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Rigorous Science

Q&A with a focus on more stringent analysis. Questions and answers should be well-researched, clearly explained, and supported with references, equations, or empirical evidence based on current, widely-accepted science. Please read the category guidelines.

568 posts ·
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Do {any, some, all} {unicellular, multicellular} plants require free oxygen? For example, would a cabbage asphyxiate over night, or even in daylight, in an oxygen-free atmosphere?

1 answer  ·  posted 4mo ago by chris-barry‭  ·  last activity 7d ago by Pastychomper‭

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A young B-type star (with a mass of about 10 M$_{\odot}$) is surrounded by a debris disk extending from about 2 AU to 1000 AU away. The disk has a mass of about 300 Earth masses - enough to form qu...

2 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by HDE 226868‭  ·  last activity 2mo ago by James McLellan‭

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Can electricity be generated directly from nuclear decay? It occurred to me that in alpha decay two protons fly off rapidly, leaving their associated electrons behind. If the alpha particle was ca...

1 answer  ·  posted 4mo ago by chris-barry‭  ·  last activity 2mo ago by James McLellan‭

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Could nuclear energy be a basis for energy storage with foreseeable technology? One approach would be to use excited nuclear states, but I suspect they would be too unstable to ever be useful. Al...

1 answer  ·  posted 4mo ago by chris-barry‭  ·  last activity 4mo ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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When water is electrolysed with graphite electrodes some of the oxygen reacts immediately with the anode to produce carbon dioxide. Does a similar reaction ever occur at the cathode, producing meth...

0 answers  ·  posted 4mo ago by chris-barry‭

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Quantum Computers are considered a more powerful type of computer than so called 'classical' computers. While a typical classical computer could be considered as a black box that can solve Polynomi...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Mithrandir24601‭

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In my story, I have a small extended family of 30 to 40 individuals ranging in age from 0 to 50 who are on the run from Chinese and Japanese forces in 1400AD. No place in Asia is safe for them. By...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Green‭  ·  closed as duplicate 2y ago by Canina‭

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This is a multi-species animal army with predators of all shapes and sixes, foxes, lions, bears, tigers, leopards, wolves, lynx, eagles, falcons and so on. The herbivores have been excluded from t...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Green‭

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The Milky Way and Andromeda will collide a few billion years in the future. Stellar collisions will be rare because - as Douglas Adams put it - "Space is big. Really, really big." In the galactic d...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by HDE 226868‭  ·  edited 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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One of the cool things about the Moon is that the far side has a thicker crust that the near side.1 One theory explaining this is that the Moon was hit by an object, possibly a moonlet created by t...

1 answer  ·  posted 8y ago by HDE 226868‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Canina‭

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Effectively what the title says; What would different observers experience while travelling through / seeing one travel through the tube, and how could they be used to cut travel times? (Just answe...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by MrKred‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by wizzwizz4‭

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The known charge-conserving decay modes of free neutrons all involve the production of a proton, an electron and an electron antineutrino: $$n\to p^++e^-+\bar{\nu}_{e}$$ This beta decay is why, out...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by HDE 226868‭  ·  edited 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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So here is the situation. I have a character who is a trained modern gunsmith and he finds himself thrown into a setting where the most advanced firearm is the flintlock. I know some of the most a...

7 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by MrDracoSpirit‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Suppose our alien neighbors woke up on the wrong side of the bed and decided humans would be less annoying if their home planet was hit with a giant artillery shell travelling at half the speed of ...

8 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by Joshua Snider‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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I've had a number of interesting conversations with people about how the cosmic microwave background (CMB) will evolve in the future. The CMB is the sea of photons left over from the epoch of recom...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by HDE 226868‭  ·  edited 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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In 2015 we can rewind the TV, our CCTV footage and, if we wear an action cam, our latest adventure. However if we walk down the street and something happens we didn't quite catch, the annoying fact...

5 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by chasly from UK‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Canina‭

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I am writing a setting for a role-playing game. In it an alchemist has finally found a way to create gold from lesser metals. Like his former historical models the alchemist is so jubilant over hi...

10 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Thorsten S.‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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In this question I asked about the possibilities of what a boundary might be like, with emphasis on the storytelling. Now I'd like to investigate what a hard boundary would mean in quantum mechani...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by JDługosz‭  ·  edited 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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I'm referring to an entomological plastron which is a structure that traps a bubble of air next to the insect's body but permits contact between the air and the water. As the insect consumes oxygen...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Mike Nichols‭  ·  edited 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Inspired by many questions that make use of utility fog. Utility fogs are not, as the name might suggest, fogs, but rather lattice solids. Cells of the foam are pollen-like micrometer-scale mach...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by James McLellan‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Canina‭

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The Solar System has entered a region of space where the laws of nature are slightly different. It will experience different physics for 3 years, then things will return to what we know now. Which...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Vogon Poet‭  ·  edited 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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I'm working on a computer program which generates realistic planets for worldbuilding purposes. I've run into an issue with calculating my planets heat loss. While radiogenic and tidal heat generat...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by TheDyingOfLight‭  ·  edited 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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I want to send a flying saucer (a $\frac{1}{10}$ scale Independence Day City Destroyer - calculated as a sphere cap 112m high with 1.2km segment radius, $\rho$ about 43.3kg/m3) away from the sun as...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Vogon Poet‭  ·  edited 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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I'd like to be able to determine the appearance of the night sky from an Earth-like planet, in a solar system with multiple other planets, moons, and other bodies. Here on Earth, we can directly me...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by A.E. Stephenson‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by A.E. Stephenson‭

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For the purposes of my story, seen here someone who went through a similar procedure involving parallel dimensions (see here), becomes nearly indestructible , invulnerable to damage related to exce...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by ProjectApex‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by ProjectApex‭

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In many fantasy worlds, giants are as intelligent as human beings and others races that they either avoid stepping on or step on regularly. However, due to the square cube law, giants have a limit...

