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 because it describes how the question should be answered, not the topic.

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6 votes
2 answers
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How do I justify the evolution of merpeople within a few million years?

I'm creating a sort of fantasy world that I'm still trying to keep scientifically accurate (it's more alternate history than anything since I'm having it take place in our world with a few points of ...
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  • 537
2 votes
4 answers
125 views

Why would a bio-mechanical Dyson sphere need to abduct and subsume an entire sentient species every 30-to-50 years?

THE SPHERE Up in space, there is this massive Dyson sphere, with a radius only slightly smaller than the earth's moon. It's made up of a creepy fusion of organic matter and mechanical machinery and is ...
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7 votes
9 answers
319 views

What would be the uses of a technology that could make things "not-exist" for a short period of time

On Earth, half a century in the future, a scientist discovers a way to create a shell around mass to make it functionally not-exist temporarily. The shell is fairly hard to make, powered by a medium-...
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4 votes
4 answers
191 views

Political Concerns of Laser Propulsion System

Now it's 2085, and human civilization has started to reach the planets. Using the most advanced fission rockets, we can travel from Earth to Mercury in 8 months and from Earth to Jupiter in 1 year. ...
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16 votes
8 answers
2k views

Powering a fixed-wing aircraft in the upper Venusian atmosphere

I am writing a short story about a fighter pilot on Venus, I was advised on my other post to break up the post into multiple others. What are viable methods to power a fixed-wing aircraft in the upper ...
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18 votes
7 answers
4k views

Listening to Your Computer - Infering Software Use via Acoustic and Electronic Noise

Is it possible to deduce the software being run and its uses by listening to the magnetic, electromagnetic, and acoustic signals released by its operation? Computers generate minute acoustic noise, ...
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5 votes
3 answers
183 views

What chemicals would an atmosphere unbreathable by humans (yet allowing alien life to thrive) contain?

(first question, hi!) At the moment, I am trying to bring a planet which contains an atmosphere that can barely be breathed by humans (14% oxygen to be precise), to life. This planet is abundant with ...
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3 votes
1 answer
139 views

What is the altitude limit at which plants can grow on a low gravity planet?

(My Universe Sandbox Almost Terraformed Mars) How high can plants grow on a low gravity planet like Mars? Since lower gravity planets tend to have a greater height differences in terms of geography ...
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3 votes
2 answers
112 views

How would dwarves build a combined underground kiln, forge and bakery oven

These dwarves are making steel tools and weapons, bricks, plates and other ceramics, as well as (and most importantly for this world) bread all underground crucially from the same structure. Any ...
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4 votes
2 answers
343 views

How much could humans change in the span of 20.000 years? [duplicate]

So, in my world, humans were imported to the world about 20.000 years ago. The planet was terraformed to be an earth clone and has 2 Supercontinents. Basically, I need traits that could have emerged ...
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4 votes
10 answers
2k views

What kind of 'techniques' would a corrupt, power-hungry government use to dehumanize its army?

I am writing a story that takes place in an alternate universe in which the timeline is all screwed up. The society this question is about (let's call it Rome) has lots of futuristic technology, such ...
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5 votes
4 answers
995 views

What conditions would have to exist for a planet to be covered in day most of the year and experience nightfall only a few times? [duplicate]

So I'm trying to determine if it's realistic for a planet to experience daylight for most of the year while experiencing nightfall only a few times within that same year? Say, less than 10 times? Also,...
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2 votes
1 answer
158 views

Can useful second and third generation matter be synthesized?

The standard model predicts that beyond the normal matter made from up and down quarks and electrons the exist two other kinds of matter. Second generation matter is made from strange and charm quarks ...
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3 votes
1 answer
127 views

How would human body evolve on a super-habitable world?

Assuming that a person can survive on a world that's super-habitable, with it's 1,5 atm atmosphere consisting in 38,4% of oxygen, with increased concentration of (~0,5%) hydrogen and (1,2%) carbon ...
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2 votes
3 answers
1k views

How would a person's abilities change on a super-habitable world?

Suppose that humanity arrives on a super-Earth. Surface gravity = 1,24 g. Atmospheric pressure = 1,5 atm. Atmospheric composition includes 38,4% oxygen + 1,2% carbon dioxide + 0,5% hydrogen How ...
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  • 63
3 votes
3 answers
867 views

Could a planet without an orbiting moon still be habitable to human life in at least one small pocket? [closed]

No moon likely means no tides. Does this make a planet half water, half land, or similar divisions? Do freshwater and saltwater have separation? Or would it just be a planet like ours, with delineated ...
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2 votes
0 answers
85 views

Countering gravitational bead instability

I started thinking about Alderson disks. They are usually portrayed with large uninhabitable sections on either side of the habitable zone. Why not just build the habitable zone, and save materials? (...
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6 votes
1 answer
174 views

How high a mountain could possibly be climbed?

