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Q&A

General Q&A about worldbuilding and other speculative developments that can be extrapolated from science.

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66%
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Where should my island mountain ranges be, based on my plate tectonics?

I've sketched out an island, and then threw some tectonic plate boundaries on top hoping it would help me plot mountains. But the more I look at geological diagrams of plate boundaries, and read u...

1 answer  ·  posted 27d ago by pureferret ‭  ·  last activity 27d ago by Olin Lathrop‭

60%
+1 −0
Large-Scale Biosphere on Mars: Interior Weather

I've been researching the idea of spreading out vast sheets of aerogel across regions of Mars. This would theoretically have the effect of both warming whatever land is under the sheet - thus melti...

0 answers  ·  posted 28d ago by ajderxsen‭

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What happens if Earth's magnetic field shuts down? How long does it take for damage to occur?

What happens if Earth's magnetic field shuts down? How exactly does this impact humans, and how long before we need to make significant changes for survival? Does it make any difference if Earth'...

0 answers  ·  posted 2mo ago by DavidCary‭

71%
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How Could Golf Change in a Low-Gravity Environment?

Low gravity golf was invented by Alan Shepard in 1971 when he hit two golf balls 40 yards on the moon. Surprisingly, this version of the sport with little atmosphere and much lower gravity, is the...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by James McLellan‭  ·  last activity 5mo ago by deleted user

62%
+3 −1
PVA glue curing process

What happens when PVA glue sets? I am curious about the white PVA glue that is commonly used for bonding wood and paper. Although an Internet search find lots of articles they mostly seem to be ne...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by chris-barry‭  ·  last activity 6mo ago by Mithical‭

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Does 5th Gas Giant Have a Name?

I recently learned that it's believed that the solar system once had one more gas giant, which was ejected by Jupiter some time in the past. https://thesolarsystem.fandom.com/wiki/Fifth_Giant Doe...

1 answer  ·  posted 10mo ago by James McLellan‭  ·  last activity 6mo ago by Or4ng3h4t‭

77%
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Could there be a way for a solar system to be very precise, so that the lunar calendar and solar calendar align?

I know that this is a bit silly, but I want to make a calendar for my world and I'm really worried about having to do leap years and such to ensure continuing accuracy. Inaccuracy isn't an option;...

4 answers  ·  posted 9mo ago by Bianca_Railway‭  ·  edited 7mo ago by tripleee‭

83%
+8 −0
Analogue Encryption, without converting to digital

Hello! I am thinking about analogue mobile telephones, but they have some severe flaws- the most significant being privacy. How could an analogue system be encrypted? It doesn't need to be complet...

2 answers  ·  posted 8mo ago by Bianca_Railway‭  ·  last activity 8mo ago by Maarten Bodewes‭

60%
+1 −0
Determining a Practical Bridge Design for a Wide River and Heavy Traffic

Hello everyone, I am thinking yet again about infrastructure. (my calendar project recently asked about... well, that's outside my expertise, I'll get back to that eventually) And I am thinking of...

2 answers  ·  posted 9mo ago by Bianca_Railway‭  ·  last activity 8mo ago by dsr‭

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What are the Names of the Earth-Sun L4 and L5 Regions?

The Earth-Moon Lagrange points have names: L1, L2, and L3 are Libration Points, the L4 and L5 points are the Kordylewski Clouds. The Jupiter-Sun L4 is named the Greeks, and the Jupiter-Sun L5 is n...

0 answers  ·  posted 10mo ago by James McLellan‭

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Is it realistic to see satellites moving across the sky centuries after humans stopped space activity?

After an age of highly developed technology, including many different satellites in various Earth orbits, humanity loses the technology needed to control those satellites. After many centuries, how...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by celtschk‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by deleted user

33%
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What are Some House Games for Free Fall? [closed]

Living in space can be boring. What are some good home games for people living and working in free fall? I thought of a few - Bocce : in this variant the size of the jack and the player balls i...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by James McLellan‭  ·  closed 1y ago by Canina‭

71%
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Considerations for Recreational Solar Sailing?

I was investigating a few ideas on recreational solar sailing, and came up with some interesting things - The primary equation in solar sailing is $ F = {{2 R S A} \over {c}} \sin^2{\theta} $ Whe...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by James McLellan‭

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How would an interstellar spaceship's speedometer work if everything else is moving?

A speedometer is a gauge or device used for measuring instantaneous speed of moving vehicle roughly speaking, so for example the reading shown on the speedometer of a car parked at road side displa...

14 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by user6760‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by James McLellan‭

66%
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How Would the Sport of Wrestling Change in a Microgravity Environment?

How would competitive wrestling change in a microgravity environment?

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by James McLellan‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by trichoplax‭

66%
+2 −0
Meaning of Non-Locality?

