We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

New answers tagged

1

I know its a little off from your original concept but if I were building a universe with something like that in it I would actually make it a purposeful mark, a tattoo of some description. If you wanted the species to be a repressed one then it would have been forced upon them by others wanting to identify their kind at a distance. If not then it would be ...


0

They are tattoos. This is the simplest explanation. The marks have cultural significance for the empath race and the tattoos are added as each individual achieves life goals. Your crew members are young and probably have only one or two. An elder of this race might have the tears circumferentially around her eyes. As regards why a tear - as they become ...


1

My take on this situation: the ‘teardrop’ is an essential, black, teardrop-shaped organ located on the Empath’s face. You could have the Empath have thinner skin, allowing the teardrop’s unique colour to be visible on its face as markings. The thinner skin could be somewhat permeable, like a frog’s, allowing fluids to blend into the bloodstream. This is ...


0

TL;DR: No, don't do this. Longer answer: Inefficiency will kill you, because nukes generate a lot of energy, and you don't want all that energy going into your ship or your launcher. All nuclear reactions will generate a lot of radiation. You're trying to use this radiation to heat some form of propellant (which may simply be the bomb casing) which will ...


0

Let's say that the aliens exist, do you think that they are smart enough to create their own Mathematics? Terran animals have been shown to be able to count and do addition. Chimpanzees can count, can tell when they're right, and they use similar parts of their brains (compared to humans) to do so. Crows can count although they lack the layer of the brain ...


1

Look inside our cells... For example this animation shows a walking molecule of kinesin, walking along microtubules. The inside of a living cell has been compared to a train station at rush hour, with enzymes, chromosomes and other internal components constantly being shuttled along tiny fibrous tracks called microtubules. Stanford biophysicist ...


2

You might be able to do better with brutal "hand optimization" but looking at what's been accomplished with 1 million years of parallel development I get the following answers: ~300 nm That is as small as nature has managed to a make something that is for the most part self replicating. Mycoplasma digest material outside of themselves and then bring in ...


2

A magnetic field is effective at keeping away only moving charges. Most of the matter we have around us is in neutral state. Being one meter away from a strong source of gamma ray is a pretty effective way to commit suicide, something similar to how Slotin died in the demon's core accident The standard protocol was to use shims between the halves, as ...


0

Explosion. When matter and antimatter touch, they annihilate each other, and turn into pure energy. Gamma rays mostly.


0

I'm not sure how deeply sci fi you are intending, but the development of some sort of energy shield or gravity control technology could accomplish this within an atmosphere. If not, I don't think it's possible based on my understanding of physics. The atmosphere will always produce drag, technically it does even when you walk, wave your hand, or even type on ...


0

Sorry, but the requirements in energy would be so large as to prohibit a coilgun. Plus, as other people have mentioned already, there is the problem of bracing said gun. A particle accelerator, on the other hand, might work. They require much less power, have a much higher "muzzle velocity", and have a longer range. That being said, the amount of power ...


-3

Two things. Lasers powerful enough to hit another ship at any reasonable distance would also be so powerful that it would be impossible to keep said laser from also melting the ship that is deploying it. Due to the Phasing Effect, ablative armor would make lasers almost useless. As a result, you would be looking at 5-hour space battles, which most ships ...


-1

Due to the rocket equation, no, Star Wars-style fighters would be impractical. This is because the starfighters would have a truly horrendous mile-per-gallon rating. However, I suggest that you take a look at the Star Trek style. These are essentially just little starships, which act similarly to the Torpedo Boats that the U.S. used during WWII.


2

There are known human survivors that were as near as 100m from ground zero in the world war II nuke attacks. What likely saved them is their thermal mass, and that of the obstacles shading them. Something very small does not have that luxury - if an environment of (conductive/convective) unbearable heat is created around it, it has no choice but to be very ...


-1

Fractals Gravity acts in a similar way on everything. As a result, the way it acts can kind of be considered like a fractal, at least as far as self-similarity is concerned. (Don't try and stretch the analogy too far. Some restrictions apply. See your local physics professor for details.) Basically, asking "is it possible for a planet to have three ...


0

TL;DR: this might work for a world like Mars, but the required atmospheric densities at the launch point are so low that it could not support life. From the useful information found in this space exploration SE question, How strong and “hot” is the wind on the payload after the fairing is deployed at ~110km?, you can see that most present-day commercial ...


1

Yes, if the nanites are solar powered. You could use nuclear bombs to throw up large dust clouds (or cause a volcanic eruption) which would darken the sky for some time and deprive the nanites of their power source. Volcanic eruptions can also cause global acid rains. Of course the collateral damage would be significant.


