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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2
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4answers
117 views

Earth Has Four Seasons Lasting Years. Is This Too Much?

In this alternate Earth, the axial tilt is still leaning to the extent of the temperate and polar zones having four seasons--spring, summer, autumn and winter. The one key difference is that each ...
11
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9answers
2k 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 ...
6
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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
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4answers
835 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 ...
4
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5answers
160 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
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3answers
109 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 ...
3
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3answers
143 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
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1answer
93 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. ...
-2
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3answers
123 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 ...
2
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3answers
223 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. ...
0
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2answers
177 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 ...
3
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1answer
94 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
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3answers
245 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 ...
6
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2answers
121 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
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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 ...
4
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3answers
111 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 ...
4
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1answer
56 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
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3answers
151 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
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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 ...
1
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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 ...
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
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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 ...
5
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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 ...
2
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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 ...
4
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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 ...
12
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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 ...
3
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2answers
145 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....
2
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3answers
121 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. ...
21
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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 ...
3
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6answers
162 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 ...
2
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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 ...
8
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3answers
210 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 ...
8
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1answer
269 views

A character has super-speed but has to deal with normal resulting consequences: how fast can she run safely?

I was thinking that the character would be a moderately active teenage girl that's 5"8 and 160 lbs. The speed itself is a super-power and she is otherwise a normal human. I'm defining safe as a speed ...
5
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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 ...
3
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2answers
99 views

What element could be used on a fictional metal-poor planet for biological oxygen exchange?

I'm working on a hard sf novel about humans being forced to survive on a metal-poor planet. They have to take dietary metal supplements at first but eventually a bio-engineer rigs the biochemical ...
5
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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
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4answers
151 views

Why would a venomous snake squeeze its threat non-lethally?

This is a key part of my snakebite mystery story, which I am thinking of making part of a medical mystery series. I have been told that it actually is more life threatening to the snake for it to ...
2
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1answer
82 views

How different would the internal composition of a carbon planet be from that of Earth?

My idea is a carbon planet 50 % larger than Earth and with 5 times its mass (approximately), but I set these values ​​after investigating those of several discovered exoplanets and none of them is ...
0
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2answers
148 views

Social implications of complete separation of copulation and reproduction [closed]

The Twelve Kingdoms is a fantasy novel series written by Japanese author Fuyumi Ono, and has been made into an anime series. In this series, humans, and indeed all other motile beings, are born of ...
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0answers
60 views

If Venus or Mars Were Part of an Earth Binary [closed]

This is the original photo, just for a little reference to the question in mind. Of course, the brightest light in this photo is still the moon, a body of bare rock 2,158.8 miles wide and weighing in ...
5
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0answers
79 views

What are some issues I can expect in creating a self-sufficient, post-apocalyptic underground society? [closed]

(Please bear in mind I am quite new here, and I have in fact created this account just now. I've tried my best to follow all the rules I've read browsing around. I do realize this is quite a broad ...
6
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6answers
466 views

Realistic rollerblade steam propulsion device, like something that might have been invented with 18th century technology. Is it possible?

This was an idea generated by my sister that I thought was very interesting. I intended to make it work by strapping rollerblades on a person's legs and utilize a compressed gas/steam-powered pumping ...
3
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8answers
3k views

Is it possible to grow new organs through exposure to radioactivity?

I was thinking of something like growing extra eyes, heads, or limbs, but in the exposed individual not through his descendant that get the mutation. What I have found is that in individuals exposed ...
4
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4answers
169 views

Alien Mammal-Like Ears

So I’m trying to design my alien life around the pressures they might face just like earth’s wildlife, and most things I’ve made plausible life that is similar to ear but not giant dinosaur cats. The ...
4
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1answer
121 views

Anatomically Correct Modular Body Plan Animals

The fixedness of body plans varies widely across different types of Earthling organisms. At one extreme, you have things like tardigrades, for which every individual of any given species has exactly ...
11
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3answers
206 views

Anatomically Correct Slinky Worm

Despite the wide variety of movement strategies employed by Earthling animals, up to an including curling their bodies into circles and rolling, there is one mode of locomotion that is glaringly ...
4
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3answers
159 views

Anatomically Correct Hunter from Needle

Hal Clement's novel Needle was revolutionary in featuring a non-parasitic alien lifeform capable of inhabiting a human body. Specifically, the Hunter in its independent form is a gelatinous mass ...
2
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3answers
116 views

How would flight factor into shepherding for Aarakocra (birdfolk, basically)?

So, my setting, as of now, is a singular supercontinent, with a large mountain system running across one of its sides, basically the fantasy equivalent of the Andes. On paper this (or at least its ...
22
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15answers
4k views

Why is transplanting a specific intact brain impossible if it is generally possible?

In the near future Science Fiction novel I am writing, the personality and memory of a person are transferred to an artificial brain after a fatal accident, creating an artificial intelligence with ...
3
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3answers
151 views

Which Stars Would Best Suit For the Habitable Zone of The Nine Norse Earths?

In an alternate universe, the nine realms of Norse mythology--Midgard, Asgard, Vanaheimr, Jotunheimr, Alfheimr, Hel, Nidavellir, Niflheim and Museplheim--are actual, real-life "Earths", in the sense ...