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

The very short answer is that the acceleration from the ship's engines is likely to be quite small. Note that this is an ionic drive that accelerates continually rather than a rocket that expends all ...
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51 votes

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

We are hurtling through space at an insane speed at this moment (30 kilometers per second riding on the back of the earth); did you notice it? No, because you can't feel speed, you can only feel ...
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37 votes
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From the bridge why can you see another ship in space, shouldn't there be no light?

Nearby stars are shining on the ships from off screen in addition to the ship's built-in lighting. From the Star Trek: Voyager episode The Void: USS Voyager is sucked into an area of space that is ...
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32 votes

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

Starships have plenty of lights on them. Your question ignores the fact that starships have their own lights on the exteriors of their hulls. In the images above and below (from The Motion Picture) ...
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27 votes

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

The canon novel Lords of the Sith makes explicit the fact that characters in-universe cannot hear explosions in the vacuum of space. For example, on page 16: [Vader's] interceptor streaked toward ...
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24 votes
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What happens to lasers in space battles?

I will confine my answer to Star Wars, as you are using that tag, and the question would be too broad if applied to Science Fiction at large. Ships in Star Wars are not firing actual lasers, they are ...
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22 votes
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Looking for a book with a spacecraft with odd rules of physics

The only story I've ever read that matches this description is Redshift Rendezvous by John E. Stith. The ship achieves 'faster than light' travel in our universe by shifting into a 'hyperspace' where ...
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21 votes

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

TL;DR - It doesn't. The basic idea for the way that the Ant-Man suit works out of universe is a bastardisation of the Sqaure-Cube Law, which is the idea that as a shape grows in size, its volume and ...
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18 votes

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

An out-of-universe answer would be that the people watching the show need to be able to see the ship that the Enterprise has encountered. As for in-universe: the view screen could probably create a ...
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17 votes
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How can ship crew walk in USS Enterprise?

The Star Trek TNG Technical Manual (considered a canon source of info about the Star Trek Universe) contains a wealth of Treknobabble explanation regarding the presence of gravity aboard ship. In ...
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17 votes

Do spacecraft in Star Wars produce jet blasts when taking off?

Mostly not We know that many ships in the Star Wars universe use repulsors for vertical flight. Ordinary ships use them to hover: A low, throbbing whine from above directed our eyes to the sky, where ...
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16 votes

"The Martian" and weight units

Mass is universal; it's weight that differs according to planet. The kilogram is a unit of mass, which is a physical property of objects. Something of mass 10 kg will have mass 10 kg anywhere: on ...
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16 votes
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How does Spider-Man manage to hold on to his webs?

Assuming we're happy to look at the films as evidence, it would appear that a combination of practice, supernatural spider-reflexes and a delayed cut-off of the spinneret are what allow Spider-Man to ...
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15 votes
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Sci-fi story with the premise that spacetime geometry is Riemannian

Sounds like Greg Egan’s Orthogonal trilogy. There is considerable technical detail (more than 80,000 words, so enough for another novel) on Egan’s website. Orthogonal is a science fiction trilogy ...
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14 votes

Are the equations in Interstellar real?

In Chapter 25 of The Science of Interstellar by physicist Kip Thorne, it's confirmed that the equations on the board were written by physicists (mostly all by Thorne himself, though some of his ...
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14 votes
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Why did the team members come flying through the gate when arriving on Destiny?

It was almost certainly down to the fact that there was an explosion as they left the platform, injecting additional energy into the outgoing wormhole. We see a very similar situation in SG1 : "...
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14 votes
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Was lightsaber physics planned from the start, or was it retconned later, possibly due to a "Discovery" episode?

The scripts for both the original trilogy and the prequels refer to lightsabers as "laser swords". The Episode IV script uses the phrase "laser sword" three times, so Lucas evidently thought of ...
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14 votes
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How does Miller survive the acceleration in The Expanse?

Both the novels and the TV show mention that the protomolecule system on Eros is able to eliminate inertia. When the still under-construction enormous LDS Church-commissioned generation ship Nauvoo is ...
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13 votes
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Spells such as Wingardium Leviosa - where does the force come from?

No, there is not any such explanation. In fantasy fiction, there are basically two techniques for introducing magic into your story, which I will refer to as the "Tolkien method" and the "Sanderson ...
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12 votes

What is the difference between photon torpedoes and quantum torpedoes?

The two main differences between a "Quantum" torpedo and a "Photon" torpedo are the yield from the explosive warhead and the mechanism by which the explosion itself occurs. ...
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12 votes
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To the other side

First of all, when Admiral Piett says "went into light-speed", he likely means "went to a speed faster than light". It is well known that the hyperdrives appearing in Star Wars are faster-than-light ...
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12 votes

How do they get to Andromeda so fast?

In the trilogy it's said that man kind can travel 50 times the speed of light. Well... no. I'm not sure where you got that number from, but it disagrees with my sources. The ME3 Codex gives top ...
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12 votes

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

In the 'Passengers' universe Arcturus is only (approximately) 20 light years from Earth. We can be certain of the ship's flight time because the map room tells us Jim: Wait. How long ago did we leave ...
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12 votes

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

Dr. Murry is being laughed at because, by any reckoning, he is talking nonsense Dr. Murry is presenting to a group of scientists, many of whom are likely physicists, and he is essentially claiming ...
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11 votes

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

Perhaps George Gamow's Mr. Tompkins books: Mr Tompkins is the titular character in a series of four non-fiction books by the physicist George Gamow. The books are structured as a series of dreams ...
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11 votes
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Cosmic topology in Greg Egan's Orthogonal Universe

However ... So ... You ask: This universe ... More details at http://www.gregegan.net/ORTHOGONAL/06/GRExtra.html
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11 votes
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What happens to leaked energy in Sympathy?

This is actually explained in-universe in The Wise Man's Fear, where Denna is speaking with Kvothe and a few other arcanists at the Eolian. Denna asks where the energy goes, and the answer is that ...
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11 votes

In the novel The Three-Body Problem, does the Sun's amplification of radio transmissions have a scientific basis?

As far as can be told, the 'solar mirror' phenomenon is a) normal within stars in this fictional universe and b) a purely fictional construct of the author. There are literally pages of borderline ...
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