Questions tagged [science-in-society]

For questions about the use and perception of science by the inhabitants of a fictional world. Contrast with [science-based] which is for explaining fictional things with real-world science. Whereas [science-based] builds worlds using science (ex. "How could a dragon realistically breathe fire?"), [science-in-society] asks how people treat and use science in-world (ex. "How would a society with a taboo on dissecting people develop medicine?").

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13
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10answers
4k views

Could scientists test a theory of everything?

I'm ready to reduce a certain amount of scientific rigor for a good story. In my world, some person invents a theory of everything. Is there a way that scientists would test the theory, to prove that ...
3
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4answers
145 views

Why would two similar power sources in the same promixity cause both to be unstable?

I am Dante, a badass alchemist who has the desire to rule the world.The law of equivalent exchange states that for anything to be gained, something of equal value must be lost. This is the fundamental ...
10
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1answer
126 views

Would sedation treat a seizure?

Medical-related question for my science-fiction story. My character is in a facility with modern BUT limited medical supplies. This character is suffering from seizures due to withdrawal from a ...
9
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4answers
3k views

What could make a ship made of pumice seaworthy?

I'm designing the type of ships an amphibious race could use for long distance travel, like a floating house, following oceanic currents. I imagine it shaped like an iceberg, with more structure below ...
4
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3answers
134 views

What do you call a person who studies, but does not perform, magic? [closed]

I want to distinguish between two types of magician. I'm going to provisionally name them magipraxists and magiologists, and my request is for more familiar terminology to replace my invented and ...
13
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17answers
4k views

What stops a race of giants from wiping out humanity?

Starting from 435 A.D., a race of sea-faring giants has made land-fall in Eurasia and is raising hell. Due to socio-political pressures in their island homelands in Polynesia and Australia (constant ...
6
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6answers
299 views

Summoning Circles and Time Travel

The world I am working on is a soft science fiction realm dressed up in the trappings of magic and the occult. A world where there are loosely defined scientific principles behind the rituals and ...
8
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4answers
300 views

Possibility of changing universal constants to prevent cosmological events

Recently, I had an idea for a story in which a vacuum metastability event occurs. Would it be feasible in any way for an advanced civilization to alter the universal constants to prevent this or save ...
4
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1answer
97 views

Could Volcanism Provide a Large “Heat Oasis” in a Polar Desert?

So there is an Antarctic like continent in my setting; and just like Antarctica it is the largest and most inhospitable desert in the planet due to how absolutely cold it is. But what if there was a ...
14
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4answers
4k views

Could I build a nuclear reactor based on Bernoulli's principle?

So I was recently inspired by the answers that I saw on this stack exchange to the following question: Feasibility of H.G. Wells' Continuously-Exploding Atomic Bombs And it occurred to me that ...
5
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7answers
230 views

How would aliens abduct an entire nation of millions from a planet?

I am looking for as hard science answers as possible, but I am willing to bend some rules for a good answer. Assume they need to move 10 million 100 million people off of a planet what technology ...
5
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3answers
231 views

How to explain a planet with visible cosmos at daytime?

So I'm working on a fictional planet which would experience a daytime sky similar to this. This particular picture is from the movie Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets. Fictional alien atmospheres ...
14
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6answers
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Inhabiting Mars versus going straight for a Dyson swarm

My question is as follows - let's assume our objective function is to have as many humans as possible living outside the confines of the Earth as soon as possible. For this, we need to provide those ...
9
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2answers
305 views

Is there a website that will run orbital simulations because I don't have a PhD in math

I'm just trying to write a RPG adventure for a sci fi company. So when I have to figure out what kind of orbits, masses, major axis, etc are needed for the system I need to design and I see: $T=2\pi$...
19
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11answers
5k views

A food item only made possible by time-freezing storage?

Premise: It's the modern day, and humans have various magical abilities through a runic magic system. One of these abilities, which I'm currently trying to visualize the implications of, is called ...
17
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4answers
6k views

Could you fly a Boeing 747 on Venus?

