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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6
votes
9answers
975 views

Justifying the use of directed energy weapons

In my scifi setting I want a broad range of slugthrowers (bullets, smart ammo, grenades,...), exotic weapons (flame/chemthrowers, high tech blades, nano-bots,...), and directed energy weapons (heat ...
4
votes
1answer
729 views

The Bering Land Bridge--Open For PERMANENT Business

This is the Bering Sea today... ...and this was the Bering Sea as recently as 25,000 years ago. Truth of the matter is, the Bering had been shifting back and forth from land to sea for 100 million ...
5
votes
2answers
492 views

Could coral float?

I've been thinking about worlds like Keplar-62e, thought to be covered in deep oceans and wondering about floating reefs, could a bio-structure substantially similar to terrestrial coral hold enough ...
2
votes
3answers
217 views

Actual scientific requirements for human flight

I want to make a human able to fly, much as Superman or any other superhero can (meaning without wings or any other non-human physical characteristics), but respecting the physical laws otherwise. ...
3
votes
5answers
152 views

Technology to see an invisible being

I have a world where there are two types of beings. One type, let's call them X, exist in our "dimension," and the other, let's call them Y, exist in another "phase" or dimension. Only 10% of X ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Will my planet work? (size, gravity, atmosphere)

I was going to sort this all out beforehand, and then write the book, but when the writing flows... you make hay. I am a perfectionist/details-oriented person, but you lose me on math/hard science. ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Would nanotechnology-scale devices be vulnerable to EMP?

For the purposes of this question, let's use the definition of nanotechnology from the tag wiki excerpt: "technology that works with sizes of less than 100 nanometres". An EMP can vary in frequency ...
5
votes
4answers
820 views

What would be the next technological step after advancing from cybernetic body parts to nanotechnology?

Technology in 2019 has many ways of augmenting the human body, for example: hearing aids, pacemakers, artificial hips, breast implants, artificial spine discs, coronary stents and even artificial eye ...
20
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12answers
8k views

Metal that glows when near pieces of itself

First question! I'm excited to see if anyone can help me. Any missteps are unintentional, but feel free to tell me so that I may learn. So, I've recently started brainstorming over a possible story, ...
3
votes
3answers
137 views

(Semi) Scientific way to explain fast space travel

I am looking for a (if only semi or even the tiniest bit) scientifically explainable way to make a spaceship travel fast enough that interplanetary travel (take the average distance between any 2 of ...
3
votes
3answers
105 views

What would the weather be like after the world is shaded by an immense object?

I have a situation in my imaginary setting, and I am specifically interested in how this situation would affect the weather. The situation is as follows: Positioned above a large landmass of my ...
-2
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3answers
121 views

How would the weather act if you blocked sunlight? [duplicate]

Consider a large flat disc, at least two thousand miles in diameter. It is thin and has comparatively little weight or mass, but it is also opaque and does not let any light through. This flat disc ...
8
votes
3answers
242 views

What would a Pegasus actually do with its legs while flying? [on hold]

The question is just as simple as it sounds. Would it tuck them under like a bird? make running motions like it does when running on the ground? some other movement that actually aids in flight ...
0
votes
2answers
173 views

What would a Superconductive Fluid do if drank/inhaled by a human?

Hypothetically speaking, if there was a substance you could drink/inhale (in an alternate reality) with superconducting properties, how would it influence the brain and the body? The superconducting ...
5
votes
4answers
538 views

Human with super efficient metabolism

So I read recently this article as I was trying to design a sci fi alien race for my story and I found out that a human only has an efficiency of converting food to energy of about 25%. What would ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Physical causes of multiple births in humans?

The setting I'm building has a race of people, derived from modern humans, whose primitive survival as a species relies partly on very fast reproduction, and I think I want them to have a tendency for ...
8
votes
11answers
4k views

How to go from a free person to a slave

This question is a little nebulous unfortunately and perhaps a bit disturbing. The evil-empire in my WIP captures Mages and breaks them down into loyal and obedient servants. The Mages aren't as ...
26
votes
18answers
15k views

How might telekinesis and pyrokinesis work if they were possible?

