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50

Laser beams have straight trajectories in anything other than totally unreasonable gravitational fields (where you won't be using bullets, that for sure). This makes them very easy to aim. Lasers beams propagate at the speed of light. This will be substantially faster than any projectile weapon, and a reasonable amount faster than any particle beam, too. You ...


33

Someone is going to rain on your parade and it's not me. It's the whale. Literally. More on that later. If you wish to calculate how many people you need to move a whale, don't bother calculating lifting power. You won't fit three thousand seven hundred villagers under a whale. But don't go calculating static friction either. Whale skin is thick but it is ...


29

You'll end up with Grated Humpback The thing about cobbelstones is that they are not a smooth surface. You're dragging what is in essence 150 40 tonnes of whale meat over a large grater. 250m I don't think is long enough to grate the entire whale down, but you're going to lose a lot of it to the road. Also, you're going to have trouble with connecting the ...


21

While Tim_B has covered the fact that you can't just drag a dead whale through the streets, there are alternative methods you can use. You will probably only need a team of 10 people, and a separate crew of at least 2 people to perform the feat. The solution is to put the whale on top of some logs, which roll when you drag the whale. This way you reduce the ...


14

The type of body you're looking for and the sort of flying your character will be doing have a significant bearing on what sort of wings they'll need. The "ideal" bodytype would perhaps be harpy-like, without unaerodynamic things like clothes or extra limbs (which would also be dead-weight when flying). Deep chest with massive muscles. Much more lightweight ...


12

hydrogen is too weak – one flaming arrow and the approaching flying battle-platform turns into (cinematographically appealing) fireworks. Only if your engineers are idiots. The cinematic flames from the Hindenburg crash are not burning hydrogen--they are from the combusting envelope, which was basically painted with jet fuel. The hydrogen didn't help, ...


8

For storing the energy, what you want are salt batteries (not simply iron heat sinks). This is a technology we're looking at today in terms of things like molten salt reactors and solar thermal energy. Thermal energy can work very similar to inertia. The idea is that excess heat from a reactor is put into keeping a eutectic salt in a molten state. The ...


7

You could model your flyer on Argentavis. It weighed about 80 kg. It had wings 9 meters wide. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentavis Prior published weights gave Argentavis a body mass of 80 kg (180 lb) but more refined techniques show a more typical mass would've likely been 70 to 72 kg (154 to 159 lb), although weights could've varied ...


6

Matter - Antimatter Annihilation (Or just run matter into energy) Have you heard about mass-energy equivalence? It states that mass is equivalent to raw energy, and energy to mass in this formula: $$E = mc^2$$ That means that each gram of matter has 89,875,517,873,681,764 Joules of energy, that is, 90 petajoules. Annihilate a gram of matter with a gram of ...


6

Frame challenge. The whale might not fit in your streets. It is too wide. People have signs, clotheslines, flagpoles, and stuff hanging out from the doors and walls. While they are tall enough so vehicles and people moving through won't snag, the whale will. Moving the animal whole is a bad idea. The other answers do a good job of showing why. It will be a ...


6

Precision Lobbing the battery as a grenade may be more effective in terms of energy transfer to the target, but it also has a habit of transferring that energy into everything around the target. That doesn't work well if there's something in the vicinity you want to preserve, such as a hostage, or a building, or depending on your battery capacity, the city. ...


6

Any interesting battery material for a laser gun would be more usefully deployed as an explosive warhead. I don't think this should be treated as a universal assumption. After all, the gunpowder or cordite used in modern-day firearms and artillery pieces is plenty interesting, but it's hardly a good material for an explosive warhead -- and even artillery ...


6

International laws and agreements In real life there are lots of ways of bringing an enemy to their knees, but they are unnaceptable due to humanitary reasons. See the UN's Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons for banished weapons and Protocol I of the Geneva convention for banished practices. You can't, for example: Blind people with lasers; Bomb ...


5

Short version Everything should work the same but at much higher energies. Long version Given the relatively high mass and close proximity of the pion cloud to the atomic nucleus compared to the electron cloud of a standard atom all chemistry is going to require higher reaction energies. At the same time the atoms have far more embodied energy as the ...


5

Anatomy has some useful words: Superior -> Above Inferior -> Below Ventral -> Fore of the body Dorsal -> Back of the body Frontal -> Fore of the head Occipital -> Back of the head Distal -> Out, towards the tip of extremities Proximal -> In, towards the body Rostral -> Towards the face Caudal -> Towards the ...


