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Space Battles

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.

 

Puzzle ID:#3582
Fun:*** (2.76)
Difficulty:** (1.28)
Category:Science
Submitted By:bobbrt*****

 

 

 



What is the one law of nature that is broken in just about every outer space battle scene ever made in the movies?


Answer

In the movies you almost always hear the sounds of other objects exploding, ships firing lasers, etc. Since sound can't travel in a vacuum, each person/alien could only hear the sounds that are created within their own vessel.

Another answer could be that there is usually gravity present when in reality everyone would be floating around (although a few movies have addressed this issue with a gravity field generator or something).

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Comments

jeanray*
Apr 19, 2002

You are right, but it is not the fault of the advisers, but the fault of the Directors, who "like" the sound effects.
bluetwo*
May 15, 2002

I have a question. Can there be fiery explosions in space, especially to the scale that they show in the movies?
therattt
May 17, 2002

stat trek VI: the Undiscovered Country, addressed the gravity issue
MrBean
Jun 03, 2002

Explosions, yes. Fire- no, unless something from within the structure or object supplies the oxygen to fuel the fire. Otherwise there would just be a large "pop" and bits & pieces floating everywhere. I've never exploded in space, so I can't tell you fur sure what it's like.
(user deleted)
Aug 14, 2002

But sound does travel through materials such as air, water, and spaceships. If your ship blows up on one side, it will be a pretty loud bang just before you die. And lasers or whatever could resonate off the ship, and the camrea and microphone has to be attached to something. It wouldn't be impossible to acquire the sound of an exploding ship.
bmotts*
Aug 23, 2002

kinda classic...
jimbo*au*
Nov 28, 2003

How about the existence of alien beings? I guess there isn't a law that says they can't exist but empirically, there just isn't!
Bobbrt**
Dec 11, 2003

Oh really, Jimbo? Some day you'll have to take me on this space ship you apparently have and visit every planet in the universe, which you have apparently done, so that I can see for myself that there is no life on other planets.
_numpty_*
Sep 12, 2006

Any one ever question that you can see the laser beam travelling through space?

What does the beam reflect off?
crow*
Jul 29, 2008

that was awsome dude
JasonD*
Aug 12, 2008

There are several possible answers, depending on which movies you watch and what allowances are made for artistic license. However, that's obvious from the nature of the question and so cannot be construed as a flaw in the riddle. The riddle is good.

That being said, here is my take:

The crew of the Enterprise cannot see through the walls of General Chang's ship, nor can they hear him utter the phrase "To be or not to be...." So is this a violation of the laws of physics, when such is shown in the movie? Not really. We accept a variable point of view which gives the viewer sights and sounds from different locations.

As such, an exploding ship makes explosive sounds which could be heard if you were on the ship (for a few seconds, at least). So the audience gets to experience it, too.


I have another nominee for bad movie physics. Not all space battles involve explosions, but they all involve spaceships. Inevitably, they fly like airplanes and not spaceships. The shape of an airplane, combined with the forces imparted from air, tend to stablize any angular momentum and also keep the nose pointing forward (especially when the engines are running). In the vacuum of space, this wouldn't happen.



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