Theory If I am understanding this history of this correctly, in the 1920s the mathematical process of converting measurements with a certain amount of measurement error into numbers, then doing yo...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by James McLellan‭  ·  edited 1y ago by James McLellan‭

33%
+0 −2
A hair product which is both a lipid ointment and a gel

Nivea have developed a hair product which I personally found very special among this filled-with-generic-stuff market of products, which is named in German "Creme-Gel": I find Nivea's Creme-Gel sp...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by James McLellan‭

50%
+1 −1
Discussion of Aerogel Orbital Rings [closed]

Orbital rings are a proposed megastructure intended to dramatically reduce the cost to enter or exit a planetary gravity well. The ring is a solid structure, belting around the planet like a hula h...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by James McLellan‭  ·  closed 1y ago by Canina‭

50%
+1 −1
What Would a Femtometer Scale Utility Fog Be Useful For?

Utility fog is a swarm robotics concept in which a mesh of robots barely larger than a grain of pollen (5 micrometer ( $10^{-6} $ m ) bodies and 50 micrometer arms) are dodecahedrons (12 sided pol...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by James McLellan‭  ·  edited 1y ago by James McLellan‭

50%
+1 −1
Are heat waves a symptom of 'rebound effect' after climate change deceleration during COVID-19 lockdowns?

During the summer of 2022 Europe has had several heat waves. As described in 2022 European heat waves: Climatologists linked the extreme heat to the impact of climate change, and experts predict...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by fedorqui‭  ·  edited 1y ago by fedorqui‭

75%
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How to reduce tornados in the US Great Plains?

How could I modify an alternate Earth to have less tornados in the American Great Plains area known as Tornado Alley? Maybe make the Rockies lower? Introduce an east-west range of mountains or high...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Aaron‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

75%
+4 −0
Price's Law Sanity Check

Price's Law is a hypothesis that in an organization, or across an industry, roughly half the productive output is being generated by a number of people equal to the square root of those participati...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by James McLellan‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by dsr‭

22%
+0 −5
How can Single Vision lenses slow myopia for adults too? [closed]

These WorldFamous companies advertise that their lenses can control myopia for kids, NOT adults. But none of these lenses are approved by FDA. How can they work for adults too? Essilor Stellest ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  closed 1y ago by Canina‭

62%
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If this earth were cube shaped would it be possible during Magellanic era using a float ship to figure out that the earth is cube shaped?

If this earth were cubed shape would it be possible for Magellan to prove that the earth is cube-shaped without going to space and looking at earth? It might seem strange to think that earth might...

13 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by mvr950‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Pastychomper‭

71%
+3 −0
What are the Ground Effects of the South Atlantic Anomaly?

I was recently introduced to the South Atlantic Anomaly. As I understand, for satellites and space craft, this is a natural feature that can wreck space craft by taking even computers designed fo...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by James McLellan‭  ·  edited 1y ago by James McLellan‭

66%
+2 −0
High-Energy Exhaust Shielding for Far-Future Drive

Imagine a far-future spacecraft drive that accelerates its reaction mass to a small fraction the speed of light (say, 1,000 km/s). Say the mass flow rate to the drive were 1kg/s, and say the reacti...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Josh Hyatt‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by James McLellan‭

80%
+6 −0
Could a high-pressure, low oxygen atmosphere reduce fire risk while still being breathable?

Years ago I read a letter in a magazine suggesting a method for reducing the fire risk in an enclosed environment such as a space shuttle. The idea was to reduce the oxygen concentration to the po...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Pastychomper‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by dsr‭

33%
+1 −4
Digging Depressions in seafloor to create artificial islands in nearby areas

Should digging Depressions in seafloor to create artificial islands in nearby areas be sustainable And by the way, was it widely done somewhere in this planet already?

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 2y ago by Pastychomper‭

57%
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Was the total amount of water on earth ever significantly different?

Is it plausible to assume that the total amount of water (edit: water molecules) on planet earth was, in different periods of earth's history, significantly lower or significantly higher, or rather...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 2y ago by Lundin‭

20%
+0 −6
Scientific solution to bureaucracy-applied-to-humans [closed]

I distinguish human-identification from bureaucracy-applied-to-humans: There was a period in human history in which no state existed so no bureaucracy-applied-to-humans existed and humans identi...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  closed 2y ago by Canina‭

66%
+4 −1
Could a laser using a "light capacitor" rather than a battery work?

The way this would work is by creating lasers & pumping them into a chamber where it can't escape. The power for the lasers to be created is made either with a generator or by charging using an...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by pootis‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

60%
+1 −0
Human elytra flying off a cliff

I imagined a person who's scapulae is overly developed and extruding outside the shoulder girdle like an elitra or fixed plane wings. They can be moved by shrugging the shoulders or rotated by rai...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Rhea‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by dsr‭

50%
+1 −1
If the poles ice would melt, would it be critical for human survival to try to bring it back?

