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Questions tagged [chemistry-in-fiction]

Chemistry-in-fiction covers all chemistry that can be seen in TV series, films and can be read in books, etc. which does not necessarily need to be based on proper scientific backgrounds.

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Would burning of around 200 kg of animal fat in a tunnel cause an explosion? [closed]

As shown in the movie Ironclad, they burnt a group of fat pigs together, under a tunnel, beneath the fort base and it resulted in a massive explosion. From chemistry's perspective, and considering ...
3
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1answer
72 views

What chemical regularly transported by road in the UK would cause serious injury/loss of life if it escaped in a road accident?

I'm writing a story where a serious multi-vehicle pileup happens in the winter during foggy weather. I need the fallout from this to include the escape of a substance that will cause significant ...
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1answer
32 views

Does oxyhydrogen require the presence of water to ignite?

I recently read a short story (fiction) where a major plot element was based on the expectation that a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen will not ignite unless some amount of water is present to get the ...
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0answers
27 views

Other than ultracold lithium gas, are any ferromagnetic or magnetic gasses known or hypothesized?

I'm dealing with an interactive work of fiction right now, and one proposal is to combine two types of puzzles with a magnetic gas. I know that fermionic $\ce{^6Li}$, when cooled below $\pu{1 K}$, has ...
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1answer
69 views

Calculating volume of gases in different conditions

Doctor Who has a secret laboratory on Venus where atmospheric pressure is $92$ times that of Earth and room temperature is $\pu{735 K}$. There, Doctor Who mixes $\pu{4.00 g}$ of $\ce{CaCO3}$ with $\pu{...
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1answer
54 views

How could I produce/rig this flame-colour lottery?

Not sure if this is the wrong SE for this, happy to move it if not... In the Netflix TV series Sabrina, there is a scene where people take part in an appropriately-gothic-and-ominous lottery, which ...
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1answer
64 views

Extracting sulphur from hot springs with medieval technology?

For the sake of a dungeons and dragons game. Could sulphur be deposited on/extracted from hot springs water through evaporation or other proess?
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0answers
237 views

Why is gunpowder urinated on in Blood Meridian?

An interesting section of Blood Meridian (1985) by Cormac McCarthy has the gang of "Indian fighters" surrounded and out of powder, so one of them manages to make it from scratch, making charcoal from ...
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9answers
9k views

Would it be possible to destroy gold?

I'm a writer. I have a scenario in which a sizable amount of gold needs to be rendered unusable, preferably completely destroyed. I know an acid like aqua regia is able to dissolve gold, but would ...
2
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0answers
68 views

Results of mixing HSbF6 and O2F2

I'm an amateur writer and one of the topics I deal with is what happens when a slightly-mad scientist and engineer is given an opportunity to work with full-on “magic.” So there are situations where ...
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3answers
200 views

What is the Italian ‘Acido Psammico’ (Psammic acid?)

I am reading an Italian detective novel — Lo stato delle anime by Giorgio Todde — in which someone is poisoned with ‘acido psammico’. Marini trova nello stomaco della vittima un ostia con all’...
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1answer
64 views

Diamonds into protective barrier

Theoretically, is it possible to make a large, transparent piece of armor or a shield from a diamond? Say, a piece of the said armor with a size $7^\prime \times 7^\prime \times 6^{\prime\prime}$? ...
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1answer
495 views

Does selenium sulfate corrode or otherwise react with metals?

I was just watching a cartoon called Motorcity, and they featured a real compound called selenium sulfate. While I'm sure that the compound blowing up a detached steel [car part] on contact is just ...
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0answers
250 views

Single-molecule magnet with electrically-controlled permeability: How does the Titan Shield from Deus Ex work?

In a recent installment of Deus Ex game series there is an augmentation called "Titan Shield" (it has nothing to do with $\ce{Ti}$ element): A neodymium skin underlay matrix built of nano-meshed ...
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0answers
541 views

Is it possible to make Spider-Man like web fluid? [closed]

Is it possible to make a substance which has similar properties to that of the web fluid e.g. High tensile strength, sticky (can attach to most of the surfaces), evaporates within few hours etc. If so ...
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1answer
84 views

What physical/chemical reasons could have caused Dorian Gray's picture to degrade?

