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Both the Saguaro and the Giant Cardon cacti can reach 60 to 80 feet in height ... 1/4 the height of a mature sequoia. It's thus plausible to think that, in world with lower gravity than earth and fewer competitors for the cacti, they could reach over 200 feet high (sorry, don't have the math to say how low). The lower gravity would be important; the main ...


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Coastal batteries can be built much larger, better armored & camouflaged and would in this case get a distinct advantage in ranging. You know exactly where the canal is and at which position the ships is. The ship you are engaging has to establish a distance first. Put your artillery on a hill and you get both an additional energy advantage and cause ...


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The negative factors for life appearance are lack of any energy or strongly chaotic energies. In the described situation nothing of the kind is present. If life appeared in some conditions, they are good for it. Any strong regular energy will be USED. As the planet with all on it is moving in the strong magnetic field, they all are electric batteries. ...


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Think Panama. The Panama Canal is made up of a series of gates which would greatly slow down ships made for combat. Controlling tight canals means that you could feasibly move some sort of Navy through them (or block other navies), but getting control of the canal sides themselves would be more important for that, meaning that ground combat was still the ...


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Chain boom. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_River_Chain In the Revolutionary war some American waterways were defended with chains. The chains spanned the river, just underwater, and were intended to stop British ships traveling upstream. Some sites worked better than others. At the mooring points of the chains there were batteries, presumably to ...


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This question makes a number of different assumptions, most of which are wrong. 1. The biggest, as covered by Slarty's answer, is that an alien species would even use the same pigments that Earth species use. It's a common misconception that evolution is a gradual progression to the most efficient solution to a problem. It's not. For a trait to exist ...


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Fold Space Seriously, we know damn well enough by now that space has structure and that it can be folded. Ships won't be zipping around with stars passing by, they will literally be going through portals - instantly. If you truly want to win over the harder to win (and more likely to defend your work) audience members do research. While the 2016 film ...


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Yes it’s all possible. But melanin probably wouldn’t be used by the aliens or at least probably wouldn’t be used for the same purpose. With a completely alien biogenesis and billions of years of randomly triggered evolution most of the biochemistry will likely be completely different. If the rain forest they evolved in is dark it would make sense that they ...


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It depends how you make 3g fit into 1 cubic mm. Do you make the atoms smaller and denser? Or do you push normal atoms together with incredible force? Either way it would not end well. Smaller atoms would not be able to be metabolised and highly pressurised normal matter would pose difficulties in expansion that would do serious damage to organs when the time ...


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In every sci-fi story I've read involving generation ships, the technology improves until they can send out a faster ship which of course then catches up with the generation ship. There's no reason why that won't happen IRL. So a society shouldn't even bother building a generation ship in the first place.


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Metabolism of nutrients occurs on the molecular level. The density of those molecules does not affect how the individual molecules are processed. I am making 2 assumptions: metabolism refers to the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life. and not some looser sense of the word "metabolism", like general health ...


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Since there is "far future science" and possible meta-magic, it might be better to work outside-in, than inside-to-out. What's the Difference in Effectiveness Between Lasers and Plasma? Lasers send a fire-hose of photons downrange, some of which get sponged up or reflected by powdery particulate mix of whatever atmosphere you are shooting through. ...


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Plasma guns, as traditionally envisaged, don't work and can't work. Hot things expand. Gasses under pressure that are not confined expand. The plasma bolt will expand very rapidly upon leaving the barrel of the gun, and a very hot, high pressure and rapidly expanding cloud of gas is traditionally known as a fireball, or possibly an explosion. The 80s SDI-...


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You are making one big assumption that may in fact not be warranted. You assume that generational ships (or any high tech like that) are used only out of necessity. But that's often not the case in human history. In fact, the more prosperous you get, the more likely you are to do things just because you can. Think about all the conquerors who traveled to ...


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If You Build It... Why did cave men leave the safety of their home tribe to wander into the unknown? Isn't that foolish? For the individual cave man, it is. For the genetic inheritance of cave men, it's a prudent gamble (hence, the Polynesian explorers mentioned elsewhere). Humans have a wanderlust, and always have. Pretty much every living creature on ...


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In order for generation ships to work, you essentially must have fusion power and nearly perfect self contained life support. Not really. It just needs to be pretty good. You can plan for some level of waste, and include extra supplies. Assuming you lose 1% of your supplies per year, .99^100 = .366, so you just need to bring 3x as much stuff as is ...


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== No difference from deep space habitat == In order to travel between star systems for that amount of time, the "generation ship" would need to be essentially a self-sustaining deep space habitat. Therefore, it needs factories and a university and farms and all the necessities of modern (to whatever time period) civilization. The fact that it has engines ...


