views

How close to each other can Earth-like planets plausibly form from the protoplanetary disk?

We occasionally get questions and answers that discuss how close to each other planets can be and still meet some criteria. For example, this answer to the question ''Habitable'' planet close to a ...
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9answers
4k views

Increasing muscle power without increasing volume

Some of you may know my mutant thread, and guess what? It's back. I'm wondering if there is any biological means to improve muscular power without greatly increasing the volume of said muscle. My ...
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0answers
44 views

Does anybody know of a site, podcast, Youtube channel, blog or something else that postulates a future tech every week? [on hold]

I'm looking for an amateur site that talks about a creative future science, tech or concept at least once a week and it must be ongoing. I already watch Isaac Arthur and John Michael Godier as well as ...
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2answers
109 views

What is the smallest land mass to develop human civilization? [on hold]

(Related to this question about the smallest land mass to support a civilization, possibly dropped in fully-formed by magic or advanced technology. This question is asked in response to comments there ...
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1answer
49 views

Forming a dust ring around asteroid Ceres

Is it possible, due to asteroid mining activities, for a space-fairing civilization to produce a dust ring around a very large asteroid (Ceres)? In my world, there is a lot of ore processing being ...
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3answers
222 views

How to get rid of the rainforest for a desert moon with only habitable poles?

I wanna build a habitable desertworld which is a gas giant moon. The desired and already semi-fixed parameters are: mass between 0.4 and 0.25 Earth-masses only 10 to 30 percent global ocean cover, ...
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1answer
118 views

What set of circumstances are most likely to lead to a planet with a climate resembling the Great Plains?

Part of my story will be set on a planet where a culture similar to that of the Old West has arisen - cowboys, frontier towns, homesteaders, etc. In order to make this development more plausible, I ...
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4answers
176 views

“Realistic” Dwarfs Part One: Bioluminescence for active Vision

I've been thinking about dwarfs and their depiction in classical fantasy for while now and concluded that I find it unrealistic and lazy. Some research showed me that the current fantasy dwarfs have ...
5
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1answer
171 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 ...
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9answers
8k views

How could an animal “smell” carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless flammable gas that is slightly less dense than air. So begins Wikipedia's article on carbon monoxide (CO). To the best of my internet ...
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1answer
123 views

How long would it take for society to rebuild itself? [on hold]

Humanity creates a new technology that discovers these strange crystals (on Earth) that produce a little bit of electricity. There's now a race for mining them, and the whole world is going crazy over ...
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4answers
371 views

What is the smallest land mass to support human civilization?

Let's say we have an Earth-sized planet and the same general solar activity and climatology. However, the continents are much smaller, and it's effectively impossible to accomplish travel between them ...
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2answers
221 views

What would be the effects of replacing the Moon with an Earth-like planet?

Let's assume that for whatever strange -- probably magical -- reason, the Moon was suddenly and instantaneously replaced by a planet identical to Earth in terms of mass and size. Its orbital path is ...
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5answers
4k views

Getting fresh water in the middle of hypersaline lake in the Bronze Age

An ancient kingdom covers a several rivers in a desert basin all converging on a central, hypersaline, lake. Because of its central location, and the importance of the salt, the lake has important ...
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2answers
110 views

How can I fast-track the growth of a human being?

A homoculus is an artificial human being that is created through the magical science of alchemy. These creatures are born in artificial wombs by a dark ritual that requires various materials, and the ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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4answers
101 views

What are some difficulties in synthesizing desirable substances produced in nature?

Suppose that there is a substance that is produced in nature by an organism. This substance is rather desirable. The reason this substance is desirable can be anything: Whether it is because it is a ...
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1answer
76 views

Protecting a ringworld from solar radiation

How can I protect a ringworld (which creates 1g artificial gravity and has an earth-like atmosphere) from the things that earth's magnetic field protects us? (using real-world physics)
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3answers
180 views

Realistic melange - Part 1: Formation

Melange, also known as "the spice", is a fictional drug in Frank Herbert's famous Dune series, which has many benefits (and some drawbacks). In this series of questions, I'll try to see how many of ...
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3answers
238 views

Is it possible for thermophilic viruses to infect humans?

I'm writing a short story that focuses on an area with high thermophile activity, like a hot spring. There are known thermophile viruses, but thermophiles aren't able to transmit these to humans ...
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5answers
450 views

The Giant Roc and Pulse Jet propulsion

I am currently in the process of making a world, and am trying to ground it in scientific fact as much as possible. The world is a hard magic setting, and while fantastical creatures exist, they are ...
7
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3answers
987 views

Bronze Age Underwater Civilization

I was thinking of an alternate history, in a part of a civilization, living along the Eastern Mediterranean, during the Bronze Age moves to the sea floor to found an underwater civilization. They ...
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4answers
183 views

How dangerous are sodium salts?