5

Non-orientable wormholes The problem with antimatter is that you have to expend energy to create it. It might serve as a good energy storage medium, and there are interesting things you can do with animatter that you can't trivially do by other means, but by itself it isn't a source of energy and it couldn't replace fusion (there are potentially similar ...


5

You don't even need to drink superfluid: you already would become covered in thin film of superfluid both outside and inside a few moments after you opened container holding it. Dependenig on fluid composition it can (optionaly): suffocate you - it will cover you lungs inside for sure. If it has large molecules ("not superfluid water") it will prevent ...


5

Lasers can be armor-penetrating bypassing Slugs energy goes into the outer layer of armor first. Armor-penetrating bullets are specially designed to get through armor better, but the fact remains that they have to destroy the armor before they can hurt the target. An x-ray or gamma laser is different. Yes, some of the energy is going to be deposited in ...


4

In hard-scifi you can't. And reason is not only "Routledge's Law", but range. Laser weapon has very limited range compared with slugs. You can shoot slugs from Moon to Earth with common modern howitzer and case some damage (to city-size target), but you will never be able to do it with reasnoble laser even utilizing futuristic technology. It doesn't means ...


3

All the conditions you give do not fit together. It is tidally locked, and is rotated 90 degrees If the body is in tidal locking, its axis of rotation is perpendicular to the plane containing the orbit, else it won't be tidally locked. [the planet] spins 24 times faster [than Earth] Also this is hardly possible for a tidally locked body. Tidal ...


3

What you need is a stretcher. This could be just a large piece of strong canvas. Sailcloth might do in a pinch (possibly several layers thick), and is something your fishing villagers would be very likely to have on hand. Get a suitably large piece, attach it to wooden spars on two sides, and roll the whale onto it. Then you can attach ropes to the spars ...


3

A tank of water makes a terrific heat sink. The heat of vaporization of water is huge -- several times what it takes to heat water from barely thawed to just about boiling, which itself is a lot (water has one of the highest specific heat capacities of any simple substance). Even better, a small tank of water is renewable, just by "drinking". Your ...


2

Heat sources can produce electricity in different ways. They could power a stirling engine with a generator. They could power thermocouples. Some more ways. However, if you change natural laws by introducing this new energy, all bets are off and science-based does not really apply. physics as we know it might leave doors for undiscovered paradigms, but a ...


2

Energy Absorption Mechanism + constant movement This is a dumb idea but hey, worth a shot. The idea is that these machines must have some initial energy stored within them to allow them to get to perform certain tasks as directed by the AI. Obviously the dragons and whatnot will try to fight them back, so instead of just containing this energy within a ...


2

Thermodynamics tells us that to generate work, we need to have two thermostats at different temperatures, and that the ideal yield of that conversion will be $\eta= 1 -$$ T_{high}\over T_{low}$. Therefore, as long as your energy is stored at $T_{high}$, with $T_{low}$ being environmental temperature, you can produce work by using the temperature difference. ...


2

How about you use ship orientations? Front...Fore Back.....Aft Left.....Port Right....Starboard Up.......Zenith Down.....Nadir Or perhaps orbital orientations? These are for counterclockwise orbits: Front...Prograde Back.....Retrograde Left.....Anti-radial Right....Radial Up.......Normal Down.....Anti-normal


2

Penrose process By splitting a chunk of matter in two near a black hole in such a way that one piece drops into the black hole and the other escapes it, one can extract its rotational energy. This has way better energy efficiency than fusion (about 29% of original BH mass can be harvested), possibly more when using charged black holes. Description on ...


2

It's not just a question of wingspan. Most birds have (sort of) hollow bones, which helps to keep weight down. And that's really important. Additionally, actually getting into the air requires speed, and powerful muscles to flap the wings to achieve lift. Another consideration is the weight of the wings themselves, and the strain placed upon the spine by ...


2

It greatly depends on flight conditions. Paragliders has wingspan about 8-12 meters (4-6 half-wing). It is able to takoff from ground and land more or less safely. Jet wing have only 2.5 meters wingspan, but needs a "drop down" takeoff. Both support much more weight than 30 kg (about 90-120). But wingspan depends on weight more like sqrt(x). It means you ...


2

Since you want a layman’s tool — implying no knowledge or limited knowledge about plasma physics and the mathematics required to perform simulations You might consider the Remote Glow Discharge Experiment which allows you to control a plasma source via your web browser. If you have the willingness to learn then there are many tools and frameworks that can ...


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