SciFi and Reality

Loozer

Rear Admiral
I've been doing a little research concerning the differences in aspects in common Scifi and actual reality, here are a few, I would like some feedback on other details, if anyone can list any more, that would be great.

1. Sounds in space Most of space is a hard vacumn, with a molecule or two of hydrogen floating around in every cubic meter, not nearly enought to transmit sound. Every sound in the movies, from photon torpedoes and laser beams to exploding starships,would never happen in real life. For that matter you'd never see laser beams in space either, since in a vacuum there's no medium to reveal them.

2. Faster than-light travel Warp drives and hyperspace are very useful in science fiction, but there's one catch. According to Einstein, the speed of light isn't just a good idea, it's the law. Nothing can go faster than the speed of light in a vacuum(that's about 186,000 miles per second). Even inching toward the speed of light is difficult, immense energy is required to get to even a fraction of the speed of light,and the closer you get, the more energy is required. The amount of energy you'd need is infinite. So just tossing in a few dilithium crystals into the warp drives isn't going to make it happen.
There are loopholes in our understanding of physics that make faster-than-light travel theoretically possible. For example, it's theoretically possible to create a "bubble" of space that breaks itself off from other space and moves faster than light relative to that space (all the while everything inside both"spaces" moves no faster than the speed of light). This is known as an Alcubierre Warp Bubble. The catch (there had to be one) is that these bubbles require the exisitence of exotic matter that has negative energy, and wouldn't you know, there's not really any lying around, and it's not clear that any actually exists.

3. Laser Bolts you can dodge Let's review a fundamental fact of light (which is what lasers are):It travels at 186,000 miles per second. So the idea of ducking before the laser hits you is just plain silly. Not to mention, of course, the idea of a laser bolt being visible as a streak that has a beginning a middle and an end. Most "laser beams" in science fiction movies travel slower than bullets do today. Let's see Obi-Wan whip his lightsaber around fast enough to stop the spray from a Mac-10 (and let's not even begin to talk about all the things wrong with a sword made of light.)

4. Time Travel The same relativistic principles that keep us from going faster than light also keep us from traveling backward in time. It's possible to slow down time, the closer you get to the speed of light, the slower time moves for you relative to your original frame of reference but to get the clock spinning in the other direction would require you to go faster than light. Again, there are theoretical loopholes that could allow it, wormholes, actually which are "tunnels" in the fabric of space-time that could possibly allow travel back in time. But once again, keeping these wormholes open would require exotic matter with negative energy. Which we do not know really exists.

These are just a few. Can anyone else think of any, they would like to post?
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
Actually, I have a better idea of how to spend our time.

Namely, remember that the "-fi" of "sci-fi" is short for fiction.

Honestly, I have yet to see reason to not believe that nitpicking those kinds of details is little more than a veiled attempt at showing how S-M-R-T smart the nitpicker is. Newsflash: no one else, other than fellow ego-strokers, cares.
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
All of these concepts are "possible" none of them are plausible. It pays in the realm of science-fiction to maintain your suspension of disbelief.

Otherwise you can nitpick everything from artificial gravity to non-newtonian maneuvering thrusters.
 

Loozer

Rear Admiral
Actually, I have a better idea of how to spend our time.

Namely, remember that the "-fi" of "sci-fi" is short for fiction.

Honestly, I have yet to see reason to not believe that nitpicking those kinds of details is little more than a veiled attempt at showing how S-M-R-T smart the nitpicker is. Newsflash: no one else, other than fellow ego-strokers, cares.

What a big waste of time you spent responding!
 

Loozer

Rear Admiral
Actually time travel is quite possible.

Just watch the 2057: Michio Kaku Interview on this site go down the list and you'll see it just select play gallery and thats the first subject he talks about.

I liked the interview, I thought it would be longer and more in depth. He discusses wormholes also, in which I've been researching on.
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
1) Correct. However - ever thought that this might be computer generated? Like we have FF sticks today sifi spacecraft might have explosion sound emulation. It would certainly help in a dogfight.

2) Your quote re Einstein is wrong. His theory only says that it is impossible to move with the speed of light. It would actually be 'easy' to move faster then light, the only problem is to get to that speed.

3) True if they are normal regular laserbeams like we use them today. Laser weapons might however use some different tech that moves photons inside some sort of containment which might be slower then light.

