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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.

23
votes
10answers
4k views

Is it possible to have a strip of cold climate in the middle of a planet?

Would it be possible to have a region on a planet that is not near its poles that has below freezing temperatures most of the year, while having more temperate regions both above and below it? If so ...
6
votes
1answer
83 views

Deities vs You /Liquid Anon/ What'd be the most optimal carrier fluid comopsition? [on hold]

Liquid Anon is my little OC, a total badass, with the ability to assume any form and color at a whim. Donut steel! A magnetorheological fluid (MR fluid, or MRF) a type of smart fluid in a carrier ...
1
vote
4answers
133 views

How can one manipulate elementary particles to make a person live forever?

Assuming that a person has the power to manipulate all elementary particles in any way (i.e. changing them from one elementary particle to another, nuclear transmutation, moving groups of them at a ...
8
votes
3answers
202 views

What kind of transports would be invented in a world with an enhancer-material?

You have a material that greatly enhances electric and magnetic sources or electro-magnetism in general. In this world, the material, is known to be a naturally occurring liquid found in geological ...
63
votes
24answers
8k views

The opposite to Worldbuilding: World Destruction

I am looking at different ways to destroy a planet. I am assuming the planet is of a similar size and composition to the Earth just to keep things simple. I am starting at boiling the atmosphere to ...
-1
votes
3answers
97 views

Most useful material properties for building tsunami-resistant submersible buildings? (Magical material engineering)

My magic system transfers quantities of certain properties from one object to another. For instance, electrical conductivity from metal to rubber -- the metal becomes less conductive, and the rubber ...
9
votes
5answers
146 views

Are handheld electric weapons realistic?

I want to use Teslapunk weapons in my semi-realistic science fantasy RPG that behave somewhat like flamethrowers, in the aspect that they fire out a branching arc of raw electricity. It would ...
2
votes
4answers
127 views

Wormholes as Weapons of Mass Destruction

A wormhole (or Einstein–Rosen bridge) is a speculative structure linking disparate points in spacetime, and is based on a special solution of the Einstein field equations solved using a Jacobian ...
7
votes
3answers
150 views

Hermit living down a well. How deep can he safely go?

A holy man lives down a cylindrical well that is 2 metres in diameter. There is no water in the bottom and all the walls are of solid impermeable rock. He is protected from rain by a roof on supports. ...
21
votes
11answers
2k views

Biological Blimps: Propulsion

A while back, I asked this question about the plausibility of giant floating whales and received an excellent and high-scoring answer from Dubukay demonstrating the unfeasibility of the idea. However,...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

By any scientific/pseudo scientific means could plasma be used to increase the lifespans of living creatures?

In my semi-realistic science fantasy RPG, I want there to be a newly discovered chemical element that is perfect at generating plasma for use in various futuristic weapons and to increase the ...
8
votes
1answer
93 views

How would ocean currents work with a gulf that's closed to the equator on both sides?

I'm running a D&D campaign and am using a modified map of Venus for it that shows what Venus would look like with similar amounts of water to Earth. The problem I'm running into is mapping the ...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

Weaponising Implosion instead of Explosion

Explosions are really messy - they cause debris to be spread over a wide area. They may also cause collateral damage. I want to use implosion instead. I wish to use a force-field sphere that contains ...
29
votes
16answers
6k views

How could a planet have erratic days?

I want to describe a world where one doesn't know how long the day will be. It can be anywhere between 18 and 30 Earth-hours. Would such days be possible in our reality?
4
votes
1answer
38 views

What would be the ideal way to weaponize plasma?

Plasma is a relatively common weapon in science fiction, with weapons that fire magnetically-bound superheated plasma or melee weapons that hold plasma in a containment field to burn through just ...
-4
votes
0answers
137 views

The Elementary Evil vs You /Wights/ How to defeat Henry's guerilla zombies? [closed]

Several hundred years after Simon, the Sudoer, Anon and two gold dragons managed to seal him away, Heinrich, the First, formerly Henry, is back, this time with an M249, ready to give world domination ...
-2
votes
1answer
94 views

How would react a medieval magic world to the arrival of an Interstellar colony? [closed]

Edit (I rephrase the question a bit to try to not made it opinion based) A space colony comes to a planet who is pretty similar to how fantasy's worlds tend to be represented. The space colony is 44%...
1
vote
2answers
37 views

How to protect astronauts and spacecraft from solar flares on long space journey?