5

This is the ISS And this is the Voyager2 As you can see, their shape it's all but aerodynamics. Why? The only moment when they will have to worry about drag will be when they will reenter, being end of life. For the Voyager it will mean that it has encountered another planet with an atmosphere, YAIII, while for the ISS it will be in few years. Thus, we ...


3

I would not hold high hopes on nukes being any good or effective about nanoscale machinery, despite Starfish providing good enough answer as general assumptions. The reason for that is a possible multitude of deployment tactics. Even with your chosen one "swarm of locusts, like a black cloud of death" there is plenty of options. Best countermeasures are ...


8

Cubes are not better than spheres for increased capacity So this sounds weird - but you don't actually get more space from a cube. That's because you need to consider the materials making up the object in question. If you're objective is the maximum amount of storage space, then note that a sphere has a greater storage capacity from a relative standpoint ...


0

Following on from Starfish Primes answer, the nano-machines can be blown easily, and as a result can be compressed into a smaller, more compact, cloud. This can then be more easily destroyed with a nuke. The procedure could be as follows; 1. Large fans are positioned to push the swarm down and inwards, the fanse could possibly be jet engines as they have a ...


0

One of your assumptions is that such a creature would both sense and communicate in the same way we do. However, imagine a creature that lives in the dark, perhaps in a cave system. One possible evolutionary process might have it communicate by radio waves. Imagine sensory organs all over the skin which produced radio pulses and detected reflections as a ...


29

Would they be able to even destroy the nanoscopic machines Are they nanoscopic? teeny tiny things have a real problem getting around. They certainly won't swarm and fly like locusts; air viscosity at that scale is too high. They'd be blown around, and work more like fatal hay fever than a homing cloud of doom. Anyway. Yes, the nuke would work jolly well, ...


0

The region in which the orbit of a satellite around a larger body is stable is defined by its Hill sphere. Just as you can have a planet with a moon orbiting a star (the planet is in the Hill sphere of the star and the moon is in the Hill sphere of the planet) you could have a planet with a moon where the moon itself has its own satellite. The formula for ...


1

Consider for a moment the needs of a spacefaring race built around war. Yes, they'd need all the traditional physical features, like strength, eyesight, etc, but that doesn't seem to be something you really need help will. I bet you could write a basic list. So I'll give you a (slightly) more interesting one: An inclination toward cooperation War requires ...


3

I'm going to assume you want the classical "brute extremely dangerous fighter culture in space" type of warrior, if not then Willk's answer should be it. While strength is often prized, strength will not win you a space battle with guns. An intelligent silverback gorilla would carry a big gun and take a lot of firepower to take down but he would also ...


3

For a race of galactic conquerors, biological traits would be secondary to social and psychological ones. The species may be small and weak, but they should value cooperation, possess an expansionist's mindset and feel no mercy towards other sentinels. Physical weakness can be complemented by technology. The lack of bravery and determination can not be. ...


8

They are fairly easy to tell apart from just bones. From the bones there are several obvious differences. Well start from the most obvious and work down. the shape of the skull is an easy one and the first thing you look at in mammals. bison skulls are much wider/shorter proportionally and have smaller horns. Even a damaged skeleton will show this obvious ...


12

They are a genetically identical nest, like the social insects. Making war means cooperation, which means putting the needs of the group ahead of the needs of the individual. Humans are able to do that to some degree which accounts for much of our success as a species. The social insects do that better than anything else. The organism is the nest and ...


3

Predator features here on earth include: - Eyes on the front of the head: binocular vision helps tracks prey - Claws, Fangs and sharp teeth for eating meat - Fast reflexes - Lean build - tails are possible, they help with balancing during high-speed chases Senses like smell or eyesights are equally important for predator and prey, so I would not expect ...


2

The most obvious difference in the skeleton along the "hump". As you can see from L.Dutch's image the bison has a more pronounced hump over the shoulders. While that is primarily muscle, it has a skeletal structure that is significantly more pronounced in the bison than the aurochs.


2

The European "bison" is such a hybrid. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_bison The European bison (Bison bonasus), also known as wisent (/ˈviːzənt/ or /ˈwiːzənt/) or the European wood bison, is a Eurasian species of bison. It is one of two extant species of bison, alongside the American bison.... Analysis of mitochondrial genomes and nuclear ...


2

I first posted this as a comment to another question of the OP, but it does belong here: Since actual soil would have to be almost solid or somehow otherwise held in place with special technology, I think the most obvious solution is to not use normal soil at all: Plants can be grown on/in hydroponics systems, which are much easier to maintain in artificial ...


5

I am not good to the bones, but if I look at pictures/reconstruction of the two species, I can tell a difference: the horns make a big difference between the two. And I suspect even the way they connect to the skull is peculiar. So, go for the head!