There has been a fair bit of previous discussion about how high mountains could get. I'm currently thinking about a different question: assuming the existence of a very tall mountain, how high would ...
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3 votes
3 answers
188 views

If we accidentally spread microorganisms to other planets in our solar system, could they evolve into complex life?

Is the following story plausible: a spacecraft transports microorganisms from Earth to another planet or moon in our solar system. Those microorganisms survive, and eventually, evolve into complex ...
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11 votes
9 answers
4k views

Plausibility of a car running on noble gasses

Is there any science-based way that one could explain cars running not on natural gas (autogas) but rather on noble gasses like Neon, Argon and/or Xenon?
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2 votes
7 answers
122 views

Alternative Fuel types for motor vehicles [closed]

I have this world where aircraft don't exist and water travel is nigh zero, so all travel and transport over any distance too long to reasonably walk is done by car/van/bus/truck etc. Nearly every ...
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  • 1,441
6 votes
2 answers
502 views

How does ocean productivity vary with depth?

I'm trying to figure out the optimal sea depth on an artificial world (a Banks Orbital as it happens, though I think this would also be an important parameter for many other kinds of megastructure). ...
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  • 4,338
3 votes
1 answer
148 views

Inverted Relativistic Speeds

In my universe, set in the future, a device allowing inversion (of the arrow of time) has been invented, which is effectively a larger version of the turnstile from Tenet. In fact, this device is so ...
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5 votes
3 answers
96 views

Sea Monster Hunting Crew Roster

I'm coming up with a crew of modern-day divers who hunt sea monsters such as the megalodon, and so far, I figure that the crew will require at least the following personnel: Captain (commands the ...
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4 votes
3 answers
119 views

Plausibility of an Ecosystem Based on Giant Diatoms?

In this wildly divergent Earth timeline, a group of diatoms evolved to be up to a few inches across (rather than 2mm or less). With this group presumably developing some similar traits to organisms ...
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1 vote
4 answers
188 views

What would be the effects of having no barrier between the conscious and subconscious? [closed]

A little background... I have a story idea revolving around "Agent ROY-G-BIV" (the name is a reference to the 7 colors of the rainbow), a self-propagating form of electromagnetic radiation ...
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  • 1,177
-1 votes
2 answers
57 views

Self-propagating radiation that turns humans into walking radio towers that are part of a 'collective unconscious'; feasible, or no?

A little background... I have a story idea revolving around "Agent ROY-G-BIV" (the name is a reference to the 7 colors of the rainbow), a self-propagating form of electromagnetic radiation ...
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  • 1,177
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to identify friendlies in active camouflage

One of the main difficulties that have harped militaries from prehistory to the modern day has been identifying who's your friend and who's the foe. Many solutions have been used to solve this ...
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  • 3,209
5 votes
3 answers
195 views

Can two moons, moving at different velocities, periodically overtake each other and share an atmosphere?

Idea being, can two moons orbiting a large planet move at v_1 and v_1 + delta, but the distance between the two moons is small enough that when their positions along an axis periodically overlap they ...
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9 votes
4 answers
269 views

How Long Would It Take For A Car To Erode Near-Seamlessly Into The Environment?

I'm writing a short story that takes place many decades into the future. A major plot point is that a car that was promised to a future archaeologist via inheritance has naturaly eroded to the point ...
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  • 1,075
4 votes
2 answers
59 views

Seasons of an exomoon in a binary star systems

In my story, I have an superhabitable exomoon that is tidally locked to a gas giant (a planet similar to Saturn with the rings, but slightly smaller). This gas giant is in an s-type orbit of a binary ...
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  • 159
3 votes
8 answers
232 views

Augmented bones: Plausible ways to strengthen the skeleton?

While the question has been asked multiple times on this site. They almost all universally boil down to, "Use Carbon nanotubes!" While CNT do have impressive material properties and can be ...
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  • 3,209
3 votes
6 answers
189 views

Can the actions of another entity remain truly inscrutable?

