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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.

0
votes
1answer
104 views

In 1000 years, could a magnetic bottle-like plasma dome system protect a small city? [closed]

I've looked at the magnetic bottle (hydrogen plasma/fusion) idea as a potential basis for extrapolating what technology might be capable of doing with plasma fields 1000 years into the future...which ...
4
votes
4answers
310 views

One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, one nod of the head

One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, one nod of the head, sit down, stand up, keep moving We'll all be merry and bright https://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/o113.html I want a creature that ...
24
votes
8answers
8k views

What would happen to a human body subjected to extreme water pressure?

First of all, I tried to look if this wasn't answered before. Found this and this but neither is exactly what I need. Some Context There's this race of humanoid fish people. They live in cities ...
7
votes
3answers
200 views

What would be the usefulness of both arms and fins on a sea dwelling, amphibious organism?

I am currently designing a highly intelligent species for a sci-fi project I am working on. They are quite similar physically to prehistoric salamanders or similar amphibians, but I am having trouble ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Genetic altering to make human lungs strong enough to process water [duplicate]

I am aware that human lungs can't process water due to other reasons, but I am working on a setting that has genetically altered humans of various degrees and one of them can breathe water and air. I ...
1
vote
3answers
145 views

Do aliens gamble? [closed]

I have read a number of sources that indicate that gambling behaviours in humans are the result of evolutionary adaptations. If gambling is the result of the specific evolutionary history of our ...
9
votes
2answers
601 views

The running-backwards Olympics

In a future world that is obsessed by not repeating the so-called errors of their fathers, there is a backwards Olympics, or Scipmylo. All the usual disciplines are featured in reverse where it is ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Ways to detect lasers from afar

In my sci-fi universe, spaceship shields are generated by capturing plasma between two electromagnetic fields. Projectiles are evaporated by the heat of the plasma, and charged particles are deflected ...
8
votes
5answers
732 views

How much can you learn about a planet while in its orbit?

Suppose a team of astronauts have travelled to another solar system, and are currently living in a craft which is in Medium Earth Orbit of a planet which has oceans, continents, and complex life. ...
7
votes
5answers
304 views

Barring all structural and stability issues, how would building a ringworld around the earth affect it?

I've looked for an answer for this, but the only information I could find dealt with the ring itself. All I want to know is what would change on the Earth if all problems were solved and the ring were ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

How long would an array of mass drivers take to terraform Mars by transporting CO2 from Venus?

So I've always assumed Mars never had enough available CO2 on-site for terraforming, something that new research seems to have confirmed. But my ideas have always relied on getting CO2 from alternate ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

What poisons could have been hidden in food or drink used in the early 1700's? [closed]

I'm writing a character who has to kill her children by poisoning. I just need something they wouldn't have tasted. It doesn't matter if it kills them fast or slow (either will work). Back then ...
3
votes
2answers
244 views

What resources would be depleted during a “Medieval Stasis”?

Many fantasy worlds use a “Medieval Stasis”trope. What resources could we expect to become depleted during a stasis? Surely, since technology is stagnant, the people would mine all the materials they ...
2
votes
3answers
128 views

Campaign Warfare in Avian Species [closed]

For this avian species, imagine a race of Hoatzin-like animals, with gripping appendages on their wings. The birds generally live in nest groups, building large communal nests. They are also larger ...
5
votes
5answers
219 views

Designing vehicles for different gravities

In my story, humans have colonized both a high-G and a low-G world in the same star system. How would surface vehicles have to be designed differently for practicality and economy on each of those ...
0
votes
3answers
100 views

What if peregrine falcons, albatross, and hummingbirds were all human-sized? [duplicate]

If peregrine falcons, albatross, and hummingbirds were all human-sized, but possessing their current biologies, would each of them still be able to fly as they normally would?
1
vote
4answers
178 views

Medieval Aspergers? [closed]

In my writing I have a few characters with aspergers. However, they live in the late 1100s. They are siblings, and their father is relatively wealthy, but not nobility. The three have moderate to ...
5
votes
2answers
93 views

Naturally maintaining an atmosphere being stripped by a brown dwarf‘s magnetosphere

In this scenario we have a brown dwarf with a powerful magnetic dynamo from metallic hydrogen. The magnetic field is modeled after Jupiter’s but just three orders of magnitude more powerful. ...
5
votes
2answers
129 views

Do these plants make sense in the way I want them to establish in my world?