New here! Now let me be clear: I'm well aware that telekinesis and pyrokinesis are both impossible, as I've been rudely informed on every science forum. Nonetheless, I don't just want to "make it up" ...
6
votes
2answers
119 views

Nocturnal Photosynthesis

It's a basic fact that most plants need sunlight to generate growth. Sure, they also need water and nutrients, but their reliance on sunlight is the one sole thing that separates them from animals. ...
4
votes
7answers
721 views

Impact on the sciences with helium instead of nitrogen

Suppose we have a planet whose atmosphere has roughly the same gaseous proportions as Earth, but helium replaces nitrogen, and has a strong hydrogen presence in the upper atmosphere; has a ...
4
votes
3answers
109 views

How to find the radius of a planet given its internal composition?

Consider a planet very similar to Earth, with the same radius and the same mass. In a very simplified model of its interior, 70 % of its mass is magnesium silicate and the remaining 30 % is iron. This ...
21
votes
18answers
4k views

Quick destruction of a helium filled airship?

I am writing a steampunk novel and am working on a scene where an enemy quickly overwhelms and destroys a US airship. The enemy has flying gyro sleds and a large airship of their own that is armed ...
2
votes
3answers
588 views

Warp drives without exotic matter?

Taking into account all of the developments in the alcubierre warp drive theory including the new calculations by Harold White. Are their any plausible/theoretical ways to generate a warp bubble ...
87
votes
17answers
14k views

Are there logical gaps in the periodic table in which you could insert a new mystery element for use as a fuel?

As in the title. We have the modern periodic table: In a potential near (or far) future setting humanity discovers a new element which serves as the basis for a cleaner, higher energy density fuel ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

We need help with our xenoforming weapon of mass destruction

Our empire has been at the mercy of violent marauders who are not working with the Will of Dozin and instead trying to break away from our cosmic union. In our archives, we have found a xenoforming ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Underwater technology?

How would aquatic aliens create technology? ( Think late 90's style, and by that, I mean: Phones, metallurgy, electricity, public transportation (think trains), books (and ink that would not just ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What can give a species superpowers without being magic, evolution or interference from ancient aliens?

This is partially a followup to my question on ancestral guidance. Suppose you have a species, or a subset of a species, that has a particularly interesting mechanic, like the above mentioned ...
4
votes
1answer
55 views

distance between climate/geographical changes

I have an Earth-like world (approximately 1000CE technology--horse/mule for travel) that I want to have my characters traverse over the course of the book. I want the areas to have distinct geography/...
3
votes
3answers
150 views

What energy sources could exist beyond fusion? [on hold]

I'm looking for possible sources of energy that could one day replace fusion. I'm not necessarily looking for cool sounding names, as I'm trying to avoid technobabble, but ones that could somewhat ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Can one build a spacecraft containing an evacuated chamber on its exterior wall? [on hold]

Basically, the evacuated chamber is to perform some experiments. The spacecraft is of single stage to orbit variety. I am asking in terms of whether one can build it using generally used materials of ...
2
votes
3answers
123 views

If global radio communications systems are disrupted, what is the alternative?

An event has occurred several thousand kilometers from the surface of the Earth. Let's assume some sort of tear in the universe has appeared, from which extra-dimensional or exotic energy is pouring ...
12
votes
3answers
191 views

Is a carbon planet with seas of methanol on its surface scientifically possible?

I am creating a carbon planet with seas of methanol on its surface, but I am not sure that this is possible. It is predicted that carbon planets are depleted of water, since the available oxygen ...
4
votes
5answers
320 views

Would molten tin solidify and coat an organic horn?

Tieflings are routinely captured and imprisoned. Those that are compliant enough are sent out and used to hunt other tieflings, but not before having their horns dipped in molten tin as a way of ...
7
votes
5answers
505 views

Is it possible to build long-lived macro-scale structures out of non-atomic substances?

