97

Impossible This is an extension of, or complement to, L.Dutch's answer, which was first. I upvoted it. So should you. I'm fond of reminding people that 99.99% of the technology we enjoy today was invented in the last 150 years. Based on that observation, one could jump to the conclusion that what you're asking is possible, perhaps even plausible. But that ...


79

I don't think it's feasible. First of all, for anything they need, they might know what they need to build, but they have no way to reach the place where the raw materials are located. E.g. Jim: "cool, we need gasoline to supply our trucks to transport materials." Pedro: "To make gasoline we need oil" Alexa: "Where can we find oil,...


53

It can't be done. There's a famous phrase in project management, "Nine women cannot make a baby in one month." This is one of those cases where you just can't parallelize enough. The project management term you should be interested in is called the "critical path." This is the longest sequence of activities that have to be done in ...


44

Take a page from Sir Pratchett: An iconograph is a wonderful device that allows you to make "instantaneous paintings". In fact, an imp with brushes, pencils and a good eye for colours is put in a box, and when you push the button, you open a little window on the box and the imp draws really fast what it sees through the opening. Salamanders are ...


43

There's a very simple bit of math that tells you how far an antimatter projectile can penetrate something, assuming that the massive amounts of energy released aren't involved in that penetration. As the bullet passes through the target, it will annihilate itself with the matter in the target at a 1:1 ratio. Meaning that the bullet can make contact with no ...


28

This will be totally ineffective in any open environment with a terrestrial atmosphere because carbon monoxide is lighter than air. As such any amount of CO produced will rise into the atmosphere away from the battle. Only in a confined space like a cave could this be considered as a weapon, where fire is already an extremely effective combat tool.


24

Of course you could, but it's a VERY bad idea... With enough time and money, such an engineering feat as that you have just described is surmountable. You could certainly design and build a nuclear power plant that does this, but no sane person who has the expertise to design a nuclear reactor would ever do this. It is the equivalent of spending a fortune ...


19

Camera obscura is an actual predecessor of a camera that evolved later into what we know as a camera. Note that neither camera obscura nor camera requires any electricity. If you take a simple camera obscura and add some magically created, replaceable photosensitive material where you can block the photosensitivity (again with magic), you essentially get a ...


17

Simple, De-Isolate the System Laws like the second law of Thermodynamics rest on isolated systems, something many other areas of science might call a "closed" system. Which is to say, as long as nothing is coming in to add heat, entropy is constant. But the second you no longer have this isolated system, the second law no longer applies. So what is this ...


15

Your design seems like an absolute safety nightmare. I'll also note that your safety idea of the little fuel pellets separating when the air flow is removed rather depends on them not being so hot that they start melting, which rather defeats the whole point of the exercise. The underlying idea, though, that if you remove the tiresome need to avoid melting ...


15

Any fire big enough to produce a useful amount of CO will also produce its own circulation. The heat of the fire will cause air to rise over the fire, and bring surrounding air in at the bottom. The bigger the fire, the bigger the effect. So the fire itself will drive the CO away from the location of the fire and disperse it. Also, the evidence of many ...


15

Burn your wood for the smoke, toxic and otherwise. If you like the idea of burning lots of wood, go ahead and burn it. Especially wet wood will make a lot of smoke and smoke is a legitimate asphyxiant. Probably better than carbon monoxide because smoke makes you cough and choke, and also you cannot see your enemy - who you know must be there because her ...


15

I would say no due to issues of food production. The problem is not clearing enough land or having manpower. The real problem would be in breeding good enough strains of crops and livestock to feed a large population, the situation would be different if they had seeds and draft animals with them but without that I would claim it is extremly unlikely.


14

First of all, I think we need to clear up the science a little bit. Anti-matter doesn't 'explode' when it comes in contact with matter - it mutually annihilates both itself and the matter that it comes into contact with in equal quantities of mass, becoming pure energy. This means that in essence, the anti-matter bullet is far more efficient at creating ...


12

I'm not an epidemiologist, but I do a lot of computer science and at a high level, infection in computer networks and in humans have a lot in common. Ultimately both come down to two factors - transmissability and payload. Let's discuss transmissability first. In epidemiology, there is a factor called R0, or R-nought. This was made famous in the movie ...


