Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Working Title: You Fail Physics Forever: From YKTTW

ccoa: Removed the following:

It's a justifying edit (Tropes Are Not Bad), natter, and not really accurate.
Drow Lord: Took out:
  • Granted, most of what's going on in Tsukihime and its various sequels is magic and thus handwavable, but one instance in particular stands out to this troper: Akiha's primary ability is to steal heat from things (such as people she wishes to kill). Upon hearing this, anyone who has taken a high school physics class would naturally assume she's An Ice Person, right? But Nasu-logic leads to her being able to do the opposite—she incinerates things. By taking all their heat away. Yeah.
    • That's because she doesn't incinerate people, she chars them. Specifically, ripping heat and Life Force from things (well, living things, mostly) causes the air around them to ignite, making it look like she's burning them. The actual question is whether there's really enough thermal energy in a human to reach the flash point of air...which is understandably Handwaved as "sure there is."

In other words, they were deliberately screwing with the idea.

I think that the complaints about Independence Day can be plausibly handwaved:

  • The huge mothership doesn't cause flooding and earthquakes because whatever technology they are using to move the ship can also be used to nullify its gravitational effects on the planet. They are there to invade the planet for its resources, not to destroy it. (Of course a different issue is that after the ship was destroyed, this antigravitational field was also shut down, which then would have sent huge gravitational waves towards the Earth, causing mayhem.)
  • The nuke can perfectly well destroy the entire mothership if it hits the right spot. I think it's perfectly plausible to think of a spaceship design where a huge explosion in a critical part of the ship may cause the destruction to spread accross the the entire ship as a chain reaction.
    • Yeah, but they hit what I figure is the equivalent of the av-gas tank. That thing is still Made of Explodium.
  • Someone actually made some calculations using a physics simulator about the ship exploding in high orbit, and how much of the debris would fall on Earth, assuming the mothership was in a stable orbit to begin with, and some average velocity for the pieces of debris caused by the explosion. The amount of debris falling to Earth was surprisingly small. Most pieces would miss the Earth by a long shot (because they started in a stable orbit to begin with, so a push caused by the explosion is more likely to swing them off the orbit than towards the Earth).

  • gibberingtroper with regards to issue surrounding exposure to lead and Daxamites, I've never seen a reference to "lead radiation." Daxamites wounded by lead pretty much die and there's no stopping it so trace amounts of lead flaking off from a lead object might weaken them at a distance (lead is a soft metal).

MercuryInRetrograde: I love this trope! So, basically, we should never have any science fiction ever?


"Sometimes, the failure of physics is acceptable because it makes for good storytelling and/or just plain awesomeness, and one should always keep the MST3K Mantra in mind (Not that some people won't keep complaining). However, an egregious enough violation of the laws of physics can result in loss of Willing Suspension Of Disbelief, particularly for the more scientifically-minded."

In other words, it's perfectly fine up until the point it violates suspension of disbelief. Obviously that threshold is going to vary from person to person.

Nornagest: It's possible to have science fiction that doesn't violate the laws of physics — there's a fairly large subgenre that follows its rules closely. Hell, it's even possible to design magic that doesn't blatantly violate the laws of physics, if you're careful about it. And, as ccoa said, you get some fairly wide license by virtue of working in an entertainment medium.

Also cut this:

Homeopathy is pretty pseudoscientific, but a page on physics isn't where I'd put it. "Please Elaborate" is just obnoxious on the main page.

Anaheyla: In other words, it's perfectly fine up until the point it violates suspension of disbelief. Obviously that threshold is going to vary from person to person.

Then shouldn't this page be listed as subjective?