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It is possible to build artificial space habitats with materials from small solar system objects like asteroids and comets. So eventually there could be tens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions, etc. of such space habitats with populations of thousands of persons each. And of course adding an engine and fuel supply, etc....


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Apart from the issues already raised, this approach also prevents the wielder from communicating with their comrades. This may be inconvenient when you need to shout "Look out!" "He's behind you!" "Watch out for the archer!" "Fall back!" etc. Also opponents can insult you and make personal comments and you can't answer back. The only benefit I can think ...


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I think there's two things missing. The first is that we do hard things all the time. Its standard practice for humanity to do things that were impossible a generation earlier. I think the real key is motivation. A society's motivation for generation ships is the same motivation a tree has to produce seeds. Why produce seeds when, to produce seeds, you ...


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It's basically a political issue. While people of your way of thinking might not use generation ships, others might. Sepcifically...religious types. Pilgrim Fathers who need to get as far away as possible from other humans to set up their utopia. Cults who believe they have a divine mission to populate the universe. Those who believe there is a Promised ...


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About the why, even in post-scarcity society: Philosophical disagreements and lack of meaning. People will always disagree about the best way to live. One may even say that how to answer this question is what divide a society from another. Even in a post-scarcity society these divergences will exist. How should Man live? What is a correct life? What is ...


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Yes, it's called poetry. The interesting question is whether all of their speech would turn towards poetry, making it sound like music. There's a lot of advantages to that kind of thinking (ranging from expressing emotions to simply cut and dry checksums to make sure the message was conveyed correctly). I wanted to quote some of the lyrics from Tales of ...


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If you think about it, the movement from the wrist is 60 times less than the end of whatever you're swinging. So if you're chopping you get much more speed and momentum behind it if your twist your wrist mid swing. That said, you can't get that sort of movement from a weapon in your mouth. Even if you could it would be more of an inconvenience when swinging, ...


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I want to work from the assumption that the challenges have been solved but theres no reason to do so. In that case, generation ships are absolutely plausible. People are not inherently logical. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that at least one person will participate in an activity even if the activity itself does not seem reasonable through a logical ...


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Let's split this question to some parts that I deduced from your question 1. Why would anyone work on something that they will never be able to use? First, there are people who are interested in things they can't actually use. For example, Ada Lovelace invented a programming language and wrote code for the Analytical Engine even though it was never built. ...


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Flip the question around Let us accept the premise that a generation ship is not viable without the technological ingredients for a post-scarcity utopia. Now add the assumption that this situation has been achieved without a massive (>80%) population crash on Earth. What remains is a situation in which there are billions of people who can do almost ...


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There is a good time slot for generation ships between achieving post scarcity and getting to star-lifting levels of engineering. It wouldn't matter whether you live in an artificial habitat here, there or drifting inbetween, but you still get the safety of not having all your eggs in one basket. And perhaps satisfy parts of our curiosity. An additional ...


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I've been wondering for a while now why you would even have living humans on-board for most of the trip. 3D printing is making it's rise, and we've been printing simple bodyparts for a while now (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/3d-printed-ears-grown-stem-cells-are-finally-on-their-way-180961605/) The biggest problem with this type of printing ...


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What's missing is the ongoing march of technological progress. What's an insurmountable problem this year is next year's high school problem. Whether through simple miniaturisation or wholesale new breakthroughs all these problems can be solved. All you have to accept is that it's not you or your children getting on these ships, but you could be doing the ...


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Poetry and music would be a single art form. In a non-tonal language such as English, a poet conveys meaning through both the definitions of the words and their sounds. A word may be selected instead of a near synonym because of its sound, using any or all of rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. In your language, the poet-composer would pick among ...


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To outside countries, this language would sound bizarre, with seemingly random notes that might be annoying to listen to. Their day-to-day speech, perhaps. (Although I suspect there are some underlying principles of euphony that would direct how day-to-day speech in this language develops so that it "sounds right".) But music is not a matter of day-to-day ...


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There's more to music than just pitch. You have speed and beat and other sorts of things. And there's also natural sounds that aren't a designated pitch. Percussion instruments come to mind. A cymbal crash has a sound and pitch (Depending on cymbal of course), but it's not necessarily tuned to be a specific one. Tapping a pen on a desk, in addition to ...


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Speech In non-absolute-pitch languages, pitch is used in everyday speech to impart different meanings to what is being said. Everything from feelings, to you know what I really mean. In an absolute-pitch language altering the pitch changes the word, possibly completely. So how will natural speakers convey feelings, and the implicit? Through beat and rhythm....