Background I have a spacecraft traveling from one planet to another, say from Earth to Venus. The journey will take at the least several weeks. During this time, the sun will emit a number of solar ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Calculating the weight of different sized humanoids

In my world, I have relatively robust humanoids as the focal human sub-species, and a number of other human subspecies that are more gracile in build. I wanted to work out roughly how much they would ...
35
votes
12answers
9k views

How to get directions in deep space?

A spaceship crew, during their interstellar travel loses control of the spaceship for a few hours due to external factors (exact factor not important). This causes the spaceship to deviate from its ...
49
votes
10answers
39k views

Will unattended nuclear power plants actually cause damage to their surroundings?

Scenario: Deadly virus wiped out 80 - 90% world population and it did it pretty quickly (in 2 months) Although it is plausible that among these 10 - 20% of survivors will be people who actually know ...
20
votes
9answers
3k views

Gravity magic - How does it work?

This question graduated from the Sandbox for Proposed Questions Gravity magic - How does it work? (What physical law can magic manipulate in order to affect gravity?) In my world everyone is ...
3
votes
6answers
264 views

How could a silver sword give off a golden glow in the light?

Now, I am not talking about a golden glow that overtakes the sword itself. I'm not looking for a Lightsaber. I'm talking about a sword that is silver in color giving off a golden reflection (or ...
36
votes
17answers
11k views

Deadly, Heavier than Air Gas

In a given fantasy world, I need a deadly (yet not magical) gas that will naturally pool in low depressions and valleys. The level of magic is not high, so I'd like it to be an actual chemical that ...
-1
votes
1answer
118 views

Keeping GHz wireless RF out of our heads without stopping the internet?

Premise: Neurologists found that GHz wireless RF had modest but quite negative effects on people's brains. Subtle collective effects in neuronal firing patterns across the brain due to interactions ...
4
votes
6answers
252 views

Can you survive by growing and eating your clothes?

On Blue Planet 2: The Deep (at least, that is the title in the US version), there is discussion of crabs that grow bacteria on themselves as a food source. In the show, they kind of looked like they ...
20
votes
3answers
886 views

Scaling Up Internal Mass Drivers?

Internal mass drivers are a potentially useful space drive, due to the ready availability of reaction mass (you can use anything from spare parts to literal dirt as a propellant, assuming you have a ...
10
votes
4answers
506 views

Can one humanoid species evolve to live at an altitude where another, similar species could not survive?

It seems that people who live at very high altitudes have demonstrably "thicker" blood, highly concentrated with red blood cells to overcome the low concentration of oxygen in the air. Moving between ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views
19
votes
18answers
4k views

How can I explain mind control without using magic?

Mind control is a favourite tool of science fiction writers, it allows us to make certain characters do things that they would normally never do without the hassle of explanation. But hard science ...
0
votes
1answer
229 views

There are diamonds 10 times tougher than ceramics, approaching some aluminum alloys toughness, are these diamonds useful as an armor? [duplicate]

According to this paper if diamonds are doped with some boron and nitrogen it will gain enormous toughness while retaining the superhardness characteristic of diamonds. This diamonds reach toughness ...
9
votes
6answers
397 views

Radiation shielding in the blood?

I wanted a creature that produces something in its blood to protect itself from SEP (solar energetic particles) and GCR (galactic cosmic rays). The skin of the creature is normally sufficient ...
5
votes
4answers
188 views

What would happen if the boiling point of a section of ocean was lowered to 5C?