4) Well it was already done (by 'moving' something like 4 times as fast as the light), so I guess we can accept that it exists.
 

Spien

Spaceman
Laser has just become a generic term for science-fiction energy weapon. They're rarely actually lasers.
 

Raptor_Pilot

Rear Admiral
1. Sounds in space Most of space is a hard vacumn, with a molecule or two of hydrogen floating around in every cubic meter, not nearly enought to transmit sound. Every sound in the movies, from photon torpedoes and laser beams to exploding starships,would never happen in real life. For that matter you'd never see laser beams in space either, since in a vacuum there's no medium to reveal them.

Would Wing Commander or any Sci-Fi Game or Movie be worth it if there was no sound? It's called poetic license, sound is used to punch up the action. If there was no sound, would you really want to play/watch Sci-Fi games/movies?
 

QuailPilot

Spaceman
theoretically you can hear your own weapon firing, but no one's else (I think thats it, if not I'm beating up my rocket scientist brother)

In the movie Alien when the ship blew up, it didn't have sound, you heard the shock wave but not the explosion.
 

Houkiboshi

Rear Admiral
The new battlestar galactica series works with that, they don't cut all sound, they just use the sound you would hear from inside the ships
 

Loozer

Rear Admiral
2) Your quote re Einstein is wrong. His theory only says that it is impossible to move with the speed of light. It would actually be 'easy' to move faster then light, the only problem is to get to that speed.

His theory of special relativity and the principle of causality imply that the speed of any moving object cannot exceed that of light in a vacuum.
 

Loozer

Rear Admiral
Would Wing Commander or any Sci-Fi Game or Movie be worth it if there was no sound? It's called poetic license, sound is used to punch up the action. If there was no sound, would you really want to play/watch Sci-Fi games/movies?

The purpose of the thread is not to take away these characteristics in the fictional world, or belittle it's enjoyment.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
His theory of special relativity and the principle of causality imply that the speed of any moving object cannot exceed that of light in a vacuum.

That concept is based upon a particular idea of what "simultaneous" means. Essentially, it assumes that the time when an event happens within an observer's frame of reference is the time when the information (light) from the event reaches him. An alternative (and to me, more rational) concept of "simultaneous" would be to take into account the finite speed of light and to follow it back along its path, thus realizing that when I see an event ten light-seconds away, I am seeing an event that happened ten seconds ago, not "now". Just because I am seeing it "now" does not mean that it is happening "now", any more than my hearing a cannon two miles away means that it fired "now" instead of ten seconds ago when the sound was emitted.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Would Wing Commander or any Sci-Fi Game or Movie be worth it if there was no sound? It's called poetic license, sound is used to punch up the action. If there was no sound, would you really want to play/watch Sci-Fi games/movies?

There's a whole fantastic middle section to 2001: a space oddessy. In fact, some of the shots that solely use the sound of the main characters breathing inside his space suit are some of the most effective I've seen.
 

Pulmonox

Commodore
Of course, if you wanted to get REALLY nitpicky, would space fighter-craft of the future really exist as we know them? When you think about it, War is constantly evolving into a battle of who can strike first. A main component of combat even today is killing the enemy while well outside of their immediate reach. While gigantic spacefaring vessels would be likely, it seems that attack and defense strategies would be impletemented well outside of visible range of each other, given the rate military technology is developing. It seems that going back to world war two air tactics would be a step down (as in the primary weapon, close range maneuvering and dogfighting of manned vehicles). Fighter craft would probably become irrelevant or unecessary as planetary and ship-based weapons increased their strike range exponentially, and the few that may be needed would more than likely be controlled by remote.

If warp or wormhole/faster than light technology was developed, you'd better believe that weapons would be the first things using this technology. Rockets and Jets were used as an offensive weapon long before they were given commercial use. Planets would be metaphorically shelling each other clear across space.

That's how I've seen technology developing anyway.
 

Andrewas

Rear Admiral
4) Well it was already done (by 'moving' something like 4 times as fast as the light), so I guess we can accept that it exists.

Firstly, theres a large difference between doing something with a few particles - quantum mechanics allows various laws to be broken momenterily, including the lightspeed barrier -and doing it with a starship. Secondly, all actual faster-than-light I am aware of is a sleight of hand. Specifically, signal velocity is always c, but phase and group velocity exceed c.
 
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