Questions about the physics of a fictional universe.

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39 views

How was the messaging system in The Arrows of Time (Orthogonal #3, by Greg Egan) supposed to work?

In particular, why didn't messages being relayed from the future use up bandwidth and prevent new messages from being sent back?
2
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1answer
187 views

What is the wattage of the Death Star's superlaser? [duplicate]

A question on /r/askscience talks about how big a nuke would have to be to disperse Jupiter. A question here on StackExchange talks about whether or not the Death Star could "Take out Coruscant" due ...
3
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1answer
184 views

Looking for the name of a book where a physicist gets transported to a medieval world

The character meets a witch of some kind that sucks the life from men, but manages to escape. He first encounters her when she seems to be running from some kind of creature or guards. He helps her ...
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0answers
56 views

The Aesthetics of impossible or unreal physical phenomena [closed]

I am a MA Design student working on a project to illustrate experiments on speculative/fictional physical events. My final work will consist of strongly simplified staged experiment lab situations and ...
3
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2answers
171 views

Niven's “Neutron Star:” plausibility of premise?

It's been a long time since I read the Larry Niven story "Neutron Star," so I'm relying mainly on the Wikipedia article (linked). The body of my question is hidden behind spoiler tags because there's ...
1
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1answer
109 views

Hypometric Weapons in the Revelation Space Universe

The hypometric weapon shows up in Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series. Its effect is to delete all matter in some sphere, aimed by the operator. The name "hypometric" is tantalizing, ...
4
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2answers
77 views

In-system Space flight mechanics in the Union/Alliance universe

I am having trouble understanding the in-system space flight mechanics in the Union/Alliance universe. It seems that the spaceships come from Jump at a moderate high fraction of lightspeed, which ...
2
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2answers
506 views

How can ship crew walk in USS Enterprise?

Has there been a scientific explanation for ship crew walking in spaceships in Star Trek? I know rotating stations can create artifical gravity but USS Enterprise does not rotate, at least not enough ...
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0answers
247 views

What is the relativistic energy of the destruction of Alderaan? [closed]

When we watch, with Princess Leia, the demolition of her home planet Alderaan, we can see the chunks of the planet blowing away at what seems like a really high velocity. Just having watched the ...
2
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2answers
270 views

Could the Quadros 1 probe have been launched in 2193?

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Emissary" establishes the existence of the Quadros-1 probe, which surveyed the Gamma Quadrant. Apparently it encountered the Idran system, close to the Gamma ...
3
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3answers
228 views

How can Quicksilver run with someone with out injuring them

If quick silver can go that fast if he didn't hold the persons neck would his sudden burst of speed snap their neck or would they just have whiplash like in X-men Days Of Future Past?
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4answers
2k views

Interstellar — Black hole manipulation?

Some things have confused me about the black hole in Interstellar. Namely: How did Cooper ever leave the black hole once he was inside it? How was Cooper able to suspend in the tesseract? Something ...
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0answers
131 views

What is the most massive planet a human could stand on? [closed]

At what mass does a planet's gravity become so great that a human can't actually physically remain standing under their own power? To clarify, I'm talking about a trained astronaut, so I'd assume they ...
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3answers
550 views

Why doesn't Hulk tear his muscles when lifting very heavy things?

I have doubts that it's realistic for a creature like Hulk to actually lift and throw cars and such heavy things without causing himself a torn muscle similar to what happens to a weight lifter ...
3
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1answer
327 views

How can Wolverine cut through heavy moving objects without getting knocked down?

Wolverine has claws to cut anything, but if I had a knife, even one made out of adamantium, and tried to hold it against a car coming towards me, or a moving airplane, my arm wouldn't be strong enough ...
10
votes
1answer
393 views

Why did the team members come FLYING through the gate when arriving on Destiny?

It has been well established in the Stargate universe that anything entering the gate will exit on the other side with the same velocity (speed and direction) as it entered. In the opening scene of ...
-2
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1answer
338 views

In terms of energy output, what type of bending is strongest? [closed]

From a physics standpoint, which school of bending is able to create or exert the most energy? Cases for each that I considered: Air: Probably the weakest, since air has little mass and is easy to ...
20
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6answers
1k views

When a ship drops out of warp does it retain the speed it was at when it entered warp?

