Science

Written: 1998.08.29
Last Revised: 2002.06.03

Sci-fi sucks when it ignores the laws of physics. We've got to break some of them for plot purposes now and then (warp drive, anyone?), but that doesn't mean we should throw everything out the window. One of my beefs is that writers always take great pains to obey the rules of medicine and law in fiction, but science and engineering are butchered beyond recognition.

You'll never hear a doctor in a medical drama misusing terms like "cancer" and "aorta", and you'll never hear a lawyer in a courtroom drama misusing a term such as "subpoena". But sci-fi writers are so damned lazy that they can't even keep terms like "joule" and "alloy" straight! I can't fix these mistakes, but I hope to at least provide enough information to help other sci-fi fans see them.

Constants
This page lists numerous figures for the values of constants, as well as physical properties of materials, astronomical values, etc.
General Science
This page describes many basic scientific principles, and a brief discussion of basic scientific philosophy and method.
Heat
This page discusses some thermodynamics and heat transfer concepts.
Pseudoscience
This page describes many of the crimes routinely committed against science, and how to spot them.
Size Matters
It's not what you think.
Planetary Parameter Calculator
Calculate all sorts of variables for a planet of arbitrary dimensions (originally made for my Death Star page).
Stellar Radiation Calculator
Calculate stellar radiation bombardment for a ship approaching a star.
Relativity Calculator
Calculate relativistic mass, time dilation, and KE for an object of arbitrary mass and velocity.
Asteroid Destruction Calculator
Calculate the energy required to melt, fragment, crater, or vapourize an asteroid of arbitrary size.
Nuclear Explosion Effects Calculator
Calculate the blast radius, fireball radius, etc. for a nuclear explosion.


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