A staple of science fiction is substances like 'durasteel' or 'tritanium', which, through generally unexplained means, have vastly superior material qualities when compared to conventional materials. ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

How Developed Would Baby Mwindo Be?

In real life, humans get pregnant for only nine months. Once born, the baby has a long way to go before it can stand, walk and talk. But don't tell that to Mwindo! The African saga of the hero ...
4
votes
5answers
466 views

Parallel universe portals: an infinite hall of mirrors?

Parallel-Universe Portals A solid material has been discovered that, when shaped into a ring and activated (by lowering its temperature below some critical point, let's say), it forms a parallel ...
14
votes
13answers
3k views

How to make an animal which can only breed for a certain number of generations?

What would be the best way in which to genetically modify (or create through some other method) an animal which breeds normally for a certain number (50?) of generations before becoming sterile? ...
5
votes
2answers
209 views

What happens when a person with some edited genetics (like say, eagle eyes) reproduces with a person with regular genetics?

If person A has had the genes dictating their sight/ the internal structure of their eyes, replaced by say, eagle eyes or cat eyes. What happens when they reproduce with person B who has regular ...
7
votes
6answers
487 views

Spying on another star system

I want to find out what's going on in another star system, but I don't want to go there. How feasible is it to just build a big telescope and take a look? Scenario: Earth does not respond to ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Possibile explanation for a [somewhat] realistic floating continent scenario?

I'm writing a story that takes place in a world where people live on continent-sized chunks of earth (basically the size of tectonic plates) suspended in the air, left over from some cataclysmic event....
3
votes
6answers
161 views

What spaceship fuel to use on Ceres?

For spaceships working on or near Ceres, what would be the best option for locally produced fuels? Let's assume that there's plenty of water ice available, and other chemicals as long as its ...
93
votes
25answers
26k views

Would intelligent life evolve any other body plan than humanoid?

Disclaimer: This question uses some liberal wording to get key ideas across. It's not meant to be academically rigorous, so please try to focus on the ideas and not the exact definitions of the terms ...
7
votes
5answers
838 views

Could stone be used in place of metal for certain items?

For certain categories of items, namely weapons, armor and machinery (that's pretty general, I know), how well would stone fare vs metal? Assume that any complications with shaping the stone are gone. ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

Would falling (not impact) from the Cliffs of Insanity actually have killed the Man in Black? [closed]

If you’ve read The Princess Bride by William Goldman, you may remember the scene where the kidnappers are taking Buttercup up the Cliffs of Insanity and the Man in Black is climbing up after them. ...
16
votes
0answers
268 views
+100

Plausibility of helium dominated atmospheres on super-Earths

I've been using this helpful diagram a lot for worldbuilding. Now I came to think about the fact that helium is more massive than hydrogen, thus a scenario where hydrogen escapes, but helium is ...
8
votes
3answers
208 views

Casaba Howitzer vs. Magnetic Shelds: Plausible Counter?

I'm trying to work through the mechanics of hard sci-fi space combat, and I came across the Casaba Howitzer. The basic idea is a nuclear shaped charge. The blast from a nuclear bomb is partially ...
5
votes
4answers
237 views

Could one use Air Pressure as a form of stealth Propulsion in Space?

This is my first question here so I would like to apologize if this is sloppy or in the wrong place or the like. I have searched and found nothing that answers the exact question I think, so thought ...
13
votes
8answers
428 views

Plausibility Check: Kite Trees?

Disclaimer: This question, unlike my other tree related question, was brought about by pure whimsical daydreaming. I also threw the term "evolve" around a lot, I should clarify that what I asking is ...
2
votes
3answers
107 views

Choosing a World's/Region's/etc. Interest Rates

In several RPG campaigns, I've seen player characters try to either make investments or borrow significant amounts of money. This made me wonder: which sorts of worlds should have interest rates that ...
11
votes
4answers
862 views

Could we use telescopes and mirrors in space to see crime in the past via analog?

Could a perfect mirror/s be made to reflect one side of the Earth from the edge of the solar system and viewed with an optical or radio telescope that is in orbit? The targeting mirrors and telescope ...