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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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Is it possible to create a Maxwell demon where entropy doesn't get stored in the brain of the "demon"?

So say for example in a hypothetical world where someone wants to extract energy but the temperature is in perfect equilibrium and they have no way of getting a thermal difference but there is a a ton ...
MiltonTheMeme's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
247 views

If you had a fusion reactor the size of a suitcase, would it be possible to power a car with it via a steam turbine with 1950's level technology?

The specifics of the reactor are intentionally vague. It would be a form of lattice-confinement, produce very little radiation, and be scaled up or down very easily. I'm working on a Fallout-like ...
BigDumb's user avatar
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10 votes
6 answers
1k views

How might heat management in a large hab dome work?

I hope this is more focused D: Setup; Hela is a exoplanet in the fictional Eurydice system, about 4 Ly from Earth. The exoplanet is significantly younger than Earth, and life on her is in a late ...
ErikHall's user avatar
  • 2,466
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

Potential problems with magic creating energy

Context When hit by sun rays, the moon creates excess energy, it increases the energy & reflects it back to earth as mana rays to make magic possible (the exact process is not important). Most of ...
GermanPotatoe's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
842 views

Developing a Theoretical Quantum Effect and Experimental Methods for 'Heat Death' in a Science Fiction Universe

I am currently crafting a science fiction story in which humanity confronts an unprecedented threat: a novel form of 'heat death' that causes matter to cease to exist when it reaches certain ...
intro's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
492 views

Can just heat be used to power ATP production?

I want to have some lifeforms that live around and in hot environments and absorb the heat around them to produce ATP without using any other energy sources. Is this possible? How can this be done? ...
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
430 views

Would a diamond mountain floating in the mantle cause a supervolcano or lava pool in the crust above it?

I was looking for ways to make gigantic mountains, and found Willk's answer to such a quandary, where a giant diamondberg forms in an ice giant and is incorporated into a terrestrial planet's crust, ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can I use the Peltier effect to cool down an underground city on Venus

In my fiction I have a city deep underground on the planet of Venus. I know this is deeply impractical, and there are far easier places to build an underground city, but that is not what I have done. ...
EversonThomas's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
138 views

Feasible? A natural geothermal water pump the scale of multiple Mississippi rivers

I want a continent of waterfalls: a place on the scale of South America where the land is broken terraces from mountain heights to sea level. And I want massive waterfalls to be ubiquitous, like ...
SRM's user avatar
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19 votes
12 answers
5k views

How can we cool a computer connected on top of or within a human brain?

Assume the ability to cybernetically implant a powerful enough computer to operate an AI inside the human skull, on top of or within the brain. Thin wires connect the computer to the various parts of ...
Hasty Basher's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
504 views

Heated Adamantine "Bricks" as a Fuel Source

I was pondering a situation where adamantine could be harvested from deep underground, amongst lavaflows, to work as a fuel source. Facts: The Adamantine has been heated for millennia at thousands of ...
Salli's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
246 views

Could a person survive a high temperature environment by only cooling the blood supply or will parts of the body eventually overheat?

Obviously not temperatures above the boiling point, but could you theoretically survive in an environment hotter than a normal human could thermoregulate in if you attached a blood-cooler and if so ...
Adam Kabbeke's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
85 views

Channels of fluid heat interchange in the endless underground dimension

Note: I'm asking a science-based question yet I'm doing a lot of handwaving for certain counter-scientific aspects of the world. Please don't be snappy and remark that I should just handwave this ...
KeizerHarm's user avatar
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3 votes
7 answers
1k views

Cooling body suit inside another insulated suit

So in my story the protagonist is a genetically enhanced vigilante that uses a full bulletproof jumpsuit in her activities. But because of her accelerated metabolism, dealing with the heat of getting ...
Paulo Raposo's user avatar
  • 1,211
3 votes
3 answers
96 views

Accelerated Metabolism Thermal Sensation

If a person has an accelerated methabolism, and thus a higher body temperature, would this person feel more hot or cold than a normal person in the same ambient? (Question edited for the sake of ...
Paulo Raposo's user avatar
  • 1,211
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Would radioisotope thermoelectric generators be more effective on Titan than in space?

Since radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) operate by turning the flow of heat into electricity, and Titan's atmosphere can absorb heat faster through conduction than a vacuum through ...
Sean Holm's user avatar
  • 611
6 votes
1 answer
234 views

Could an aircraft power its flight only by heating the air around it?

Your typical aircraft propels itself by expelling something, may it be air, combusted fuel or even ions. Would it be possible for an aircraft to do none of those things and simply heat the air around ...
LiveInAmbeR's user avatar
  • 10.6k
3 votes
3 answers
560 views

Cryogenic weapon

Lots of games have a type of "freeze" or "ice" element effect to their weapons, like for instance cryo weapons in Borderlands, but I'm trying to work out how that might be ...
StackQuest's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
222 views

Can kinetic energy be converted into cooling?