Inscrutable Impossible to understand or interpret. Here on Worldbuilding SE, I see quite a few questions and more answers that mention the inscrutability of the actions of intelligent non-human ...
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1 vote
2 answers
76 views

How to Cause a Hydrosphere Apocalypse III: Erosion and a Shallow Sea

This is a bit of an addendum to a previous question, shown here. (How to Cause a Hydrosphere Apocalypse Part II The Great Flood). I like the rain of ice from a dying moon, answer and I have decided to ...
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  • 1,885
4 votes
3 answers
240 views

How much energy it would be required to propel a projectile with sound? Would it be lethal to its user?

Context: in a scenario where batteries suddenly became extremely energy dense due to some events between the main characters, I was thinking about which electromagnetic weapons I could use, such as ...
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  • 1,031
3 votes
1 answer
120 views

Does Catalyzing Quantum Tunneling Break the Universe?

Say that someone develops a technology that enables you to catalyze/accelerate quantum tunneling within the device, with the purpose of making the kind of quantum tunneling that enables hydrogen ...
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20 votes
5 answers
4k views

99.9% of the flight-capable birds died at once. How screwed is the rest of the world?

When a massive handwavium accident happened on Earth, 99.9% of all flight-capable birds worldwide, instead of dealing with it, answered with "Nope, gone to heaven." Basically, they died ...
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  • 12.2k
5 votes
3 answers
162 views

A species of humanoids can see perfectly well under both sunlight and starlight. What's their eye morphology like?

Assume a species of humanoids that can see under both starlight (no sun, no moon, clear skies) and sunlight as well as humans during the day. Let's assume the light levels are roughly the same as here ...
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  • 12.2k
3 votes
3 answers
90 views

Would tall arboreal humanoids make good swimmers?

These are tall, sapient great apes that primarily live in trees, but come down for occasional food or things that catch their interest on the ground. By tall, I mean 6-7 feet on average, but because ...
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  • 31
4 votes
2 answers
201 views

What year would technology be advanced enough to spot advanced aliens a dozen light years away from us

I'm planning to write a story and I was wondering if it would be possible to find aliens of interplanetary levels of technology at most a dozen light years away. I know that the first exoplanet was ...
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  • 43
3 votes
1 answer
81 views

Depth of seas on a Banks Orbital

If one is building a Banks Orbital or other megastructure with a very large habitable surface area, it is not necessarily given that much of the area would consist of seas, but there are several ...
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  • 4,338
1 vote
3 answers
107 views

Could the Deutsche Kaiserreich create a U-Boat with the following capabitities for the WWI if some timetraveler give them the blueprints?

Is possible to design a submarine that follows the following restrictions? It must have at least the capabilities of a early „the war to end all wars“ U-Boat (e.g. SM U-19). It must build-able with ...
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8 votes
4 answers
612 views

What kind of horseshoes work best on a molten lead track?

There is a horse race happening in Hell. Hell is very rocky and prone to earthquakes, so the best place for the racetrack is on a river of molten lead. This makes for a flat course with obvious ...
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  • 37.2k
0 votes
1 answer
116 views

Can a Relativistic Kill Vehicle be a single particle?

To those that don't know what an RKV is: a projectile (could be a spaceship, could be a bullet) that moves with a significant fraction of lightspeed. Maybe even close to lightspeed. Anything it hits ...
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  • 1,504
7 votes
7 answers
923 views

What observable traits set the MilkyWay apart from other Galaxies?

In a short story, Earth's humanity goes extinct due to a plague and a few thousands years later a space faring race plants a new seed of humans in attempt to restore what civilization used to be. The ...
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7 votes
3 answers
245 views

Reactionless Drive WITHOUT Breaking the Universe?

Space is hard, and making a spaceship engine powerful enough to do interesting things requires an absolutely bonkers amount of energy. I know that lots of authors (including me) think of trying to ...
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4 votes
1 answer
155 views

Does my world map make sense scientifically?

I'm currently working on a world map. This will be used for various things. I'm trying to get it realistic looking and I want it to make sense scientifically. It doesn't have to be 100% perfect, just ...
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  • 105
6 votes
7 answers
418 views

What would a modern fortified castle look like?

Assume that paramilitary siege weapons were proliferated to the general public after America fell. Details below, but basically short of multi-billion dollar tactical weapons such as advanced fighter ...
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  • 5,864
4 votes
4 answers
213 views

Can one half of a planet be desolate, while the other half is lush vegetation?

Is it possible for half a planet to be cold, dark and lifeless while the other is a lush jungle? Can a planet be tidally locked to a sun where the jungle surface is always facing the light, and the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
65 views

Minimum set of specialities to cover most medical needs

I'm writing a fictional story and there is an eccentric billionaire who has his own personal staff of medical personnel. What would be some specialities to consider to include in this group. He is a ~...
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