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Questions tagged [physics]

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

47
votes
12answers
24k views

Why and how can you hear explosions in space in Star Wars?

Considering that sound can't travel through vacuum.
175
votes
8answers
31k views

Was the Millennium Falcon too slow?

I've always been puzzled by the speeds of space craft in Star Wars. The Millennium Falcon was said to travel at "point 5 beyond the speed of light" - which I guess is 1.5c: HAN: She'll make point ...
65
votes
5answers
54k 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 ...
45
votes
11answers
17k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
87k views

What is the best scientific explanation for how The Flash moves so fast without issue, or is it just “magic?”

The Flash goes from zero to ??? in an eye blink. As he does not have a Saturn 5 rocket on his back, how do you explain the acceleration? How do you explain his ability to stop on a dime and turn ...
13
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
13k 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 vessel'...
24
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
27
votes
1answer
8k views

In Star Wars, is there a pretend-science explanation of how lightsabers work (like midi-chlorians for The Force)?

In Star Wars, Luke wielded both a lightsaber and the Force, neither of which was explained in much detail. In The Phantom Menace, it was explained that intelligent microscopic life-forms called midi-...
11
votes
4answers
10k views

How did the Avalon (seemingly) get to Arcturus so quickly if they're only traveling at .5 of lightspeed?

Assume spoilers about Passengers from here, but really this has nothing to do with the plot so... There are a number of tiny points to criticize in the film, but what I'm really coming up empty on is ...
47
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
21k 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'.
52
votes
9answers
68k views

How did the cookfire get hot enough to melt gold in Game of Thrones? [closed]

In the television series A Game of Thrones, Khal Drogo melts gold in a cookpot over a seemingly ordinary fire, and then pours the melted metal on Viserys' head. How could the cookfire get hot enough ...
23
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
41k 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? ...
45
votes
4answers
10k 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?
10
votes
5answers
3k views

How can Quicksilver run with someone without injuring them?

If Quicksilver can go that fast, if he didn't hold the person’s neck while running with them would his sudden burst of speed snap their neck? Or would they just have whiplash like in X-Men: Days Of ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

How do ships control their aerodynamics in Star Wars?

How do flight-capable ships control their pitch, yaw and roll in atmospheric conditions and in space? Is there a difference whether the crafts are flight-capable in atmosphere only, space-only or both?...
23
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
616 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 ...
26
votes
7answers
12k views

How was Jim able to space walk when the ship was traveling at .5 c?

Until now any space movies that I've seen where they have shown space walk, they show that either the ship isn't moving or the character is on the spaceship because of the magnetic boots. However in ...
7
votes
2answers
633 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
297 views

Is the audience laughing at Dr Alexander Murry's presentation?

In the 2018 film adaptation by Jennifer Lee of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, there is a scene where Dr Alexander Murry (henceforth Dr Murry even if his wife is also Dr Murry), played by ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it possible for so many technologies to cease working? [closed]

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How do they get to Andromeda so fast?

So this has been bothering me since I saw the teaser trailer yesterday, in the teaser they said it took 600 years to get to Andromeda from Earth. This just sounds WAY too short a period if time. So I ...
7
votes
1answer
406 views

Cosmic topology in Greg Egan's Orthogonal Universe

Eventually the people in the universe of Greg Egan's "Orthogonal" series figure out the topology of their cosmos. But then they say the opposite, that because of the presence of matter. So what ...
4
votes
4answers
637 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
688 views

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

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?
3
votes
1answer
2k 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
3answers
526 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
925 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 ...