If humanity will cause natural dissolution of all ice in planet earth's poles and the sea level would indeed rise tremendously all over the world --- would it be justified to try to "reverse" the s...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

66%
+2 −0
What is the most efficent way of killing prey much larger than yourself?

The title sums it up pretty well - I'm basically trying to envision the ultimate predator of much larger prey. A couple of requirements: The predator must weigh 44 kilograms or more (Megafauna) ...

14 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by SealBoi‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by KalleMP‭

50%
+1 −1
The more horizontal a building (on planet earth) is, the more years it can survive a collapse?

The question may seem stupid but for someone with both a fear of heights and a collapse anxiety can choose renting/buying an apartment in a very horizontally wide building and a very vertically wid...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

77%
+5 −0
Could grow lights on a massive scale replace 100% of sunlight for 100% of the growing season?

In a world where pollution and population have drastically reduced the effectiveness of sunlight to grow food, would light-panels be capable of completely replacing the sun? The problem I'm trying...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by JBH‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by KalleMP‭

50%
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A single beam laser treatment to both remove hair and flatten a scar

In all my reading about laser treatments I always found laser treatments which can be applied either for hair removal or for scar flattening (or other unique uses) but I never came across a laser t...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 2y ago by JBH‭

40%
+0 −1
How does radiotherapy destroys proximal (subcutaneous) fat cells? [closed]

From my prior research I understand that there are several ways to remove or destroy proximal (subcutaneous) fat cells: Liposuction (primarily removal) Cryolipolysis (primarily destruction by f...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 2y ago by deleted user

60%
+1 −0
Making a hair cream without using any lipids/oils

Making a hair cream without using any lipids/oils, is it possible? What will be a fundamental composition of such a cream that it is easy to wash from the hands?

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 2y ago by deleted user

50%
+1 −1
Natural ways to acquire gravity and heat for a colony on earth's moon

Is a colony on earth's moon must be deeply underground to ensure more natural gravity (by getting closer to its core) as well as more natural heat? By natural heat I mean "without the need of arti...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 2y ago by deleted user

60%
+1 −0
Creatine supplementation as enhancing the natural production of Carnosine and vice versa

I understand that both Creatine and Carnosine are amino acid derivates abundant in Animalia muscle tissue and are both occasionally taken by non-aerobic exercisers to enhance performance. The huma...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 2y ago by Pastychomper‭

80%
+6 −0
Could a habitable planet lit by the cosmic microwave background plausibly exist?

I've got this idea of a rogue planet that is moving that fast through the intergalactic void that the cosmic microwave radiation, thanks to the Doppler effect, actually provides enough heat that it...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by celtschk‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by dsr‭

80%
+6 −0
Composite armor based on diamonds, could it work?

Under normal circumstances, monolithic diamond is pretty terrible at resisting impact, due to it being weak in certain planes, also known as cleavage planes. To solve this, why don't we just make ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Mr. Mistoffelees‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

71%
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Would there be any major disadvantages for a species to have six legs instead of four?

I want a world in which animals roam the wilderness on four legs, yet at least some of them are able to do the kind of carrying and fine handling of objects done by humans. The planet is superficia...

13 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Canina‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Canina‭

66%
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Exploration of a 50 mile high mountain

My friends and I are building a world with a 50 mile high volcano on it. The mountain is the result of some bored god deciding to play a joke on everyone. Or, some other god got angry and decided ...

6 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Green‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Canina‭

66%
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How could dragons be explained without magic?

Dragons are a grand classic of fantasy. For this question, let's assume we're talking about the following stereotype: hatches from an ostrich-sized egg and can grow to mountain size if nothing l...

18 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Sheraff‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by celtschk‭

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Multi-purpose Fictional Chemical Element Needed

I am looking for some guidance in creating a chemical element. I want to know if it is scientifically plausible for a single fictional element to do all the things I need it to, even if at a stretc...

5 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Michael Faraday‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Canina‭

71%
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How to protect intelligent fluids from heat damage?

So, Second Earth had/has a firearm problem. Since my magic is really just advanced science, I can't create firearm-disabling fields, so instead, I created a spell that should be able to ruin firear...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Mr. Mistoffelees‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Canina‭

66%
+2 −0
How would utility fluids move and stay together?

The concept of utility fogs is actually pretty old. The idea is a swarm of fairly small micromachines (about 100 micrometers in length) that would be able to mimic most materials and objects. Each...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Mr. Mistoffelees‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Canina‭

40%
+0 −1
Repetitive head-hair removal and lab-grown head-hair planting

Should removing all head-hair with laser and planting new lab-grown head-hair on the head be dangerous, especially if done repetitively (i.e. two times or more)? Should it risk someone in cancer p...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 3y ago by Pastychomper‭