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23 votes
Accepted

How would I pull off FTL travel in a universe where inter-universal travel is also widely used?

I am going to reference one of the coolest Aircraft ever - the SR71 blackbird for my answer. It was powered by two forms of Jet Engine - the first was the standard Jet engine the J58 engine - Here ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
  • 24.9k
17 votes

How could Venus be partially terraformed?

Big parasol near L1. Put a big (roughly Venus-sized) solar sail slightly sunward of the Venus-Sun L1 Lagrange point. By varying the size or reflectivity of the solar sail, we can slightly increase or ...
g s's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

In a sci-fi setting with advanced medicine, how can people still have scars and other damages?

In my opinion, the simplest possible explanation that can be used is economic. I.e., the fact that a society as a whole is in possession of medical technology that enables what you described does not ...
running.t's user avatar
  • 361
17 votes
Accepted

What are advantages of plasma based weaponry in ship-to-ship combat

This is a hard sell Magnetic fields don't just "exist." There must be a north and south pole. Said another way, there must be a beginning and an end to the field you're trying to use to ...
JBH's user avatar
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15 votes

What are advantages of plasma based weaponry in ship-to-ship combat

Classic scifi plasma weapons don't work. A blob of plasma (a plasmoid) has internal pressure due to its temperature and magnetic field, and unless confined by an external magnetic field it will expand ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
11 votes

Why aren't there kamikaze warp bombs?

Geon Communicators mean Stable Micro Black Holes if a warp drive is improperly used, it collapses the ship's mass into a black hole. One thing that can be done with the warp field without much ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
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11 votes

Is there a reason why computers of the 1920s-1980s look the way they do?

The 19-inch rack was established as a standard by AT&T around 1922 in order to reduce the space required for repeater and termination equipment in telephone exchanges. This was a useful standard ...
Richard Kirk's user avatar
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9 votes

Is it theoretically possible for a planet to orbit a star that is orbiting a black hole outside of the event horizon? And what would it look like?

what sort of circumstances would there need to be for this to theoretically work without ticking off the science community too much? There is nothing inherently impossible to what you propose. We ...
ErikHall's user avatar
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8 votes

In a sci-fi setting with advanced medicine, how can people still have scars and other damages?

Keloid disorder: This signifies an inability to heal normally. The unfortunates that react this way produce massive lumps and bands of bulging scar-tissue because of an overgrowth of granulation ...
Escaped dental patient.'s user avatar
8 votes

Is there a reason why computers of the 1920s-1980s look the way they do?

CRT Tubes This isn't really a question that has a right answer, but my personal take is that the technology aesthetic that you see in "cassette futurism" was, in a large part driven by the ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
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7 votes

In a sci-fi setting with advanced medicine, how can people still have scars and other damages?

I can think of several possible explanations. None of them really involve science... The scars may be reduced, but people get better at spotting them. If you think someone has had cosmetic surgery ...
Richard Kirk's user avatar
  • 8,843
7 votes

How would I pull off FTL travel in a universe where inter-universal travel is also widely used?

Broken symmetry of dimensions We're used to all three of our dimensions being interchangeable, but that isn't a given. If you posit a five dimensional universe it's possible for travel in the fourth ...
Robert Rapplean's user avatar
7 votes

How could Venus be partially terraformed?

Vacuum tank technology has really been a godsend for Venusians. While hardened robotic excavation and mining operations are proceeding smoothly on the surface and provide plenty of raw materials for ...
Serban Tanasa's user avatar
6 votes

How could Venus be partially terraformed?

What technology levels are to be used to terraform it? Without that information, we can pick some farily simple ideas, that do not require super-tech: Using a solar umbrella to partially shield Venus ...
Going Durden's user avatar
  • 2,550
6 votes

Why aren't there kamikaze warp bombs?

The device doesn't work well near big gravitational bodies. The physics of such a device are quite sensitive, and the massive gravity fluctuations near planets and stars tend to disrupt their ...
Nepene Nep's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Is there a reason why computers of the 1920s-1980s look the way they do?

