101

Immunity to Disease Your lunar citizens live in a perfect environment! They have all the food they need, they have recycling that, frankly, removes most bacteria from their lives. Atmosphere is constantly recycled, which includes scrubbing. Water, too, is recycled, scrubbed and clean for use. In fact, the colony has been disease-free for, well... ...


87

The torch burns quicker. A lot quicker, but you won't get a violent explosion. Fire requires three things - heat, fuel, and oxygen. You've increased the oxygen, but you haven't increase the fuel, so all will happen is that the torch will burn out far faster - if it lasts for 10 minutes, it might not even last for one. The oxygen won't ignite itself. ...


78

Unfortunately, no matter how much pure gold you add to your mass, you will never end up with a star. The reason for this is that fusing gold is an endothermic process, meaning that it requires energy, rather than releasing it. In fact, all elements with an atomic mass greater than or equal to that of iron consume energy upon fusing, rather than releasing ...


76

No no no no no no no no no. Bad idea. Chlorine trifluoride is one of the most horrifying substances on Earth. Sure, it can kill people and destroy equipment. But it can also kill the people trying to use it as a weapon. It's difficult to contain and nearly impossible to fight if it starts a fire, and produces extremely toxic byproducts when it reacts with ...


63

Easy Peasy. Fusion reactors. The primary challenge involved with fusion power is maintaining containment, which is a big challenge given the pressures and temperatures involved. Not only will the neutrons deposit energy in the blanket material, but their impact will convert atoms in the wall and blanket into radioactive forms. Materials will be ...


56

This star would not fuse gold. Fusion reactions producing elements beyond zinc-60 are not energetically favorable; they are endothermic, and so consume energy. Several elements heavier than iron are formed through this fusion chain and subsequent decay (cobalt, nickel, copper and zinc), but these are unstable and decay back to iron, meaning that iron is ...


55

Apollo Fire and Wick Effect I generally agree with Halfthawed, but I had some additional thoughts on the matter. There is one well known and documented incident with fire and people in a pure oxygen atmosphere: the 1968 Apollo 1 accident. The fanatic overexaggerated fear of a pure oxygen atmosphere is rooted in the horrible 1968 Apollo 1 accident where ...


54

Chlorine Trifluoride as a Space Weapon? Not really. Indirectly useful? Yes, for disinformation. Convince the enemy that you've found a way to effectively weaponise it. Contrive for them to "find" semi-destroyed plans for a weapon prototype in a way that they can't help but believe is real. (A courier ship on a desperate run carrying "plans" fights a ...


49

Materials exposed to vacuum for extended periods often become brittle and/or literally lose mass over time. Outgassing, cold-welding, decomposition of alloys back to their constituent materials, coronal arcing due to ionization from exposure to ionizing radiation, acceleration of outgassing and decomposition again due to ionizing radiation exposure are all ...


45

Use the carbon to add new activated carbon to the mask filter. Though ineffective against toxic gases, active carbon is good at capturing other contaminants. Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, is a form of carbon processed to have small, low-volume pores that increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions. ...


42

A non-obvious loss area would be Genetic diversity. After several thousand years of carefully controlled plant growth, and several thousand years of inbreeding, unless care was taken to maintain genetic diversity in plants and animals (including humans), a single mutated bacteria could take out a key component of the self sustaining ecosystem.


40

Honestly, I'd just have it release as elemental carbon or carbon black. I think it would be an awesome visual if every exhale came out as a puff of smoke or soot


35

NO Can you feed the entire population? No, you cannot grow enough new bodies on dead bodies to feed existing bodies, its a closed loop which will not work in biology (or physics). You must have a large source of fresh energy and resources. One adult corpse has around ~100,000 calories (assuming you eat everything), the average person needs ~2000 calories ...


35

It won't last a week. You are basically providing an ideal environment for normal decay. It takes less than 7 days for insects (mostly maggots) to basically skeletonize a human body (not counting some stringy bits), with the presence of larger scavengers it is unlikely to last even that long. On a normal tree it is unlikely to still be on the tree within a ...


29

No. If we just dip the bullet in mercury, only trace amounts of mercury will remain. That definitely won't be enough mercury for our purposes. If we treat a lead (but not iron/steel) bullet for a long time in mercury it will form an amalgam alloy. This can give us sufficient amount of mercury, but adversely affect bullet ballistics. Additionally, an ...