2

I'm going to run with the principle of this being an artificial structure with exactly this use in mind. What that means is that we're not attaching to a smooth surface but rather a prepared texture specifically designed for plants to adhere to with relative ease. We should also consider that water will need travel within this surface somehow. Since soil ...


3

You may turn this into a greenhouse structure instead. However, the "glass roof" will be inside the "floor" structure, which is a giant tube or a dyson sphere. The roofing will be valuable in keeping all things within, including the precious atmosphere. The system, however, looks like an inverted greenhouse to its dwellers. Plants hang from a hard-material ...


1

You could. However there are engineering and economic problems with that Engineering: The muscles have multiple fibers and those fibers take turns contracting. One reason is that it takes a while to deliver the oxygen and nutrients to that fiber. You also have to get rid of the waste products and the heat that is generated. To get all that strength, ...


2

The farther you get from a terms origin, the less specific people tend to be. For example, the Archaic period used to refer to a specific time period in the ancient world, but now it's just anything old. People wear medieval armor at renaissance festivals, and most history buffs are just glad they got it right within a few centuries. Even the word "...


1

I'd say you have nothing to worry about copyright-wise. It'll certainly be older than most classical music we have today in setting. Might want to go for things like 20th century rock and labels like that;then have them fall under the broader branch of classical. Also that way you can have neoclassical throwback bands to these old ones. I can see that being ...


3

Not all old music is classical. "Classical music" in traditional sense applies to the music in classical Western tradition. There is no firm criteria, but classical music usually performed by the instruments of symphonic orchestra with strict adherence to musical sheet. We can not tell how this definition would stand in 500 years, and there is no copyright ...


1

That is already man's greatest advantage. The female form is not designed to match it. The physical advantages of being a man in a pre-gunpowder fight go well beyond simple muscle mass. The hormones responsible for pushing the body past the safe zone when it comes to physical feats are adrenaline and testosterone. Men have more of these meaning that in a ...


4

You can name it anything you want. You're talking about hundreds of years in the future. Humans and/or aliens might use any kind of word they want to refer to centuries-old music. It really is up to you, the author and builder of your world. However, if the music has survived, then it is possible the old labels or designations will have survived as well. ...


2

The reason humans don't do 100%, unless it's an emergency, is specifically because it causes damage. Your body has been conditioned by evolution not to use that reserve unless it's life-and-death. Or breed-vs-don't-breed, which is evolution-wise, just about as bad. So you have three choices. Lower the upper limit, make the body more capable of applying the ...


5

You can't. Sorry, but it's the truth. There's a reason that those normal inhibitions are in place and that's because straining your muscles like that on a consistant basis is dangerous bordering on near suicidal. It's a nice story that we have secret, hidden potential hidden and locked by our brain. But that's not the truth. The truth is that he use 100% of ...


9

This is "Engineering 101". For a system, we have regular working conditions, and extreme working conditions. We can safely lift 100 lbs on a rope, or lift 200 lbs, but unsafely. To safely lift 200 lbs, we need a different, stronger rope. Then, for this stronger rope, 300 lbs would be an extreme weight, which can be lifted, but unsafely. We can't construct a ...


4

A lot will depend on the "surface" weather, especially regarding winds. In the absense of winds, the most successful plants will be those that can grow the longest leaf-bearing stalks down into the abyss (though somehow "abyss" seems wrong for an endlessly sunlit void). Those with longer stalks will of course be able to get more sun than those with shorter ...


4

The existence of epiphytes (such as the mosses you mentioned) shows that you don't necessarily need soil at all. Sticky seeds, and plants that spread via rhizomes and runners can spread over the inside surface of the structure, anchor growth in cracks and holes and extend branches and tendrils down towards the light. Everything else can just bind itself to ...


1

Canals: Simply having good, standardized, well-maintained canals should do the trick. With roads on the sides so that draft animals (or people) can tow the barges against or without winds. Where locks are required, they have the standard size to allow standard barges through. Ocean Craft: Improved rigging. There was a lot going on, all the way to the 20th ...


3

Domesticated animals Humans are not very strong animals, so in our history our productivity took a big step up when we learned to domesticate animals and extract their superior muscle power. Canals have never been a fast way to travel, but they were a lot faster than eighteenth-century roads, and one horse could 'carry' an awful lot more load pulling a ...


2

On the sea, the best you can get is sail ships, if you're not willing to accept steam as an option. If you want to speed that up a bit, make sure your people have discovered and mapped Ocean currents. As for cannals, apart from oars, you can also go for paddlewheels. Yeah, paddlewheel ships, but not ones running on steam, but ones running on animal power. ...


Top 50 recent answers are included