Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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.

4
votes
3answers
176 views

What would a lethal laser attack by a sorcerer look like?

In a magic system that allowed the manipulation of energy by sorcerers, what would a bystander observe during such an attack? Some details are relevant: As I understand it, lasers are visible due to ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Could an entirely (or mostly) hydraulic muscular system work in terrestrial vertebrates?

In Invertebrates, Muscular Hydrostat, which is a form of biological hydraulic, is used for locomotion. On Earth, (as far as I'm aware) no system exists where hydraulics perform in conjunction with a ...
14
votes
12answers
3k views

Little known, relatively unlikely, but scientifically plausible, apocalyptic (or near apocalyptic) events [closed]

We know the common tropes for an apocalyptic event: meteor/asteroid hits earth; crazy infectious virus/bacteria; AI takes over; we nuke ourselves; climate change; hostile aliens. But what are some ...
9
votes
3answers
376 views

Can the Meissner effect explain very large floating structures?

James Cameron's Avatar featured floating mountains which stayed aloft due to the Meissner effect; they contained large quantities of the room-temperature superconductor unobtainium, which, due to ...
21
votes
10answers
6k views

Assassin's bullet with mercury

This is something I have been wondering: if an assassin wanted to kill their target with a bullet from a sniper rifle, can they dip it in liquid mercury so even if the bullet itself doesn't kill them, ...
4
votes
3answers
504 views

Can mass be shunted off into hyperspace, but the matter remains?

My question is this: can excess mass be bled off into hyperspace (the large and compact extra dimensions, not the Star Wars-esque swirling vortex), yet the matter remains in our universe? Is mass too ...
6
votes
3answers
317 views

Which edge shape is better to cut things with for a chain sword type/style?

To help you get the idea of what I mean, here is an example of the edge. Imagine the edge can move like a chain sword or chain saw, so don't take it too literally. Don't consider the entire sword ...
30
votes
17answers
7k views

How could indestructible materials be used in power generation?

Background: In this scenario assume technology is initially equal to our own, but a method is discovered to render material indestructible. The affected material is treated as requiring infinite or ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it possible to map the firing of neurons in the human brain so as to stimulate artificial memories in someone else?

My question is based on the following excerpt from an article I read recently: Since the early neurological work of Karl Lashley and Wilder Penfield in the 1950s and 1960s, it has become clear that ...
8
votes
7answers
272 views

How could a pair of twins be born with different abilities? [closed]

The demon king Sparda had an affair with a mortal woman. This union produced a set of twins named Dante and Virgil. However, a peculiarity occurred between their forming. The one called Dante was born ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Creating a scientifically semi-valid super-soldier, addendum: Metabolism

A while back Demigan had a running series of posts about various aspects biological enhancement for the purpose of designing super-soldiers with an element of (pseudo) science behind them. You can ...
4
votes
3answers
228 views

need help building a convincing Airship steam engine room [closed]

Building a world with airships that are powered by steam engines. Big boiler, water tank, lots of coal. Enormous engine room. Propellers, masts with huge sails. There are steam-powered automatons in ...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

A hang glider, sudden unexpected lift to 25,000 feet altitude, what could do this?

This is the third in a series of 5 (at this point) questions. It's not relevant to this question, but for anyone who's curious this was the first, this the second. Conditions for this question are: ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

How could my “tumbler field” steer projectiles away from its user? [closed]

In order to allow melee weapons, firearms, (and dragons) to exist side by side, I need the wheel of fortune that can turn the battle's tide to favor one over the other, then spin it. One such wheel ...
5
votes
4answers
363 views

How long would a stoplight work after the apocalypse?

The apocalypse has come! Everything is dead, and I do mean everything. People. Animals. Plants. Don't ask how, I'm not entirely sure. Let's assume this town is in an out-of-the way area as far as ...
1
vote
4answers
457 views

Can titanium chain mail stop a bullet?

Can a titanium chain mail stop a bullet? How thick the chains would need to be? Or a titanium plate would be more efficient? How thick the plate should be? Of course, against normal weapons, like ...
30
votes
6answers
7k views

Physiological effects of huge anime eyes

Anime, Disney, and many, many other works feature human characters with ridiculously oversized eyes. This is usually just a stylistic choice, and had little to no effect on anything in-story or in-...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

How can I increase wingbeat frequency for large flying creatures?

Flapping flight bumps into a size limit after a while because of wingbeat frequency. My knowledge on birds is rather limited, so here's how I interpreted that: A longer wing is a longer lever -> ...
4
votes
2answers
568 views

How much force would your fist need to strike with to punch through a human body?