Reliability & Failure Awareness I did a job once that involved taking a tour of the control room of a nuclear power plant, and much to my suprise, there was virtually no computers in the whole ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 93.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Alternative methods for heat management(short and medium term)

Fundamentally, if a spacecraft's reactor produces one megawatt of heat, there will be one megawatt eventually leaving the spacecraft, and with very little conduction or convection, the only way that ...
parasoup's user avatar
  • 5,011
5 votes

What are advantages of plasma based weaponry in ship-to-ship combat

Plasma based weaponry isn't really a thing in reality. Plasma weaponry in a lot of media is portrayed like some sort of electric lava, but real plasma is basically somewhere between lightning and fire ...
TitaniumTurtle's user avatar
4 votes

Why does controlling warp fields require biological intelligence?

Cosmic Horror angle: the Namuh are being played by a hostile third party. The Namuh have no idea why it works the way it works; their best models start from incompatible axioms and make incompatible ...
g s's user avatar
  • 5,459
4 votes

Is it theoretically possible for a planet to orbit a star that is orbiting a black hole outside of the event horizon? And what would it look like?

A person would not be concerned with crossing the event horizon. The event horizon is a line where not even light can escape. Long before that, you deal with spaghettification which is 100% fatal ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k
4 votes

In a sci-fi setting with advanced medicine, how can people still have scars and other damages?

One possibility is that the scars are a result of dueling. Much like dueling in Prussian countries in the 19th & early 20th Centuries, the scars are seen as a sign of masculinity, or obedience to ...
Tangurena's user avatar
  • 2,080
4 votes

How could Venus be partially terraformed?

You need a solar umbrella. Most ideal point for that is the Sun-Venus L1. A 10000km big foil would be enough. Note, its mass, for example in the case of a 0.1mm width, is still years of the whole ...
Gray Sheep's user avatar
  • 3,646
3 votes

In a sci-fi setting with advanced medicine, how can people still have scars and other damages?

It's wasteful. Sure, you can get rid of scars. Even today, plastic surgery has (some) ability to deal with them. However, except in cases of severe scarring (such as from an acid attack, for example), ...
In Hoc Signo's user avatar
  • 10.7k
3 votes

Geomagnetic Storm Superweapon

First thing first: I want to destroy the infrastructure, but leave the people unharmed If you destroy all infrastructure, people are going to die. A lot of people. That's just the nature of ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
3 votes

Gene-smiths creating super warriors. They need a secondary digestive system with a new super food

Bioengineered supersoldiers are a bad idea. The only thing really super about them is how super-hard it is to do better than evolution in making a viable organism that serves your needs better than ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 60.3k
3 votes

Why aren't there kamikaze warp bombs?

FTL disrupting plasma barriers (shielding) In the proposed universe, the mechanism of attaining FTL is precisely, not grossly, deformed spacetime using microwave generated plasma. The solar wind is ...
EngrStudent's user avatar
3 votes

Futuristic fusion of university campus with desi cultural heritage preserved

Old universities deal with this regularly It costs more to build a new building than to renovate an old one — to a point. Consequently, it's common for universities to use the buildings they started ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 123k
3 votes

Is there a reason why computers of the 1920s-1980s look the way they do?

Am I correct in doubting that years ago, the doctrine was that computers had to be large, bulky, obtrusive, cubical, built of plastic and packed with buttons and sliders and arrays of blinking lights? ...
Vesper's user avatar
  • 7,517
3 votes
Accepted

Climate on a tidally Locked Moon

Your stellar system, as described, probably isn't going to be habitable by terrestrial-flavored surface-dwelling life, regardless of the gas mix of the worlds involved. The problem comes with your ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
2 votes

Why does controlling warp fields require biological intelligence?

Only an Organic brain is capable of the levels of Abstraction needed Think about a simple object - let us use the Cup in your example. What is a Cup? There are a large number of ways you could ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
  • 24.9k

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