Suppose, that in a particular area of the ocean on an earth-like planet, all water molecules are transmuted into an exotic variety of $H_2O$ that is identical to normal water in every way except with ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

on sentient reptiles/ectotherm behaviors [on hold]

so, I was searching and reading things about reptiles trying to build a guideline for any kind of cold blooded peoples/aliens I still have a hard time finding precises idea on how temperature ...
4
votes
5answers
250 views

How to detect gyroswords

So, in the land of futuristic feudalism, the board of sword duels has a dilemma. During a duel, one of the duelists added put gyroscopes in his sword. He claimed this was to improve his balance, which ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

How might you detect a “life sign”?

It's a common trope in science-fiction: "scanning for life signs". A few taps on the screen, and you get an instant population count, often with the ability to distinguish species, and even personal ...
10
votes
6answers
206 views

Reality Check: Plausibility of a new kind of sentient alien race: Split prehensile tail, quadrupedal, very floofy!

In building an sentient alien that is unique among the sea of humanoids, I aspire to explore quadrupeds. For a quick visual reference, this is what I have: proportions are definitely off, but in ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Could the shape or geography of the continents be dramatically changed in a roughly short span of time? [duplicate]

I’m aware that the continents and the tectonic plates they reside on drift, but for there to be any noticeable change in their shape or geography takes millions of years to occur. Is there a known way ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Meterology of double planets sharing an atmosphere

If two planets were tidally locked and shared an atmosphere, as described in this question, what would the weather patterns of the planets be like? What weather patterns would form, and could these ...
4
votes
3answers
214 views

What is the earliest time a pulsejet could be built?

Let's assume that some wealthy characters somehow find the plans for a valveless pulsejet. How is not important. Maybe there was a time travel incident, or some Atlantean book was unearthed, or ...
6
votes
5answers
202 views

MacGyvering medieval poison

Does anyone know of any compound/substance one could have access to in a stone prison cell (From food? The rocks? The metal bars?) that could be processed through rudimentary means into a quick acting ...
1
vote
3answers
74 views

Types of life on a planet in a sun-synchronous orbit?

Basically, a sun-synchronous orbit is where one side of an object is always facing a star as it revolves around it (much like our Moon is, which is where the phrase 'dark side of the moon' originates')...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

What minimal radius is needed for rotation to simulate gravitation without averse effects on humans?

A quite common idea to provide "gravitation" in space stations is to make them rotate, so the centrifugal force gives an effective gravitation. A possible design is a ring-shaped space station. Now ...
4
votes
2answers
129 views

How long would it take for a centaur's broken leg to heal?

My fantasy world is medievalesque in technology. While healing magic exists, most centaurs do not have realistic access to it. Centaurs are your archetypal human torso, horse body. How long would it ...
7
votes
2answers
186 views

Could a medieval trebuchet and parachute work to deliver a soldier past a 20-30 foot wall?

This is a ludicrous question and isn't meant to be serious. I had an idea of catapulting people with parachutes and thought it would be funny. This was inspired by Elemtilas answering a previous ...
16
votes
19answers
3k views

How to make ice magic work from a scientific point of view?

I've recently been imagining a world of magic with heavy influence from chinese wuxia and xianxia. In such worlds, there's often various fire and ice magic, among other different types. Now, fire ...
7
votes
9answers
805 views

What would a society without cryptography look like?

In this world you have access to computers powerful enough to decipher messages as long as the method used to encrypt it has at least one theoretical weakness (those computers cannot defeat an ...
8
votes
1answer
132 views

Habitable world orbiting a gas giant orbiting a gas giant

How likely would a habitable world be that orbits a gas giant that itself is orbiting a larger gas giant? Assuming one exists, what are the likely conditions?
7
votes
2answers
212 views

Ancient Egypt - Primitive Blockchain Technology

Premise The goal is to implement a bronze age version of blockchain in ancient Egypt to introduce a layer of security for the royal tombs. Tomb raiding was rampant, and at times even the legitimate ...
-2
votes
1answer
119 views

What happens to hydrogen after burning [closed]

With fusion on the rise we are going to have a lot of helium but what gases are limited in helium burning? Context: my science teacher did not know the answer and I got curious