Okay so, this is kind of a disgusting question... sorry about that in advance, guys. Say you are super strong, super fast, and super durable. There is a not so strong, fast, or durable normal human ...
5
votes
4answers
196 views

Could a planet with two time streams be possible

I am asking specifically because I was recently doing a Doctor Who marathon and saw the apalapucia episode and thought "I wonder if that's possible?" So here I am. Is it possible to have a planet ...
9
votes
5answers
225 views

A quick poison with obvious effects

So I have a scene where someone gets poisoned. I want the poison to have a couple qualities: It works fast, with in the span of a meal be to exact It can be put in food or drink, either covered up or ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Would it be possible to create a vehicle completely from organic material? [closed]

I've wanted to make a planet where everyday lifestyle is exactly like here on Earth, but everything is organic material. Of course,vehicles like cars would be extremely ambitious. But, could we ...
1
vote
3answers
144 views

How fast would a person need to be to cross a gap and prevent a gunman from shooting someone?

I was reading one of the recent questions involving a fast-moving superhero, and it reminded me of something I've been wondering about for a while, so I decide to create a spinoff scenario question. ...
15
votes
4answers
298 views

Can I X-Ray a civilisation to death?

Something in orbit around an inhabited planet blasts it with a hefty dose of gamma rays/x-rays/something else, killing everyone within a relatively short time frame (hours or days) but leaving no ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Make solar eclipses exceedingly rare, but still have new moons

Given a system similar to the Earth/Moon/Sun system, how would one go about making solar eclipses rarer than they are here on earth, but keep new moons similar to how they currently are (or at least ...
4
votes
1answer
602 views

Modern-day genetically engineered monsters – what's possible? [closed]

I'm a budding mad scientist working in my backyard, with access to about 10,000 dollars' budget, a genius aptitude for genetic engineering, and garden tools. I've got some kind of backstory to avenge, ...
0
votes
3answers
152 views

Is using Casaba Howitzer like devices as precision-cutting implements plausible?

How well would something like a Casaba Howitzer work as a beam weapon? A Casaba Howitzer is a type of directional blast that focuses energy from an explosion into a specific shape or direction. For ...
6
votes
4answers
250 views

Could a primitive sapient civilization survive on a planet being pulled along by a shkadov thruster?

From my understanding shkadov thrusters, they use huge mirrors built on the scale of a dyson sphere, to reflect all the radiation of a star in one direction, accelerating the star as an enormous star-...
4
votes
4answers
287 views

How can spies and whistleblowers protect themselves from a government that wants to silence them?

When it comes to an angry government the ending can be: Acute Radiation Sickness (FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko) imprisonment (whistleblower Chelsea Manning) 'car accidents' (journalist Serena ...
8
votes
3answers
233 views

Giant rock spikes sticking out of the ground

Would it be possible for huge, hundreds-of-metres-long spikes of rock, ideally slanting at an angle, to arise under natural processes? For clarity, I mean like this: Copyright Joe Jesus There are ...
7
votes
3answers
876 views

Is this version of a gravity generator feasible?

I want to create to create a ship that does NOT rely on rotational gravity to have a constant downward force on everything. The people built a g-force generator that does NOT induce gravity, just a ...
0
votes
3answers
75 views

Ratio of momentum transfer from weight to wind

Let's say I have a magic system where force can be redirected from one mass to another. So if I have two objects of the same mass, I can link them so the force due to gravity on one is redirected into ...
5
votes
2answers
192 views

Effects of a supermassive ship crash landing on a planet

My planet is a 20% larger than the earth, assume a similar atmosphere, but it can be changed to fit the narrative. My ship is not so large as in the original question, a cylinder shape, about a ...
5
votes
2answers
160 views

General airship question: advantages and disadvantages of size?

Airships are cool, and one of the only vehicles that benefits of the square cube law as it can carry more weight if it has more volume of lifting gas. This got me thinking about what other advantages ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

General airship questions: largest possible size?

Airships are cool, and I would love to use them and see them used outside of steampunk a lot more. One key aspect of Airships is that they seem to have the square cube law reversed. For other things ...
5
votes
3answers
208 views

How Could a Disease that Lowers the Intelligence of Humans to Non-Sapient Levels Exist?

I am curious if there is a way for a disease to negatively effect the intelligence of humans;reducing them to non-sapient ferals in the end. I am curious what such a disease would need to do to ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Sulphur dioxide planet

Trying to create a planet with sulphur dioxide (which is heavier than oxygen I think) on a lower level and oxygen above it. Is this possible? Need something that is horrible on the bottom and want ...
10
votes
1answer
245 views

Can the event horizon of a black hole be distorted or destabilized by an extreme spin rate

Assuming that there is a means of increasing the spin rate of an existing black hole, what would happen to the shape of the event horizon as the spin rate was increased? In extremis what would ...
11
votes
3answers
327 views

Can a single, larger black hole be split into multiple smaller black holes?

Essentially, my question is, can one larger black hole be split into a system of smaller black holes? I'm assuming energy requirements will be prohibitive, and that it may not be possible without ...
2
votes
4answers
160 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
198 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. ...
1
vote
6answers
240 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
215 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 ...
26
votes
11answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

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

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
2answers
139 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
150 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
102 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
48 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 ...