(Beforehand I'll excuse myself for my english. If you didn't need to know that you can just ignore it) There's a network of root-like life forms in the top layers of my planet. They use some kind of ...
5
votes
7answers
774 views

How to use a certain technology to communicate with colonies but keep the how-to a secret?

I'm building a world for a role-playing game campaign using the Stars Without Number system. Some background information first: Stars Without Number Original Setting: In the original story ...
18
votes
7answers
4k views

How can one individual have two different biological signatures?

A detective is investigating a series of grisly murders in New York. The bodies of the victims seem to have been ripped apart by a inhumanly strong person. He has narrowed down the list of suspects to ...
4
votes
6answers
198 views

Imposing scientifically derived requirements for holding public office

Earth Here on Earth, who serves in public office depends a handful of factors -- some of which are unsettling. In the US there is the infamous Wall Street-Washington Corridor where financial ...
7
votes
2answers
164 views

Can I arrange my stars in a tetrahedron?

Inspired by this question: Consider a trinary star system, in which the three stars are arranged in an xy plane and all revolving the same direction, equidistant from each other. The inward pull of ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Approaches that could be used to define a given bacterial strain as a new species [closed]

I would like to know what are the possible approaches a scientist could use to identify a given bacterial strain as a new species.
1
vote
0answers
109 views

How big could a cannon be made [closed]

what is the absolute upper bound on the size of gunpowder cannons, (not rail guns or similar) in terms of shell weight and bore diameter before some mechanical or material problem prevents it from ...
0
votes
1answer
154 views

Worms that create wormholes - can we find and track them underground?

In a future Earth it has been discovered that earthworms can actually create wormholes. There is a lot more to this and I will be asking other questions, however at this point I just want to know if ...
-4
votes
1answer
114 views

How to create matter in a solar system [closed]

I looked to see if anything like this was asked, but can’t find. So a star is formed, the sun for instance., and creates a gravitational force on its own. After a billion years a kuiper belt ...
-5
votes
1answer
109 views

Freeman needs your help, how to get crates behind the enemy lines? [closed]

Warning: this question contains potential spoilers for Half-Life 3, but as the game will never come out, I just made a partially irrelevant warning. Garry Man is an avogadrolionaire, so he has a ...
2
votes
3answers
195 views

Could a gas giant have two earth sized moons in binary orbit around it

I’m trying to create a system where a gas giant has two moons in binary orbit with each other. I’m trying to get that James Cameron look with the gas giant on the horizon, but also have a equally ...
42
votes
8answers
14k views

How dangerous is a 500-year-old nuclear warhead?

Inspired by this question: For several excellent reasons, a 500-year-old nuclear warhead is not going to produce an actual nuclear explosion. But that doesn't mean it's not dangerous anymore. ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Explaining a Low-Mass Brown Dwarf

Considering the well-established relationships between stellar mass, surface temp, and luminosity, how unusual would it be to find a star (or brown dwarf) that possesses about half the mass of an ...
2
votes
4answers
132 views

Can I make the carbon cycle shorter - by metamorphosis from plant to animal and vice-versa

EDITED to address the above suggestion. See below. Most animals breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon-dioxide. Most plants take in carbon-dioxide and release oxygen. Waste products from animals ...
4
votes
5answers
263 views

How would a nanorobot disease be identified by a scientist

it's pretty straight forward, how could a scientist such as a doctor, identify that nano-robots are the cause of some disease without knowing what it is looking for ? It would somehow need to be by ...
3
votes
6answers
468 views

Can one individual be used to repopulate an entire species?

An evil scientist has engineered a plague that would kill anyone with an xy chromosome pair. This plague has systemicatically spread throughout the planet, killing all males within the population. All ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

50% O₂ 25% Neon 23% Nitrogen and 3% trace gasses?