In the novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde, Gray locks away a portrait of his in the attic for 18 years and over that time the picture degrades to an almost unrecognisable version of its ...
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1answer
157 views

What are AE Salts?

I saw this sentence as I was reading Agatha Christie's Five Little Pigs: Coniine and AE Salts comes under Schedule I of the Poisons Acts. So I've been wondering what are the mentioned "AE salts"? ...
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9answers
7k views

Realistic chemical spill accident in high school chemistry class

In a story I'm writing, a teenager spills chemicals on herself in a high school chemistry class, causing her to be put under the safety shower. The spill destroys her clothes and causes minor burns. I ...
3
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0answers
366 views

Best Radioactive Isotopes for Energy Generation [closed]

First off, this is research for a video game storyline, I like to be thorough. -- I am looking for the most efficient method of nuclear power generation which: Can survive for hundreds/thousands of ...
4
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1answer
39 views

Can an improvised torch be made to last for a prolonged period of time?

In the movie First Blood, there is a scene where Rambo is trapped in a cave after escaping a bazooka rocket that caused the mine he was hiding in to collapse. After realizing the entrance has been ...
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0answers
242 views

Is there a compound or element with properties similar to H2O? [closed]

Is there an existing compound or element with properties similar to H2O? ( Liquid, non toxic, stable, and with a clear / blue coloration ) I would expect that any such element or compound would not ...
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1answer
64 views

Acid and Silicon [closed]

What kind of acid would I need to dissolve a silicone compound? Or perhaps silicon in its purest form? I am writing a novel so a layman's level answer would be appreciated.
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1answer
275 views

Can there be oxygen dissolved in water in a hydrogen atmosphere?

I'm trying to determine (for a science fiction story) whether a certain type of planet could have a significant amount of oxygen dissolved in water (e. g. produced continuously by some aquatic ...
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2answers
11k views

Is palladium really that poisonous?

In Iron man 2, the protagonist Tony Stark was anxious about his blood toxicity due to palladium core that was keeping him alive was slowly poisoning his blood. It is written here that: The ...
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2answers
93 views

Which crystals can exist permanently (and do not break down) under normal earth like outside conditions? [duplicate]

Hi I am looking for crystals I can use in the world of my novel but I have no idea what types to use or what there are. So my question is what kind of crystals fit these criteria: They must be able ...
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2answers
90 views

How do i create a significantly correct world with large crystal formations in my novel? [closed]

I have uploaded an shorter and less broad Question which is largely the same but requires a different kind of answer. What i want to say is that i re-asked my question in a different way because i do ...
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3answers
308 views

Looking for a toxic substance that cannot exist at room temperature [closed]

I am writing a short story, and am trying to find a gas with the following properties: It must have a very distinctive odor It must be impossible for it to exist at room temperature under normal ...
7
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1answer
616 views

Macgyvering a Spectroscope

I am currently playing a dungeons and dragons campaign in which there are some new elements. My party, being the nerds that we are, is looking to experiment with them and attempt to discover new ones ...
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1answer
865 views

Is the Hollywood portrayal of the effects of ingesting HCN correct?

In the 2012 movie Skyfall, the antagonist Raoul Silva rues that the "hydrogen cyanide" he took ("Do you know what it does to you, hydrogen cyanide?") didn't kill him, leaving him horribly disfigured ...
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1answer
128 views

What would an ammonium sulfide fire look like?

I am writing a novel and the climax involves killing my protagonist in an explosion. My science knowledge is poor but I believe my scenario is entirely plausible except possibly a couple of details. ...
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3answers
8k views

What does it mean for meth or any other compound to be 'pure'?

In Breaking Bad, Walter White can cook $99.1\%$ pure meth. In general what does it mean for a substance to be pure? In this case, what exactly does it mean for meth to be pure? Does higher purity mean ...
4
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1answer
83 views

“4K-metal chelated” A chemical term used in Sagan's Cosmos

Maybe this question doesn't belong here. It's about a hypothetical xenobiology imagined by a prominent scientist in a seminal work of popular science. So I dunno. Tell me to go away and I'll see if ...
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5answers
11k views

Can flames be colored black?

Most of us here would know that flames can be colored by adding an appropriate salt to the 'fuel' or by simply introducing it into a flame. Boron and Barium salts give the flame a green tinge, ...
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4answers
7k views

How could I cause metal to rust rapidly?