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Seraphim‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Seraphim‭

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I am trying to understand if it would be possible for organisms to evolve by different means other than random mutations and natural selection. Eukaryotes were predicted to be formed by fusion with...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by LDR‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by LDR‭

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Due to reasons of magic an alien god that is about to takeover the earth in one year and can only be stopped by being shot through the entire earth. Assuming modern day Earth (no magic other then ...

6 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by cypher‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by cypher‭

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Often, when I'm building a world, I want to start out by determining some of its key properties. Maybe I'm trying to calculate a habitable zone, or figure out how long a year would be on a particul...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by HDE 226868‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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I did some research recently for a story on the physical feasibility of some aspects of living in the Saturn cloud deck, and wanted to share it. Please, however, if you have alternate approaches,...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by James McLellan‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by James McLellan‭

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Sort of two questions here, but very related. One about whether a mammal-like animal could evolve to have a chitinous endoskeleton, I guess. Then a question of whether, if they grow horns, that ske...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by LukasExemplar‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by LukasExemplar‭

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I've been working on designing how an ammonia-ocean world might work and I've settled basically everything except one. I cannot for the life of me find any sources that actually provide a decent wa...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Sam D. Jones‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Sam D. Jones‭

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So the mass of air around the earth has doubled. How it doubled isn't part of the question, but for the curious let's say a space station floating around earth processed all the nitrogen, oxygen, c...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by chase leffers‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by chase leffers‭

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I have a planet around 11242 km in diameter. It is very similar to Mars, with most surface water trapped at the poles. For this, I want the polar temperature below 0 C, but the equatorial temperatu...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by System‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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So far I've been using Artifexian's How To Build A Star YouTube video. The problem with this video is that it's quite old and thus outdated. The things I've noticed to be particularly weird are the...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by LonelyCryptid‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by LonelyCryptid‭

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Assuming all the primary hurdles in building a space elevator are overcome, would it be structurally feasible to attach intermediate stops along the length of the tether (between the planet and GSO...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Rusty‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Rusty‭

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In many sci fi universes that don't have handheld energy weapons, they instead use solid projectiles that either go big (Warhammer 40k) or really small (Mass Effect). The former I have a pretty go...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Seraphim‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Seraphim‭

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No, this is not not about courtship displays or dominance figths. (even thought I know that that is also part of mating) This is more of "What their genitalia would look like" and how they would "...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by jsjsjzjdnsjsn‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by jsjsjzjdnsjsn‭

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Right now I'm currently trying to calculate the average surface pressure at sea level of an atmosphere, but I'm having a struggle finding the relevant formulae with which to determine this number. ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Lev‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Lev‭

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The fluff: I have a humanoid who's about to breach a door. He's got some upgrades to his body and can pump some stimulants through it to boost his strength, resiliance and speed to ridiculous prop...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Demigan‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Demigan‭

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I have seen a variety of outer space megastructures across sci-fi and the minds of most astrologists, such as Bishop Rings, O'Neill Cylinders, Bernal Spheres, and much more. What most of these inte...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by CYCLOPSCORE‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by CYCLOPSCORE‭

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Humans are not the fastest mammals on the planet, but for very long distances (more than 40 kilometers) we can overtake any species living on land. Except some dogs. The best runners on ultra-long...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by System‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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First time posting here but I would like to get some help with an issue I have. I have a planet that has 30% more gravity than earth. I have terrestrial animals with an exoskeleton, they stand at ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Pesterjest‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Pesterjest‭

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My question is: What needs to be added or improved in the human body so that my genetically modified people can fully withstand temperatures of several degrees below zero ( "” 40 Â° Celsius) for a ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by System‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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My planet is tidally locked, airless, and has no magnetosphere. It's located close to a flare star (5% solar mass, 11 Gyr old), and is in it's habitable zone. The strongest flare ever detected on E...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by David‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by David‭

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Normally, the human retina contains four types of light-sensitive receptors: three types of cones and one type of rods. The receptor proteins contain the chromo "” iodopsin in the sticks, the rhodo...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by French Thompson‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by French Thompson‭

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Respirocytes are an artificial analogue of red blood cells. Tiny sapphire capsules that can absorb oxygen in the lungs and release it in the capillaries. From the capillaries to the lungs, they, in...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by French Thompson‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by French Thompson‭

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A thought occurred to me, and I wondered if it could be made practical... This video talks about the possibility of electrical battery powered planes, and in short, while it may be practical to bu...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by FlyingLemmingSoup‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by FlyingLemmingSoup‭

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My question is: I need to improve the muscle fibers and nervous system of my genetically modified human so that it has dexterity and physical responses 4 to 10 times faster than the average human.Â...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by French Thompson‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by French Thompson‭

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Let's assume a world where humanity managed to stabilize the climate again and maybe even reversed the effects of the current climate change. (So that we can ignore the current global warming in th...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Marv‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Marv‭

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