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In addition to 'physical' barriers that your hypothetical creatures need to overcome, there's another side to this story, and that's the consciousness. We know far less about it than we know about the Quantum world, but even then it's quite clear that any being with consciousness is more than just the sum of its molecules. For instance, our brain is able ...


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Assuming your planet has a similar equatorial bulge to Earth, yes. If you don't mind your "polar" ring being a few degrees off exactly 90% inclination from the planet's equator, anyway (and this will vary slightly depending on the planet's axial tilt and the inclination of any major moon or moons). Put the ring in a sun-synchronous orbit. For Earth, this ...


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The absolute density (how much a given volume of the substance weighs) of mercury is 13593 kilograms per cubic meter. This can also be stated as 13.56 grams per cubic centimeter (by definition, the density of a substance in $kg/m^3$ is 1000 times the density in $g/cm^3$) Source If bursting flames in a city is not smart, even not smarter is loading your ...


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Mercury boiling point is 356,7°C so it would be mercury vapour spray. And it would be a toxic weapon, it would be totally inefective against any armor. But the atmosphere will be toxic and unbreathable, build an efective gas mask will be a bit hard due to the temperature.


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you have a more fundamental problem, but fixing it will fix a lot. continental plates are normally not surrounded by attached oceanic plate on all sides. Usually just some of the sides, look at the this map and you will notice almost no continent is completely surrounded by attached crust there is a a plate boundary on at least one large stretch of coast, ...


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I see some issues in your arrangement. When a tectonic plaque descend below another, it will cause the one above it to fold and corrugate, generating mountains. This is clearly visible in the mountain regions surrounding the Pacific Ring of fire As you can see the areas where the plaque sinks, marked by trenches, is close to region with mountains and ...


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The general main challenges with fighting bacterial infections are: Don’t kill the good guys: First of all, you obviously do not want to kill the human host, but since bacteria are a completely different branch of life, there are lots of bacteria-specific angles of attack here. The bigger problem is that only a small fraction of bacteria is actually harmful,...


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You can get around the problem by getting your geckos to evolve human-like hands with more dexterity, and lose the Van der Wall forces. Since they're filling the niches formerly occupied by humans and other large animals, that would mean they're now more land based. This can create an evolutionary pressure towards hands with dexterity over hands that let ...


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There are two ways to go about handling this problem - one that keeps van der Waals forces and the other that loses it. As you've pointed out van der Waals (more like van der Walls) forces help geckos stick to walls. What this force is is basically an attraction formed due to the polarity between two surfaces (i.e the gecko and the surface of the wall). Now ...


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Possible, but not likely. This answer makes the case using Evolutionary Theory. Using it, the evidence seems to be against the theory "of a [super] intelligent dinosaur species we simply did not discover [existing] in our past": If we look at the evolutionary history of all life, we see a steady progression from simple to complex organisms. So if we go ...


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It is entirely possible there could have been an intelligent saurian species; if, for instance, you had an intelligent species that evolved in part of Gondwanaland that's now buried under the ice in Antarctica, it would have low odds of discovery. That said, it's unlikely. You'd need for all its ancestral and related lineages to also not have been discovered....


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Reality check, if you can create worm holes anywhere. What do you need a laser for? Just create a wormhole that links from a black hole or star gravity somewhere, and put the other end inside the thing you want to destroy. A laser is a waste of energy if you can already create worm holes. And that episode in particular was pretty inconsistent and had the ...


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You don't need to simulate the whole organism. Most bacteria don't "attack" as such, they just...are. That existence produces either waste products that are harmful (think botulism) or trigger the host into some response that is harmful. (think flu causing fever) So the problem with simulating a disease is not simulating a cell but figuring out what it is ...


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It all depends on the accuracy and resolution of your simulation. Ultimately it’s not possible to create a perfect model of a pathogen due to the uncertainty principle operating at the lowest level of resolution in any model. That said an enormous amount can be learnt from simulations at all scales depending on what you are interested in. The secret is in ...


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Wormholes aren't forbidden by relativity, which isn't quite the same as "scientifically plausible". If you were able to make a wormhole, then you'd be able to pump energy into one end and get energy out of the other end. Exactly what comes out of the other end rather depends on the nature of the wormhole metric. Given that wormholes may be mathematically ...


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Precipitation. The big advantage here is that it starts off at an (almost) arbitrary altitude, so all you need to do is open the roof of your 10-mile-radius tank and collect away. Sure, it'll take a while to fill up your high tank. But when you're operating on the time scales of Stonehenge, waiting a couple thousand years isn't a problem.


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