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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8
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2answers
178 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 ...
10
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2answers
16k 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 ...
8
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2answers
829 views

Could blue flames arise within the hull of a burning ship?

In Joseph Conrad's Youth: A Narrative, set in 1876, a 400-ton barque ship, the Judea, is sent to Java Head to transport 600 tons of coal. Although various delays occur during its journey, the coal it ...
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2answers
149k views

How do I extract cyanide from apple seeds?

I'm working on a crime story about cyanide poisoning from apple seeds. I just would like to have an idea of what processes and extraction techniques might be involved in getting cyanide from the seeds....
6
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1answer
279 views

Can aniline be made with the method described in Dr Stone?

In Dr Stone, the main character makes aniline by rinsing coal tar with HCl, then mixing in ethyl acetate. See the image below. Is a method like this possible? What is occurring here?
3
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2answers
14k 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 ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Producing soap from sodium carbonate and oil

Can we get soap by mixing $\ce{Na2CO3}$ from seaweeds with oil? I am not good at chemistry and saw this in the anime Dr. Stone. I just want to know if it is true or not.
3
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1answer
2k views

Crystal meth in Breaking Bad [closed]

Can good quality crystal meth really be made as in Breaking Bad? Can a pharmaceutical drug really be reverse-engineered?
1
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1answer
130 views

On biological detergent breaking down organic material

This is again related to the crime story I'm working on. I would like to know how much biological detergent (in kilograms) and water (in liters) and how long it would take to dissolve $60 \,\rm{Kg}$ ...
1
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0answers
47 views

Molecule with reversible exothermic conformational change?

I proposed some exotic biochemistry on the Worldbuilding stack. https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/166814/digestive-system-of-the-ultimate-omnivore/166829#166829 Your creature ...
2
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1answer
104 views

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

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 ...
27
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0answers
430 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-...
1
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1answer
53 views

What is a material more easily cut than shattered? [closed]

I'm currently developing a sci-fi concept for animation which partially involves a typical "the earth has been overrun by XYZ" scenario. One of the ideas for XYZ we're thinking of is a species of ...
63
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4answers
19k views

How does Walter White make pure crystal meth using a non-stereospecific reaction?

In the fantastic TV series Breaking Bad, Walter White, the dying chemistry teacher, takes to making crystal meth (d-methamphetamine) by several routes. Initially, he uses the common small-scale route ...
15
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1answer
99k views

Can you make napalm out of gasoline and orange juice concentrate?

According to the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk: The three ways to make napalm: One, you can mix equal parts of gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate. Two, you can mix equal parts ...
33
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9answers
10k 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 ...
3
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1answer
76 views

Acid-Base Reaction in MacGyver Episode “Countdown”

This question is about the old MacGyver show, Season 1, Episode 14, "Countdown." Could someone please explain how/why MacGyver neutralizes the acid in the bomb? He claims it is an electrolyte switch, ...
14
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5answers
16k 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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0answers
96 views

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 ...
15
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4answers
12k 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 ...
-1
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1answer
47 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 ...
14
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3answers
10k 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 ...
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0answers
71 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 ...
2
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1answer
92 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{...
2
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1answer
71 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 ...
3
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1answer
151 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?
5
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0answers
859 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 ...
11
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3answers
10k 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 ...
8
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3answers
240 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 ...
10
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3answers
340 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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0answers
75 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 ...
17
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2answers
45k views

HI/P reduction mechanism

I recently answered a question about Breaking Bad's initial methamphetamine production method (i.e. the reduction of (pseudo)ephedrine). The reaction is as follows: (Source) It is infamously known ...
33
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3answers
92k views

Chemistry behind Gale's coffee maker in Breaking Bad

Is there a scientific basis for the coffee making equipment which Gale Boetticher describes in Breaking Bad? He talks about maintaining the right conditions for bringing out the coffee flavor without ...
4
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1answer
110 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 ...
2
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1answer
69 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 $7^\prime \times 7^\prime \times 6^{\prime\prime}$? ...
4
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3answers
563 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 ...
3
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1answer
586 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 ...
4
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0answers
656 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 ...
7
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1answer
102 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 ...
9
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1answer
188 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"? ...
3
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0answers
458 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 ...
94
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7answers
242k views

Is it actually possible to dispose of a body with hydrofluoric acid?

In the TV show "Breaking Bad", Walter White frequently gets rid of people who get in his way by submerging them in a plastic container full of hydrofluoric acid. This, at least in the TV show, ...
31
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9answers
8k 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 ...
1
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0answers
61 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
43 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 ...
0
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1answer
90 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 ...
3
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2answers
300 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-...
2
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0answers
549 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 ...
1
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1answer
86 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.
5
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1answer
326 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 ...