Questions about the physics of a fictional universe. Questions purely concerning real-world physics are off-topic.

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20
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5answers
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How to get sunburned through the window of a General Products hull?

In the short story Neutron Star by Larry Niven, the main character Beowulf Shaeffer's face is sunburned somehow when his ship - built from a General Products starship hull - passes very fast and very ...
-5
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0answers
87 views

Why do water drops appear around glass? [closed]

When ever we put cold water in glass or cup, Why do water drops appear around glass?
11
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5answers
322 views

What was the first story where a universal constant had a different value?

In some stories, the value of a universal constant is different than it is reality. For example, in Going Postal: 'Something like that, sir, probably, something like that,' said Groat. 'Three ...
2
votes
0answers
92 views

How does Finn sit in the gunner seat with gravity affecting him [duplicate]

I'm thinking that if Finn is sitting in the Millenium Falcon and then runs to the lower turret, then as he sits in the chair for the lower turret, he is literally facing down. This means gravity from ...
2
votes
1answer
247 views

Are the laws of classical physics different in Star Wars?

Star Wars is supposed to be set in the same universe as Earth, being a galaxy far, far, away. Within the limited domain of classical physics, are the laws the same or different? We know in the other ...
-2
votes
1answer
88 views

Fastest speed for the ship?

When John and Jade enter the Yellow Yard, she explains to him that it will take three years to cross the entire distance. She says that it will take them this long because you cannot go faster than ...
36
votes
5answers
9k views

From the bridge why can you see another ship in space, shouldn't there be no light?

Sorry if this has been asked before but I searched and was unable to locate an answer. Something that has always bothered me is in Star Trek whenever the Enterprise comes upon another ship in deep ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

What happens to lasers in space battles?

In space battles, there are many missed shots. What happens to the lasers when they fly off into space? Do they eventually just fizzle out, or do they continue on forever? You would think that ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

Spacetime time dilation during warp travel instead of the ship?

According to answers I've seen on here, starships in Star Trek do not experience time dilation at warp speeds due to the ship being surrounded by a static warp bubble and isn't moving. Rather, ...
13
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2answers
256 views

Do you keep momentum when you Apparate?

For example, if you were falling, facing upwards, and you Disapparated, would you continue to move backwards really fast once you got there? If so, could you change your momentum by Apparating to a ...
1
vote
0answers
98 views

Firing from Starkiller Base [duplicate]

In the movie we see This event appears to be observed simultaneously and instantaneously/in real-time by multiple characters from a variety of very different vantage points. For instance: Han, ...
3
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2answers
252 views

In ST:VOY why didn't fluidic space collapse into a black hole?

I've been thinking about this question for many years, and today I came upon this amazing question, Why didn't fluidic space crush Voyager?. Part of the accepted answer is: It is safe to ...
8
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1answer
564 views

When Jon Snow stuck his sword through a head and out the mouth in S4E5, was that physically possible?

This is the scene I'm referring to: Given the limits of human strength, and materials on Earth used to build a sword, and the hardness of a human skull, would this be ...
-1
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1answer
415 views

“The Martian” and weight units [closed]

In the book (and probably in the movie too, can't remember) there's several mentions of kilograms, with no mention of the difference between kilograms on Mars and on Earth, at least if you try to lift ...
3
votes
3answers
346 views

How strong would Clark have to be to lift the school bus out of the water?

How much additional weight would the water have added to the bus and how much strength would be needed to lift the bus out of the water in the way that he did?
-1
votes
3answers
351 views

Spells such as Wingardium Leviosa - where does the force come from?

In the Harry Potter universe, spells such as wingardium leviosa can move objects with no apparantly visible force being applied. Is there an canon explanation (or non canon otherwise) explanation of ...
2
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1answer
329 views

Are the space sounds in Star Wars diagetic or not (i.e. Do the characters hear them)? [duplicate]

This question relates to this one: Why and how can you hear explosions in space in Star Wars? Among the answers are this one and this one, among others, that simple put, point out that just because ...
-2
votes
1answer
172 views

Why doesn't The Flash catch fire due to air friction? [duplicate]

What protects The Flash from air friction? At the speed at which he moves, he should be affected by air friction.
-1
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1answer
222 views

To the other side

If the Millennium Falcon went into light-speed, it'll be on the other side of the galaxy by now. ~ Admiral Piett As far as I know, it takes a couple of days to cross the galaxy at light-speed. ...
5
votes
2answers
391 views

Story set inside a sphere

This is a story with a civilisation whose "planet" is the inside of a sphere, like an inverted/hollow world (or Dyson sphere but that's not quite the same thing). The physics in the story is made up. ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

How does mass conservation work in the MCU Ant-Man movie?

In Ant-Man, it's (briefly) explained that the Pym particle reduces the distance between molecules, allowing a person to shrink while retaining his mass and strength. Much of the movie is consistent ...
3
votes
0answers
88 views

How much power does the Martian heat ray output? [closed]

In the influential H. G. Wells story, The War of the Worlds, the Martian fighting machine has a heat ray capable of projecting intense heat against anything it is turned on. I think the most ...
6
votes
1answer
107 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?
3
votes
1answer
519 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
votes
1answer
251 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
242 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 ...
2
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1answer
315 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
110 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
votes
2answers
793 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
293 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
478 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?
10
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
-4
votes
3answers
722 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
472 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 ...
11
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3answers
537 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
votes
1answer
520 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
votes
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
334 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
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
349 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
votes
3answers
373 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
5k 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
votes
1answer
608 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 ...
41
votes
4answers
5k views

Is Sheldon right that Superman would have killed Lois when he caught her? [closed]

Quoted from The Big Bang Theory: Penny: Yeah, I do like the one where Lois Lane falls from the helicopter and Superman swooshes down and catches her, which one was that? Leonard, Sheldon ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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
votes
2answers
571 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
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
15
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2answers
6k 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 ...
22
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6answers
2k 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
votes
2answers
312 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 ...