29

Twenty-five years ago I had a friend in the military who told me about glasses he was issued that used passive technology (layers of various materials) to shift the frequency of light, allowing the user to see images at a base frequency that wasn't the original frequency (everything shifted toward the blue frequency, as I recall). For all I know he was ...


28

Volatiles like hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and noble gases. These elements are necessary for life and useful for industrial processes, while being difficult to replenish. Hydrogen, carbon, and even nitrogen can be used as rocket propellant which will consume these elements without any chance of recycling. They are also liable to loss through slow leakage. It ...


28

I think you are on the right track and this is a really fun question. I think the issues you mentioned with things like generating heat are much larger obstacles than doing chemistry in a fluid medium would be. For an aquatic-native race, anyway. I'm going to focus mostly on the last part of your question, "What would their developmental path look like?" ...


28

Possibly. Push water or high-pressure air in from the bottom of the container. Essentially what you're doing is making artifical quicksand*. See also fluidized beds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluidized_bed I've no idea whether it would actually work with coins, though, given their shape. *If you happen to walk into quicksand, the recommended action ...


26

On a living planet, nothing lasts forever. Especially if you're limiting the number of iterations of each book to one. One book per topic (e.g. Shakespeare) per place (is that household / city / county / nation / planet?) is asking for disaster, and even more disaster as you move from left to right along that scheme! That said, there are several time tested ...


24

The will to live Survival on a lunar colony is a lot harder than here on planet earth. You are tired at the end-of-day, and the time to have and raise kids is just a little more than you can take. Population decreases until there is just not enough left for the colony to be viable/


23

How could indestructible materials be used in power generation? Energy storage. If you can spin a flywheel to relativistic speeds on indestructible bearings using electromagnets (in vacuum), then you can use that flywheel as a lossless energy storage device. Wikipedia 2019 - CCSA License The energy density would be infinite (or limited by the unspecified ...


23

Firearms were adopted primarily because they could be effectively used by relatively unskilled people with little training against warriors who had been trained for a lifetime. They were actually adopted at the tail end of what is sometimes called the Infantry Revolution because using simple to use weapons and tactics allowed you to raise large armies ...


22

Mercury has, in the real world, been used to increase the terminal effect of hollow point bullets (especially a the relatively low velocity of pistol bullets). In essence, a short time before firing (so as not to have all the mercury amalgamated with the lead, but some liquid still left at firing) a conventional hollow point is filled with mercury. It was ...


22

The canonical example is Dimethylmercury Dimethylmercury is an organomercury compound. A highly volatile, reactive, flammable, and colorless liquid, dimethylmercury is one of the strongest known neurotoxins, with a quantity of less than 0.1 mL capable of inducing severe mercury poisoning, and is easily absorbed through the skin. Dimethylmercury is ...


21

You don't need to expel any carbon There is actually a set of non-magical chemicals and reactions that can do exactly what you want, the magical part would be regenerating the "waste" chemicals back to the reactive form, keeping the temperature stable (some reactions are exothermic), and facilitating the reaction like a catalyst. For converting carbon ...


20

Your question can be generalized as "oxidizer weapon". Oxygen or ozone shells would do same thing, although not as intense. You write that it cannot be put out by venting atmos but actually it could. What you're trying to do is to create CIF3 atmosphere to burn enemies, but venting it to space would vent it like any other atmosphere. If you could manage ...


19

Nuclear pressure containment is a good method. Nukes have to be held together to make fission continue for as long as possible. If you hold 20 critical masses together for a full second, you'd generate the largest nuclear explosion ever made by humans. With indestructible materials, you could hold them together for an hour. At those high energies, there ...


19

Regarding Oxygen toxicity This is rather an extended comment with some calculations than an actual answer. I'd like to back up the matter with some actual calculations. I presume you mean a $20ft \times 20ft \times 20ft$ room when you say "20ft cube room". That means we have a volume of $V=226.5m^3$. Let our initial pressure be at $p=p_0\approx 100kPa$. ...


18

You can have it stay up there as long as your story needs it to stay up there. People sometimes climb up into trees and kill themselves. I remember reading about one such that winter hikers spotted. The body had been up there for years. I could not find that one again but here are others. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2100499/Melissa-Joy-...


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