In a hypothetical scenario, I'm trying to design an object where, the faster it moves, the more it cools something it comes into contact with it. There's all kinds of materials that can convert energy ...
StackQuest's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
112 views

Can a button cell battery power car cigarette lighter (in the shape of a ring)?

Is it possible to make a fake golden ring which can light a candle on the push of a button and power it with button cell battery (either coin cell or watch button size)? I have a fraud guy trying to ...
jo1storm's user avatar
  • 1,034
5 votes
3 answers
168 views

A tidally-locked planet's dry ice caps

An exactly Earth-sized tidally-locked planet orbits its host star, which is functionally identical to our Sun, at an average distance of 1 AU, the same distance that the Earth orbits the Sun. The ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
5 votes
2 answers
880 views

What can run the condensers on this Hell Train?

Hell turns out to be a real, physical place. It’s a physical planet. I have most of the science figured out for this literal hades, except the heat engines used in here need a cold sink—a strong one ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 8,179
2 votes
4 answers
176 views

How can my character cool her tea quickly? [closed]

Let's say I have a character that is obsessed with drinking warm tea (or cider, or...). Tea needs to be steeped at a high temperature; say, 90°c. However, drinking it at that temperature will result ...
Matthew's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

How big can a young mad scientist make their homemade Clifford before he overheats?

Long story short, a child mad scientist wants to scale up their pet dog - they read about Clifford, and wish to replicate that story, as a young mad scientist generally does. The billionaire mad ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

How would Superspeed be Explained?

In the comics, superspeed,- being the ability to move (in particular, run) at speeds typically at least as fast as something like a racecar), whenever it is shown, seems to tend to have the ...
Jarren_Takar's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
264 views

Consequences of having a device that can transform heat back to stored energy in a limited way? [closed]

My setting uses reactors that work on a fictional gas-like inert substance that can safely store an impossibly high amount of energy in itself (breaking the e=mc^2 equation and causing Einstein to ...
Darth Biomech's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
125 views

What would the structure of a biological thermocouple be?

For reference: a thermocouple is a device that converts heat to electricity. What would an organic, naturally-evolved one that's part of a biological organism look like in terms of structure?
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
2 votes
8 answers
452 views

Breaking the Laws of Thermodynamics without Invoking Magic or the Divine

Title pretty much says it all honestly. I wanna design a character for my fantasy story with abilities that are not only shown to break the laws of thermodynamics (the first and second laws ...
Crystal King's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
80 views

The Best Materials for Heatproof Armor [duplicate]

In the Kingdom of Fire, those with the ability to bend the burning element to their will have the unique secondary ability of being able to withstand extremely high temperatures and are able to set ...
Crystal King's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
147 views

Could a photon with negative, dark, or anti energy be used to create a freeze ray?

I'm not really a science whiz, but I know lasers generally use photons to increase the kinetic energy of atoms in their path, thus raising the temperature. Now I know electrons have negative energy, ...
Strivs's user avatar
  • 395
3 votes
2 answers
597 views

Laser cooling a person

So in my story, I'm trying to develop a plausible freeze ray. Now many people suggest liquid helium, but it seems to have a number of practical setbacks, such as being hard to obtain, needing vast ...
Strivs's user avatar
  • 395
3 votes
3 answers
989 views

What would happen if entropy works in reverse?

Entropy is the measure of how chaotic a system is analogous to a box containing many dices, the dices can be stacked properly together forming a cuboidal structure or scattered everywhere even outside ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
3 votes
1 answer
214 views

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 ...
Nervous Cat's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
138 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 ...
TysonDennis's user avatar
  • 2,380
5 votes
2 answers
370 views

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 ...
Tristan Klassen's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
388 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 ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
448 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 ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 8,179
6 votes
3 answers
366 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 ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 14.4k
5 votes
2 answers
138 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 ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 95.1k
2 votes
2 answers
187 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 ...
Strivs's user avatar
  • 395
6 votes
1 answer
439 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 ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 14.4k
2 votes
2 answers
189 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 ...
vicky_molokh's user avatar
  • 1,811
7 votes
3 answers
636 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 ...
Aezyc's user avatar
  • 1,778
0 votes
2 answers
223 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 ...
Nymn's user avatar
  • 413
2 votes
3 answers
129 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 ...
Connor's user avatar
  • 95
10 votes
4 answers
1k views

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: ...
Christmas Snow's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
191 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 ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 8,179
5 votes
1 answer
821 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 ...
Arteminio777's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
468 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 ...
TheDyingOfLight's user avatar
37 votes
10 answers
5k 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 ...
JBH's user avatar
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