12

Here is a good algorithm for status epileptics = uncontrolled seizures. https://emcrit.org/pulmcrit/status-epilepticus-2/ The author is of the opinion that a lot of the bad effects from continued seizures has to do with the body moving. A way to stop the body moving is to paralyze a person with drugs. The body stops moving but the person then cannot ...


11

There's a very relevant xkcd - What if? on this. Granted, the projectile is not made from antimatter, and it's a bit bigger than your bullet. However, it does discuss speeds at which "the atoms are literally passing through each other". That's in the section about 99% the speed of light. It also mentions that air atoms penetrate roughly three meters into a ...


10

In 1620 even the warped phlogiston theory was in the future; Lavoisier's and Dalton's chemistry based on atoms was in the far future. Mendel's laws of segregation and independent assortment were not even on the horizon. To summarize, in 1620: They didn't know that atoms existed. They thought that combustion was basically a reaction of decomposition; that ...


10

In a very magic orientated society, where enchantment are common, surely someone has enchanted a piece of charcoal to sketch something on a solid surface? An artist wanting a self portrait, for example? And a telekinetic paintbrush can't be that much of a stretch either; Maybe someone had to paint a wall but couldn't reach the top so used magic to paint ...


10

Arcane magic offers several options to create photografic images. Scrying projection The concept of scrying and the associated implements is very old and widely spread throughout different cultures. With a few tweaks you could cause your scrying implements to create a permanent image: A crystal ball emits such intense light that it can burn the image into a ...


10

No, even if you have a magic Wikipedia type thing for "Starting with modern-day knowledge... " rather than relying on people knowing stuff. (And most modern knowledge is, in fact, simply knowing how to use existing infrastructure.) I see lots of other good answers, but it all really comes down to the basics: Food, shelter, water. Most of your ...


9

Length contraction, like time dilation, is only seen by outside observers. To the crew, their spaceship & cargo, and their perception of time, will appear unchanged. It's only the outside universe that will look weird. So to the crew, the cargo will always appear to be at the end of a tether that's 10,000 mm* long. *Did you really mean 10,000 ...


9

What would be the minimum speed at which the bullet needs to move in order to pierce through 1 meter of material and exit without entirely blowing up? It depends on what you mean by "entirely blowing up" or "resembling a bullet" ;-) TL;DR: you're out of luck, unless you count a few stray antineutrons coming out the far side. There's basically no speed ...


9

Depends on the technology ... A sufficiently advanced technology could send warp ships into orbit, beam the people directly into stasis pods, and then fly them to the destination. The problem with that is that a technology which has transporters like Star Trek, and computers to control all this, might not need millions of workers. An insufficiently advanced ...


8

This is not only possible, but it is even postulated by serious science as a reason that we haven't met other advanced civilisations yet. The debate all comes down to a concept called the technology ceiling; just how complex is the universe and how much is there to know about it? Ultimately, if the universe is complex and has a high technology ceiling, ...


8

It's designed that way to protect the rune. Your evil mage did a lot of experimentation before they perfected their bomb. In the first few trials, the explosion would utterly destroy the body, but the fireball would only extend a feet away in every direction. Too small for the mage's purposes. The reason: the rune fuels the explosion as it's happening, and ...


8

The trouble with this (and any science vs magic setting) is that Science isn’t a concrete thing. It’s a way of doing things that (in some abstract sense) provides you more information about the world around you. Asking how to make something antithetical to scientific analysis is like asking how to make something break mathematics. It can’t really be done, ...


8

Same way you'd treat hyperthermia: Advice from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459311/ Cold bath Saline IV (You don't need gunpowder to make hypodermic needl es and a 0.9% salt water mix) Ice packs Wet Sheets/towels. Fan Water spray bottle You said this was for emergency use only, so it probably doesn't need purpose built device. But if this is ...


7

Earth becomes uninhabitable I consider this universal homogeneous static magnetic field. I summarise my conclusions below. I first consider direct health effects. However, 1 Tesla is below the thresholds for most magnetic field-induced health complications. The immediate impacts of this field on human health would be negligible. Next we would want to ...


7

From a mammalian respiration point of view, you can replace Nitrogen with any inert gas from the periodic table. For example, Helium-Oxygen mixtures are used by saturation divers to avoid nitrogen dissolving into their blood at the high pressures of deep-sea diving. While there are medical complications arising from the high atmospheric pressure, the gases ...


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