I am in the early stages of planning a story called The Four Flamingos of the Apocalypse. The premise is that the Four Horsemen have manifested on the surface of the earth and are tasked with bringing ...
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25answers
5k views

Why would guns not work in the dungeon?

In my setting I need to have a dungeon where people cannot use guns or other gunpowder weapons. The reason can be anything: it's impossible to bring guns in, guns don't work inside the dungeon, ...
6
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1answer
139 views

Is it possible to have a planet with earth-like mass but double the atmospheric pressure?

I'm no scientist and my poor brain box is on its last legs; I was wondering if any of you smart beans out there would be able to help me figure this out? Here are the specs of my system; Kereiol is a ...
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0answers
74 views

Can a system of 10 planets be stable if star is not on the main sequence?

My star is 2.17 Solar masses. For narrative purposes, I decided this so it will collapse in the theoretical Quark star. Could such a big star that isn't on the main sequence (Because its an A type, ...
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2answers
153 views

Born and raised on a world with longer days and years - would it impact life expectancy

If humans found a habitable world and access to it, what would the effects be of a longer day to those who were subsequently born and raised there? Is there any evidence that a longer day cycle (of ...
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3answers
85 views

What would be the chemical composition of the crust and core of a planet comprised primarily of diamond?

I’m creating a world for a webcomic and I’m running into some difficulties – namely, my own limitations. I’m not a scientist, and I don’t even know how to start asking the questions I want answered. ...
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1answer
118 views

What plant colours other than black could be available on a red dwarf planet?

Hello! I'm no scientist so I've reached the limit of my knowledge. I was wondering if any of you smart beans out there would be able to help me figure this out? Here are the specs of my system; ...
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2answers
117 views

Looking for a review of my tidally locked red dwarf planet system specs!

Hello! I've put together my first planetary system, but as I'm not a scientist (and bad at maths) I'm reaching the limits of my brainbox and would really appreciate some fact checking! I have ...
10
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1answer
125 views

Dissipating sonic booms

Alastair Reynolds is a contemporary sci-fi writer whose works often demonstrate a strong grip on science as it presently stands. Recently, I picked up his book On The Steel Breeze for a quick re-read ...
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1answer
102 views

How Far Can The Stars Ve and Vili Orbit The Main One, Odin?

In this solar system, there are three K-type main sequence stars, or "orange dwarves", named Odin, Vili and Ve. At the center of this solar system, Odin is 80% the mass of our sun. The middle star, ...
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2answers
140 views

Could we become the universe? [closed]

First question ever here. This is not my first language so sorry for any mistake. How could a species become the Universe itself, as in controlling every single particle and permeating every form of ...
6
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1answer
121 views

In what ways would the earth's orbit/atmosphere/ocean currents have to be different in order to create summer with long nights?

As far as I know, summer and winter are governed by the amount of sunlight absorbed per unit area, where longer days would increase the temperature along with a higher sun angle. To elaborate on the ...
4
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1answer
138 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 ...
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3answers
202 views

Is it plausible to to cover a desert in self-replicating solar panels, using only the materials found in the desert?

Silicon is the main material used in both computers and solar panels. Sand is silicon. Deserts have a lot of sand and sun. This may be an oversimplified way of looking at things, but could we ...
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13answers
4k views

What could cause the sea level to massively decrease?

I'm trying to find a justification to the sea level on Earth decreasing by a large amount (in the range of 1000 / 2000 m). The change would begin during the Modern Era or in the future, and last long ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Could there possibly be any alternative biomolecules that could store genetic information like DNA and RNA? [closed]

I study quite a lot of chemistry, biology, and other branches of those fields, alongside some forms of astronomy. As part of a large-scale project I have been working on for a few years and continue ...
8
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11answers
4k views

What is a writing material that persists nearly forever or for a long time? [closed]

I'm designing an alien society with a low population density. I intend for them to have 1 book per topic per place; books update annually as new information arises. I call them books, but they can ...
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3answers
81 views

Would Such an Axial Tilt Exist on These Worlds? [closed]

In this scenario, there are two Earth-sized planets orbiting one same sun, but they are literally as different as day and night. Both have a 48-hour rotation, but: Planet A has a polar winter in ...
6
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3answers
213 views

Could people harness the bioluminescence of a firefly?

The world I am creating is in a swamp that contains larger than life bugs; this includes fireflies. What I ask is, could the bioluminescence of their glow somehow be harnessed or used as a light ...
8
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3answers
160 views

Sprawling climbers: how will they develop tools and civilization?

Say we have an intelligent species whose body plan is inspired by walking insects (ants, beetles, etc.) and reptiles (particularly lizards). More specifically, let's say they have four legs (I think ...
9
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1answer
726 views

Floating Pumice Road. Slab Size

So based on the question can pumice stone be use as castle material on water? I wanted to take pumice and use it to construct a floating road, so my Lava People can safely travel from one volcanic ...