I have been making a future colonization scenario where people have vast colonies on Mars and cloud top bases on Venus. These things are unbelievably large. I've already thought of a way to travel ...
12
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8answers
5k views

Surviving a planet collision? [duplicate]

Let's say there are two planets about to collide. Ignoring how they got there, it seems that in most scenarios basically all life gets annihilated by energy released the collision. How slow would two ...
27
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16answers
11k views

What happens when a moving vehicle loses all its kinetic energy at once

In the system of magic that I am using I try to follow the laws of physics as much as possible. The idea being that whatever magic can do, a scientist and machine can eventually do. One of the things ...
78
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5answers
12k views

How many cows would you need to drop on Mars to successfully terraform it?

The concept behind this lies in three primary points: It has been theorized that one could increase the heat of Mars' atmosphere to a suitable level by guiding meteors into the atmosphere and ...
10
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6answers
2k views

Fantasy and the germ theory

When developing a medival fantasy realm, especially one with no known healing and restoration magic, one may need to develop the people's understanding of science and medicine. A unique example of ...
3
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1answer
94 views

Could Megapodes be a Superior Food Source than Chicken?

The Megapodes are a family of birds in the galliformes order. They live primarily in Australia and are notable in being extremely precocial and laying more eggs than any other bird. They build large ...
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2answers
132 views

Evolutionary advantage for recurve fang in dragons

In medieval times, news of dragons attacking the outskirts of the villages is flooding in. The King is losing patience. According to witnesses, these dragons can lift cows and occasionally elephants ...
5
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1answer
104 views

Could an alien species from lower gravity survive on Earth?

I remember reading this thing somewhere about how humans born in zero gravity environments would likely be taller than Earth-bound humans but also more fragile and unable to handle Earth's gravity ...
0
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2answers
115 views

How long could a plant live in a vacuum chamber [closed]

This was my science fair project that I haven't done yet and all I want to know is how long can a plant live in a vacuum
6
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5answers
2k views

What is the feasibility of an open air contaminant (carbon monoxide) for warfare?

Militia Y intends to burn massive amounts of wood in order to produce carbon monoxide to be used as an air contaminant in warfare. Defence: to be asked as a follow-up question. Time period: ...
0
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1answer
148 views

If humans stopped aging in their 30's or 40's, what would our average age expectancy be? [duplicate]

Answer this question however you'd like. Using the parameters and assumptions you like. This is more of a thought experiment. The gist of this is, if medicines allow us to live to be 300 to 500 years ...
5
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3answers
159 views

Cellphone that can cause a human to die [closed]

An evil cellphone factory distributed cellphone units that can cause instant death to a human. It was distributed to every adults in this world. The units will kill its owner by the ff reasons; The ...
3
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1answer
85 views

what are the signs and effects of two realities combined into one reality

I have posted a similar question where I asked how can two realities mix into one reality in which I received many helpful comments. I realise I should've expanded on the details I posted, so I will ...
19
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8answers
7k views

Blue soil (aka dirt) in an earth-like planet?

How could blue soil exist, in a realistic earth-like world. The world may even be earth. First off is it even possible - could soil like this exist given the requirements below? (if not then why?) ...
16
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14answers
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How plausible is a 'tilted axis' planet with a “south pole” constantly facing toward its star?

The basic concept of this planet is that, the planet has a tilted axis (you probably guessed that already) which results in the South Pole constantly facing towards the sun. This would result in the ...
4
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8answers
2k views

Can the future theoretically be predicted through analyzing the exact patterns of the universe? [closed]

My neuroscience is a little fuzzy, so bear with me. If your wondering how this ties in with world building, it's for a science fiction novel I'm writing, in which there is no magic. I am hoping to ...
3
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3answers
134 views

How much atmospheric nitrogen can we replace with other gasses without causing problems for human health? [duplicate]

I know we need nitrogen to live, but what happen if we reduce the proportion of nitrogen in air (replacing it with another substance)? What percentage can I replace without risking health of humans ...
4
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4answers
267 views

Would humanity go extinct if suddenly a parallel magnetic field of 1T fills the entire universe?