Within the Trek Universe, if a Starship was to enter warp while at full impulse, would it still be at full impulse when it dropped out of warp? In the same vein; Is it even possible to enter warp ...
3
votes
2answers
293 views

Compasses on Arda

Would a compass work on Arda? Or rather, beginning in what age would a compass work on Arda? ... and the follow-up question: Why don't Frodo and Sam use a compass in the Emyn Muil?
8
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2answers
1k views

Physics behind the “force push”

When a gifted character uses "push" on something/someone, he/she doesnt get involved in action-reaction force pairs. Here is some force on human body as an action. Where is the reaction? On the ...
2
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3answers
280 views

How could the matter converter in Tron Legacy generate an army

E=MC2 is a physical law, matter and energy are linked. Theoretically it would be possible to convert a significant amount of energy into matter, like reverse nuclear fusion. How would the matter ...
2
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3answers
280 views

Was the idea of a tidal dislocation weapon ever suggested in SciFi? [closed]

In an intense and non uniform gravity field, the various parts of a moving body tend to follow different trajectories, and will unless the whole structure is tied strongly enough to prevent flying ...
11
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3answers
4k views

In Gravity, are the orbital mechanics of space debris plausible?

I Gravity, a satellite somewhere is shot down by a missile, and the debris from that hits other satellites causing a chain reaction of rapidly increasing amount of space debris. The protagonists are ...
0
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1answer
509 views

Excessive force used by Superman mysteriously fails to cause injury?

It was established in an answer to another question that Sheldon from Big Bang Theory was wrong to say that Superman doesn't have enough space to gently decelerate Lois when he catches her and a ...
8
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3answers
868 views

How can S-foils (X-foils) help with heating in space?

S-foils were made famous by Star Wars' X-Wing star fighter. But why were they needed in-universe aside from "Lock S-foils in attack position" sounding cool? S-foil Wookiepedia has this to say: ...
5
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2answers
467 views

How do I place a stationary wormhole on a planets surface?

In the Commonwealth Saga by Peter F. Hamilton (and many other universes) the planets are connected by large wormholes, that stay on the surface of the planets, so you can travel through with vehicles ...
4
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1answer
146 views

Equal Mass in both universes in Fringe

I'm only just getting to season 3, so if this has been answered later, just say that. In 2x14, Jackson, Walter says that the two universes will try to fix an imbalance in the mass of it's own ...
14
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2answers
5k views

Why do diesel cars not work in Revolution?

Revolution is a post-apocalyptic TV series, where the main premise is that some sort of technology was used to disable electricity (as in not just the mains but electricity even in batteries doesn't ...
21
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5answers
1k views

Is there a canon explanation for why Star Trek ships bank when turning?

This is quite obvious if, like me, you've played the Star Trek MMO where the game designers were inspired by the motion of the ships in the movies. I think it's most noticeable when the Bird of Prey ...
4
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2answers
284 views

Lorentz contraction in sci-fi?

In particular, I'd like to remember the title of a SF novel that I read a thousand years ago. Unfortunately I have forgotten almost every detail, except one that's stuck in my mind: after encountering ...
9
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3answers
1k views

What kind of battery does WALL•E run on?

WALL•E has been working for several hundred years and one of the keys to this is his ability to use parts of broken robots to replace his own broken parts. Now this won't work with the electrical ...
2
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3answers
284 views

How does or doesn't the physics of Mistborn mesh with Newtonian physics?

In the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, it is mentioned a few times that if you push some thing that's lighter than you, it will be pushed away, while if you try to push something heavier than ...
12
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5answers
17k views

What is Iron Man's flight range and max air speed?

In the Iron Man movie Tony flies the Iron Man armour from Miami to Afghanistan, roughly 7800 miles. What is the maximum range of the Iron Man armour? What sort of speed does the armour cruise at? ...
7
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2answers
657 views

In WALL•E, why does everyone get thrown when the Axiom suddenly lists?