Could an atmosphere of 50% O₂ 25% Neon 23% Nitrogen and 3% trace gasses be survivable for a human being at the similar or slightly less atmospheric pressures as Earth?
26
votes
3answers
2k views

With 12th-15th century technology, is a “vending machine” possible?

Say that I own a business from around the 12th-15th century. My country uses a Silver (or, if you so wish, Gold) currency in the form of coins. I want to make a secure "vending machine" to give out ...
3
votes
5answers
463 views

Usability of frictionless bullets

An inventor, inspired by hydrophobic sprays, has created a spray that temporarily removes the friction of whatever it's coated on. Curiously, he decided to coat a 10mm Auto cartridge with it. With ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Could the moon crash into the earth if we colonised it and increased its mass?

Suppose we begin to colonize the moon. Assuming the building materials and biological material are all imported (not taken on-site), would it be possible for the moon to become massive enough to fall ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it really possible to see across a ringworld? [duplicate]

Almost all illustrations of ringworlds that I've come across tend to show off the shape of the ringworld from the surface. This doesn't seem realistic to me, because the ringworld's radius would ...
4
votes
2answers
128 views

Equation to get the size of a crater created by a meteor strike?

Im trying to find the equation to the the size of the resulting crater created by meteor strike when I have the mass, volume, diameter, density, velocity and kinetic energy of the meteor Can ...
0
votes
3answers
118 views

Can you tell me which are the things or the group of the things that the character of my story can use to paralyze his elder brother? [closed]

I am writing a fiction story. In that story, a man paralyzes his elder brother by lacing one of his food items, for example, milk or any other thing which he eats with a "thing" or a group of the "...
2
votes
0answers
115 views

What is the relationship between surface gravity and maximum animal size? [closed]

It is clear that an organism can only grow so large before the systems required to keep it alive need to become impossibly efficient. Circulatory systems, respiratory systems, nervous systems, etc. ...
11
votes
10answers
5k views

Would experiencing Groundhog Day prove that life was a simulation just for you alone?

There are other Groundhog Day questions and other Simulation questions. I believe this differs from all the others. [This movie features a] ...TV weatherman who, during an assignment covering the ...
-1
votes
1answer
92 views

What are the side effects to an ability that let's you experience the senses from a memory? [closed]

The ability gives you a photographic memory and let's you perfectly recall any event in his life, and experience all the senses (touch, vision, smell, etc.) from a memory by firing the nerves or ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Can giant planets in the habitable zone have rocky moons?

My question is in the context of a fictional super-Neptune that lies in the habitable zone of its host star system. Giant planets only form beyond the Frost Line of their protoplanetary disk, and ...
11
votes
18answers
3k views

A huge transparent wall permanently separates two civilisations - what can it be made of?

I'd like two medieval societies to be separated from one another by a huge vertical wall. The wall is so high that no-one has succeeded in shooting an arrow (or anything else) over it. It disappears ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Extreme adaptation: evolutionary narrative for Vantablack-like skin pigment

Premise Inhabiting my earth-like world will be humanoid beings that have a skin tone that is as dark as Vantablack. Let's assume these human-like beings share the same ancestry as humans and we can ...
35
votes
17answers
10k views

An object that is gold in one specific area but becomes worthless if you leave that area?

Let us pretend there is some "sacred city" created by gods, where gold is so common that it is the standard form of currency and everyone has lots of it. But once you try to leave the city with this ...
2
votes
3answers
223 views

A Wider Range of Human Skin Color — But Would The Transition Between Shades Be Natural? [closed]

Long ago, it was thought that the peoples of Europe developed white skin as a means of adapting to the low-level lighting of ice age Europe (an assumption that disregarded why the people of Asia don't ...
-1
votes
1answer
90 views

Could life be living in Europa? [closed]

The ice is so thick that no probe sent from Earth can detect life under the ice. Radio would not work well under the ice so we could not communicate with Europians if they are advanced. What would ...