Questions tagged [thermodynamics]

For questions about the relationships between different forms of energy. Typically involves the distribution and transfer of heat, especially in a science-based or hard-science setting. Often involves specific technology or engineering to achieve the desired energy transfer.

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In fictional world with two time dimensions could I still keep laws of thermodynamics as they are in modern physics? [closed]

There was this question about spacetime with two time dimensions here, but I wonder what could that mean particularly for thermodynamics? To be more precise, could such a universe (none of dimensions ...
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1answer
95 views

Bathroom Mirror vs Eye Lasers

There is this scene where the main good girl is fighting the big bad alone. The big bad fires his eye lasers at the good girl, who uses a bathroom mirror to reflect the rays. The big bad can control ...
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Flammability in denser atmospheres: is it a serious problem?

Take a planet with an atmosphere somewhat similar to Earth's but denser, say 9-10bar incl 2-3bar O2, rest mostly N2 with some CO2 (0.1-0.3bar?) Temperature likewise similar to Earth, in the liquid ...
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1answer
138 views

Lizardmen, gigantothermy, and the energy demand of resting muscles. Could it work out?

One common trope, associated with lizardfolk from Castlevania to Overlord, is their weakness to cold. Now, while it is a fun gimmick, it leaves the problem that lizardmen in Overlord are shown to be ...
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2answers
251 views

Linguistics in a society with contrapositive thermodynamic philosophy

Our philosophy is based on the concept of energy as a positive, because we generally live on a planet in a low energy state which does work via fuel. As such, we don’t really have articulate language ...
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3answers
212 views

Is telekinetic cooling plausible?

(Note: this is similar to is Cryomancy scientifically possible?, but not exactly the same.) In my story, I have "magic" that amounts to telekinesis powered by the user's metabolism. It seems that ...
5
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2answers
105 views

Thermocoupling a mega-structure

I have a mega structure that is for all intents and purposes two halves of a planet that have been split in half and turned into opposite habitats connected by a central column. One of these ...
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2answers
126 views

Entropy, enthalpy, and energy through rapid mitosis

So I'm pretty new to chemistry and all this, but my world involves superpowers, which of course involves immense energy to have the characters use these powers. However, I want to stay consistent with ...
5
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1answer
219 views

Does “kinetic magic” (essentially telekinesis) imply unlimited energy?

In another question, I talked about a form of magic that converts metabolic energy (i.e. the energy produced by biological processes in "animals", which for this purpose includes e.g. yeast) into ...
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2answers
135 views

Making 4D Radiators Good Enough for Stealth, Unremarkable for Power

I am trying to find a solution for a specific subset of the Stealth in Space Problem: dealing with waste heat without tipping off properly positioned observers. This question is scoped specifically ...
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3answers
498 views

Biological Coolant System for Massive Organisms

The larger an animal, the harder it is to cool down. Ignoring the problem of bone/muscle strength vs size/weight and saying an animal could get to outlandish sizes, would a second cardiovascular ...
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2answers
155 views

Magical Heat Sink - Mobile

In this world there is magic but it works on the basis on moving either a property or energy from/between objects. Hopefully I can have this make sense! Using Matweb.com to get my numbers. Working ...
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3answers
111 views

Viability of using temperature difference to generate energy on a tidally-locked planet

In Larry Niven's Ringworld, the Outsiders lie with one half of their body in the shade and one half of their body in direct sunlight and use the temperature difference to generate energy. Would this ...
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4answers
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Would that heat-engine provide power to the colony on Titan?

I have an idea for an energy source for a colony on a cold world with not enough solar power. Is my idea workable, or is it debunked as perpetual motion machine? Here is the set-up and my plan: ...
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1answer
149 views

What is a realistic useful life of a calcium carbonate pulse jet deflagration chamber?

My jet-propelled squid uses a scavenged shell for its pulse jet deflagration chamber, I am trying to determine how often he’ll have to replace it. Including the shell it’s a 5 kg animal using a ...
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1answer
119 views

How would much smaller heat capacity of water affect the life on Earth?

Water, as is, with its physical and chemical properties, is the base of any living being on Earth. Water has a rather high specific heat capacity of 4.184 J/gC, which in itself has a great effect on ...
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300 views

How to calculate the loss of primordial heat for a given age and mass of a planet?

I´m working on a computer program which generates realistic planets for worldbuilding purposes. I´ve run into an issue with calculating my planets heat loss. While radiogenic and tidal heat generation ...
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10answers
4k views

Managing heat dissipation in a magic wand

Backstory You won't believe it, but I'll tell you anyway. I'm a Level 61 wizard. If you think about it, wands aren't all that hard to use. Point, invoke, joyfully watch your enemy burn in the ...
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1answer
592 views

What's the useful range of atmospheric oxygen content for fire?

Fire is certainly high up on the top ten list of mankinds most useful inventions. It allows for a more efficient utilisation of nutriants, is the basis of chemistry and the material sciences, allowed ...
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3answers
2k views

Black holes as heat sinks

Cooling in space is a well known difficulty. There are many unpleasant consequences like no stealth in space, difficult space battles which turn into a short wars of attrition (because you have to ...
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2answers
209 views

How small can a perpetual energy source be to run a far-future civilization indefinitely?

You are the leader of a far-future civilization - human or otherwise - that has endured for trillions of years doing whatever far-future civilizations do. You've surrounded stars with Matrioshka ...
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4answers
357 views

How to calculate the thickness of the ice layer of a frozen ocean planet/moon?

How do I calculate the thickness of the upper ice layer on cold ocean worlds like Europa, Enceladus, and Ganymede? I'm asking this for a programm I'm currently writing. The given/known quantities are:...
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5answers
346 views

What is the best way to vent gas to cool a star cruiser?

Generating physical effects with energy generates waste heat. Using a lot of energy, say, by firing a rail gun or a MW laser, generates a lot of heat. A discussion of waste heat issues can be found at ...