I'm writing a novel set in the mid-nineteenth century. One of my characters needs to cause an iron padlock to rust rapidly, ideally within a matter of hours. The lock doesn't need to rust away ...
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3answers
404 views

Is a compound composed out of gold, manganese, xenon, krypton, and oxalate possible?

Please keep in mind while reading this that I do not intend to create this, it is part of the backstory for a video game I am producing. I created a compound based on knowledge from my chemistry ...
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1answer
149 views

If I were to create a fictional way to obtain elements from Granite, what would be a good approach?

Notes: This question is in regard to my Minecraft mod. To those who don't know, Minecraft is a first person survival game by Mojang, where the players' objective is to become self sufficient and ...
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3answers
213 views

Constructing a grenade (for a novel I'm writing.)

Ok, before any eyebrows get raised, this is for a novel that I'm writing and inspired by this answer from worldbuilding and this reference answer. I just want to make sure the device I'm trying to use ...
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0answers
59 views

Endothermic Reaction with Specific Details

I need some information for a book I'm writing. Let's say you're in a confined space, about 8 feet by 8 feet. The area is being heated externally slowly (a few degrees a minute) to about 3,100 ...
3
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1answer
91 views

Reaction Penetrating Metal Sheet

I'm writing a novel set 28 years in the future in which the protagonist attempts to manipulate a communications satellite by directing a swarm of nanorobots (or possibly micro-robots, depending on ...
4
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1answer
196 views

Non-carbon based life forms on hot planets

I am writing a story with people made of elements other than carbon. A couple of planets in this series are really hot, so I need compounds with high melting points. For example, there is a lone ...
3
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1answer
145 views

Which acid to choose when designing a world with acid seas? [closed]

I'm currently writing a narrative and hoping to include a world which is home to a sea of some form of 'nasty' substance (doesn't have to be acid). The varieties of inhabitants of this world have ...
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3answers
5k views

Why are acids usually depicted in fiction as green?

In cartoons, etc., acid is generally shown as vividly green, as in this scene from the Simpsons: We even have the colour "acid green". But when I used to use acids in chemistry class, they weren't ...
5
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1answer
95 views

Could a safe water ocean exist on a world with predominantly chlorine atmosphere?

I am researching for a Si-Fi book. Would a water ocean on a world with a predominantly chlorine ($\ce{Cl2}$) atmosphere be safe to touch? Would the chlorine over time saturate the water creating a "...
3
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1answer
186 views

Does Dean Kamen's Slingshot really filter virtually everything?

According to Dean Kamen (in the movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3242934/) and on the Net (http://www.popsci.com/article/science/pure-genius-how-dean-kamens-invention-could-bring-clean-water-millions)...
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1answer
86 views

How can I tell if a liquid is (not) emitting light? [closed]

I found an image of Nuka Cola Quantim, a soft drink from the Fallout video game series, which depicts the bottle as glowing, but it doesn't feel quite real: Then I also saw this video of a ...
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2answers
425 views

Freezing all the water on earth with a seed crystal

I was recently reading the satirical, fictional book Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. In this book, one of the major subplots is the invention of a mythical polymorph of ice called ice-9 in the book. In ...
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1answer
392 views

Is so called “Polymerized LiNb (Lithium Niobocene)” a possible compound?

The so called "Polymerized LiNb (Lithium Niobocene)" is a fictional compound. I heard about this substance being used for an interesting purpose. It reacts to mechanical stress or pressure by ...
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2answers
10k views

What are the effects of Lithium Dioxide on the body?

My question is about how much science-fiction and how much chemistry is involved in the the 'Randy's Donuts' scene of Iron Man 2: Agent Romanoff injects Lithium Dioxide into Tony Stark's neck to ...
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2answers
276 views

Could we possibly discover new extraterrestrial elements and minerals?

So, after dissolving a good portion of my brain by watching a ton of sci-fi, I started thinking about all of the strange new materials that we will supposedly have in the future. For example, the ever-...
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1answer
112 views

On biological detergent breaking down organic material

This is again related to my crime story I'm working on. I would like to know how much and how long biological detergent in KG and water in L would it take to dissolve a 60kg organic material at 50 ...