In WALL•E when Captain McCrea is fighting for control of the Axiom, he ends up forcing the ship to abruptly list when he's thrown off of Auto. This, of course, has the undesirable side effect of ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Is it possible for so many technologies to cease working?

In the show Revolution, the world suffers a global blackout. However, the extent of this catastrophe goes far beyond a collapse of electrical grids. Any device that uses electricity stopped ...
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2answers
484 views

What idea about the ISOs were the authors trying to convey in Tron: Legacy?

In the sci-fi movie Tron: Legacy, Flynn creates a virtual world with its own rules and physical laws, and as a side effect he discovers (or creates) a strange race of conscious creatures called ISOs. ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Why does Captain America's Shield make noise?

If the shield doesn't vibrate, how could it produce sound? This would necessitate something vibrating to move the air. The only thing that I can think of that is plausible, is that vibranium is able ...
14
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5answers
4k views

Do ships at warp experience time dilation?

From the Gene Roddenberry quote in this answer: 'In answering these questions, I came up with the statement that "this time system adjusts for shifts in relative time which occur due to the ...
6
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5answers
1k views

Does the ending of Tau Zero make sense?

Warning: I'm trying to obfuscate much of this question, and hiding the key elements in spoiler blocks..but some spoilers will probably be inevitable. At the ending of the book Tau Zero the ending ...
9
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4answers
807 views

How do you 'travel' in a single dimension?

I do not know if I should ask this on the 'theoretical physics' stack, but I'm afraid I know nothing about Physics so I'll look like a clown there. There are many stories in which people travel ...
7
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1answer
558 views

Can Captain America's Shield Produce 0K Temperatures?

If Captain America's shield can absorb/deaden any vibrations, does this mean that it can create 0 Kelvin temperatures? Since heat is movement/vibration of atoms, then his shield would be covered in ...
8
votes
2answers
358 views

Revelation Space - Why didn't the ship get trashed when Volyova put it into reverse?

In Revelation Space, Volyova puts the Nostalgia For Infinity into reverse at 10 g acceleration. This saves her life because she's falling down an elevator shaft at the time. It also kills Nagorny who ...
32
votes
7answers
4k views

Is there a canon explanation for how Proton Torpedoes were able to turn 90 degrees at the end of Star Wars: ANH

Based on this question: Why did Luke need a targeting computer in the first place? Proton Torpedoes launched from Luke's X-Wing were able to change direction 'on a dime' 90 degrees to get into Death ...
48
votes
2answers
23k views

How does Captain America's shield work?

Captain America is able to throw his circular shield and have it return it to him like a boomerang. Is this even possible according to physics (especially considering the ranges at which he uses the ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Effect of Special Relativity in the Star Trek Universe [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How is the FTL drive supposed to work in Star Trek? In our known universe, people traveling close to or at the speed of light would experience time roughly 1000x slower ...
8
votes
1answer
356 views

About Dan Simmons' description of the Doppler effect applied to light

I remember that, reading Hyperion's cantos, I'd been wondering whether there could be some kind of “altered” physical model which would support Dan Simmons' description of the Doppler effect applied ...
14
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5answers
6k views

What is the difference between photon torpedoes and quantum torpedoes?

It seems that quantum torpedeos are the next generation of photon torpedoes but I was wondering what made them better and what makes them 'quantum'.
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2answers
4k views

Physics of Iron Man (curious)

This is purely theoretical. Ignoring the demand for power, how would Iron Man's suit be constructed? What would be the type of flight he uses, or type of repulsors? An idea I had was that he uses a ...
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1answer
1k views

In Stargate, why can radio waves propagate throught the wormhole, but not light?

Light and Radio waves are essentially the same, just at different power levels. Why can light not penetrate the wormhole?
38
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4answers
3k views

In Stargate why can you go only in one direction through the gate but radio signals can go both ways?

So why can people and other objects just go in the one direction while radio signals can go both ways? Is that ever explained or is it just fact?