Imagine one day the universe becomes a bar magnet except all the line of force are running in parallel and the magnetic flux density is 1 tesla throughout, could this be a doomsday scenario for us? ...
13
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9answers
4k views

How fast does an antimatter bullet need to move to pierce rather than explode?

The environment is set in (ideal) space with no air for the bullet to interact with. It should encounter nothing until it reaches its target. The bullet is assumed to be a perfect sphere with a ...
4
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2answers
114 views

How would this alien sensory system function?

Now a change from dragon questions: Let's move onto aliens based on mythological creatures! Most land creatures on the planet of Antiquoloci have a strange sensory system in place of a nose, doing a ...
2
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4answers
332 views

Is this dragon anatomy viable?

The image is quite old so bear with me. This dragon is similar in shape and movement to a snake, with light-weight armor plating on its back. Flowers, which honestly look like antennae, blooming off ...
-4
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2answers
155 views

Did people have an idea of DNA in the 17th century? [closed]

I know that DNA was discovered later in time but during the 17th century, specifically around 1620 and onwards, would people have known anything about the idea of DNA? If so then how much would they ...
4
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5answers
247 views

Why would a human bomb not be blown apart by rune magic?

I am a homicide detective on the magical police force. Runes are magical symbols fused into objects that imbue those items with magical power. These spells are stored in these runes for long term use ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Myelination in cephalopods

I am a complete amateur regarding biology, so please forgive me if this question is a little stupid. Could we ever create squids that have human-level intelligence and could serve as a replacement in ...
0
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1answer
125 views

How can I integrate science and magic? [closed]

(third and last question in a span of a few hours, I hope I'm not breaking a rule) If in my world, magic is just "cosmic energy" or just energy that exists in the "gray area" of every atom, element, ...
2
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4answers
167 views

Transporting radioactive fuels

Imagine a light spaceship capable of traveling at 0.999c is tasked to tow a radioactive cargo containing millions of tons of polonium and radium, however the container holding the radioactive ...
11
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4answers
3k views

what makes a disease deadly?

I am writing a story, in which a mad scientist (based on Ted Kaczynski) wants to kill as many people as possible with an artificially created disease. The idea is, that more complex societies are ...
3
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8answers
525 views

Magic breaks the second law of thermodynamics. Why is the law still valid?

Around the twenty-first or twenty-second century, a scientific experiment finds that a certain ritual (they were trying to make cold fusion) causes a heat difference to appear in fluids. For instance, ...
-4
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1answer
134 views

Concerning magic and the replacement of the four traditional elemants with the four fundamental forces [closed]

In a world of magic where spells are not based on fire, water, air, and earth; rather, the electromagnetic force, the gravitational force, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force—How do ...
4
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4answers
234 views

A setting in which people have discovered all of science

So this is very loosely inspired by a theory I have about Star Wars as a setting, but it is not something they really discuss overtly even in the Extended Universe. One of the interesting things about ...
12
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8answers
3k views

Pre industrial form of rapid mass transit over land

I have a world that isn't an exact analogue to medieval technology, closer to the late 1700s in terms of culture and agriculture/metallurgy, only without gunpowder. I have them ahead of real history ...
1
vote
4answers
248 views

What is a realistic based Situation in which a Dyson Sphere could be created?

I felt inspired, and I wanted to write about the future of our lives. Setting: If one had to guess, what year would we most likely be able to build a super-structure like a Dyson-Sphere around the ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

how fast would a magic rail/coil gun need to fire to melt its tungsten bullet

In my story magic allows for the creation of accelerators that can multiply the speed of any object that passes through them. These accelerators allow for modified conventional weapons to fire at rail ...
4
votes
3answers
181 views

Unpredictable reactors which like to explode by default

In my world, alien 'reactors' are discovered that are very efficient at creating power (around 1000x better than fission), as well as requiring little fuel, making them the perfect power source. ...
3
votes
0answers
189 views

Can a system of 10 planets be stable if star is not on the main sequence? [closed]

My star is 2.17 Solar masses. For narrative purposes, I decided this so it will collapse in the theoretical Quark star. Could such a big star that isn't on the main sequence (Because it is class A, ...

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