Hot answers tagged

68

Short answer: They don't really "turn 90 degrees". Or rather, they probably weren't supposed to. In the fourth draft (the one just prior to filming) of the script, Lucas gives us a hint about how he envisioned the Proton Torpedoes working: DODONNA Your approach will not be easy. You must ...


67

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 of its fuel in a g-force inducing blaze of glory. [On Computer Screen] Failing systems: Life support. Fusion reactor. Ionic Drive Assuming that the ship ...


58

Sheldon's wrong and Leonard is right (Superman matches her speed). Lois was not two feet above the ground. Superman catches her about half way (approximately) down the building and he slows to a stop then proceeds. So he was matching her speed and slowing so she didn't get hurt. He does the same thing when the helicopter ...


51

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 acceleration. "The wind in your face" makes you think you can feel speed, as do the bumps in the road but that's not the speed itself. Again, think of travelling ...


37

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 devoid of stars, planets or any other form of energy. Because this place is devoid of stars, planets, and other forms of energy, there are no light sources other ...


32

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) you can see quite the contrast between dark and lit-up parts of the hull. I would say that these images also answer your question of "How would a ship look to ...


25

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 the gun bubble, aimed directly at it. Content with the trajectory, he unstrapped himself, overrode the interceptor’s safeties, threw open the cockpit hatch, and ...


24

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 firing blasters: Lucasfilm defines the blaster as "ranged energized particle weaponry". This indicates that a blaster is emitting physical matter. Turning ...


22

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 the speed of light is only 10MPH, and things are much closer together. There are several subplots intertwined in the story, but in all cases, the odd physics ...


21

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 mass grows quicker and as such bones and muscles have to be exponentially stronger (and therefore larger and heavier) in order to survive the significantly ...


18

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 image of the ship they have come across from the sensor information.


17

It's not very plausible, really. The orbits of the various satellites we have up there are very different. If a satellite were to explode, it would not change its orbit much, so it wouldn't be much of a danger to the other satellites. I remember reading an article after I saw the movie, it's quite interesting. Here it is. Anyway, I'll quote what's relevant ...


17

In general, the laws of conservation of energy/momentum in the Jedi universe aren't really laws... more like gentle suggestions. They either don't matter, or the situation (because of the Force) is never a closed system which is a prerequisite for such laws to apply. Case in point: Yoda didn't move when lifting Luke's X-wing. A Jedi once moved an entire ...


17

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 short, the technology is very similar to that of the Tractor beam; a small device buried below the deck plating emits gravitons which then attract anything ...


17

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 we saw the black flying-toast ship descend on its repulsors and hover perhaps four meters above the center of the lagoon, water rippling underneath it. Heir to ...


16

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 Earth, on Mars, or floating weightless in space. Weight, on the other hand, is a force, also known as gravity. An object's weight, when it's on a certain planet, ...


15

A radiator's size is determined by the rate at which it needs to remove heat. If the X-wing doesn't need to remove that much heat, then it's perfectly reasonable that it doesn't need massive radiators. And while the radiators on the ISS are large, they're actually quite small compared to the wing surfaces of the X-wing relative to the vessel's total size. ...


15

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 grab his web lines before they split away from the web-shooters. In short, the line remains attached to the shooter for a split-second after it's been ejected. ...


14

There are a number of scenes from TOS where the Enterprise does not bank in order to turn, so its usage is inconsistent throughout the TV series. One theory I've heard, though it seems more conjecture than based in anything from the ST universe, indicated that banking the ship for a turn would decrease the power required by the inertial dampeners and ...


14

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 : "Solitudes" when an explosion in the vicinity of the gate on P4A-771 resulted in the SG1 team being ejected from the Earth gate(s) at high speed. In that instance T'...


14

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 students were involved in writing equations in notebooks and helping explain to the actors what to write when they were actually shown writing things on blackboards). ...


14

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 lightsabers as laser-based from the beginning. For example, the script says: With astounding agility old Ben's laser sword sparks to life and in a flash an arm ...


14

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 by Australian author Greg Egan taking place in a universe where, rather than three dimensions of space and one of time, there are four fundamentally ...


13

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 method". I made those names up just now, but they are good representations of the very different methods of adding magic to a fantasy world. For a really good ...


12

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. Explosive force/Yield According to the DS9 Technical Manual, the explosive force from a Photon torpedo is 18.5 isotons (a fictional measure that doesn't translate ...


12

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 drives. From the Star Wars Wikia: In numbers, the hyperdrive allowed travelers to traverse a galaxy spanning over 120,000 light years in only a few hours or ...


12

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 speeds of 30 ly per day (Reapers only) or 10-15 ly per day (everyone else), not counting mass relays (which give you extreme distances in very short periods of ...


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