okay...science questions...

Anything about the Artemis Fowl books.
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yunyun
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okay...science questions...

Post by yunyun » Fri 11th May 2012

first of all, how does shielding by vibrating work??? The photons still bounce off the fairy. The photons still get reflected and goes to your eyes. Sure, it may be blurry, but people will still go "Hey, what's that blurry blob?"

And second, the bio bomb. Okay, the active element is apparently solinium 2(awesome name, except most of the later elements were named after famous people). Okay, (just nit-picking) why the number? It makes no sense there, and can't be an isotope. Also, where does the solinium come from? It has a half like of 14 seconds. If you make it in the bomb, it will disappear before you get to use it, unless you happen to somehow be able to make it on the spot, which I doubt they have a particle accelerator on spot (then again, they can have a sorta portable one somehow...?)
(actually, there are a few elements with half lives of 14 seconds Oxygen-20, for example)
(also, there's suppost to be an island of stability somewhere around 124 or so, which the elements are predicted to have longer half lives.)

Also, why do fairies use nuclear batteries? Like poparena once said, just because you can create something more advance doesn't change the fact that the less advance thing can be easier to make and use. And yes, I know the fae want to be eco friendly. How is nuclear eco friendly? It spews radiation. Even humans protest against it.

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Ash Kelp
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Re: okay...science questions...

Post by Ash Kelp » Wed 16th May 2012

Okay, as self appointted resident physicist, it's my duty to answer these questions.

First, let me say that this is a SyFy series, meaning not really realistic.

Anyway, shielding works by the principle that human eyes and cameras are alike (a video is a huge number of pictures per second put together). So if you were moving fast enough than the pictures (frames) would be so blurry that it would look like a shimmer. The more Frames per second you have, the more it begins to resemble something. It also has to do with quantum mechanics, which states that every particle is also a wave. So all of the particles in the fairy body vibrate fast enough to raise the frequency of the light enough so that it is no longer visible light.

I have no clue how the bio-bomb works, ask the resident biologest, and/or the chemisit.

And i have no clue how they could use Nuclear batteries without radiation, plus with radioactive decay they would not be efficent. The only thing i can think of is that they take the radiation and turn it into electricity? Also it would need something with a very very very long half-life.
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Re: okay...science questions...

Post by Skyswallow » Mon 2nd Jul 2012

Ooh, I think I can answer some of these!
The bio-bombs -- in reality, it was probably Colfer being lazy, but it probably has a different name in Gnommish and it translated to 'solinium', so it is called 'solinium 2'! And about the half-life thing, someone (I forget his name) in the '60s came up with this bomb idea that could make Earth completely unhabitable. I believe it was created with Co60. But anyhow, it would be set off by triggering a reaction in a different but unstable element, and that would trigger the Co60 to go radioactive. I expect it is a similar principle with Solinium 2.
Apparently the nuclear battery is protected with lead, and anyway the People have anti-rad foam.
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Re: okay...science questions...

Post by Twisted Persona » Wed 14th Nov 2012

OK. For shielding, it it was said it the book numerous times that the fae will appear as heat haze meaning they aren't totally invisible. If the atoms of the fairy vibrate quickly enough then the human eye can't detect them. Them would appear in a photograph because its a still shot but the eye only sees moving images.
The biobomb is tricky. It is made of a number of elements that are poisonous to living beings. Think of it like spider bomb, it gives off poisonous fumes that kills any living beings in range of it.
The only thing i can figure out for the nuclear batteries not giving off radiation is that its not "nuclear" like with human power plant but "Nuclear" like fusion in a star. You see, stars start off with certain gaseous elements and the atoms of those are flying around inside the core of the star at incredible speeds and crashing into each other producing heat, light, and energy. Eventually elements build up in the star and it explodes, letting those elements out into space. Every element we have on earth came from a star, so if the fae had built a power source that mimics the process a star goes through then it would be safe, clean, and in the end it would give elements back to the earth. Its possible that the fae had modified the process so they could detonate it remotely so it didn't just suddenly explode while being used.

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Re: okay...science questions...

Post by Skyswallow » Wed 14th Nov 2012

^So far, no-one has been able to do cold fusion. To fuse the nuclei of elements, temperatures and pressure must be huge. I doubt that even the amazing Foaly could do that.
And Ash, it looks like you might have competition :D
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Re: okay...science questions...

Post by Total madness » Thu 15th Nov 2012

Before I start this I’d let the record show that my knowledge of science is incredibly lacking., so therefore I’m going to ignore science when adding to these answers for your science related question.

Okay, so one of the key factors in this book is that it’s scpf a fact that Ash Kelp already pointed out.

But beyond the fact that this means everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt regarding scientific inaccuracies, this also means that in this universe Eoin Colfer has created magic exists. I’m not sure what the general definition for magic is, but the one I go by is that it is a force which exists outside of physical law with no rational explanation for it’s capabilities. This can be taken even further, if you want, to say that Things to which there is no conceivable answer which we know about in our dimension are magic. I.E, how is forever possible.

What I’m trying to get a thought is that for some of the fairy inventions there may not be an entirely rational solution, because in this universe magic exists, with no rhyme or reason for it’s abilities and limitations.

When they talk about the bio bomb it’s mentioned that it was originally warlocks that created the time stop, but fairy’s made the system mechanichal so that it no longer required a warlock present. Could the same practices have been used to create the bio bomb? The warlocks have shown the ability to manipulate space-time, so would they have therefore been able to extend the life of sloinium?

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