Science Explains How Space Battles Could REALLY Go Down

Science Explains How Space Battles Could REALLY Go Down

Look, since they usually involve smartass aliens, robots and magic powers, space battles have never been expected to the bastions of scientific accuracy. Still, it's interesting seeing just how much is wrong with the epic showdowns in stuff like Star Wars.

This clip, while based on a pinch of conjecture, uses science to break down some common mistakes and misconceptions when it comes to killing things with spaceships, then show us a few simple alternatives/possibilities for getting it right. There are obvious things, like the fact there isn't any sound or oxygen, but also interesting touches you may not have considered, like the fact lasers lose focus the further they travel.

The concept of starships becoming "hot pockets" is both delicious and terrifying at the same time.

The Physics of Space Battles [YouTube, via Laughing Squid]


    Well that was surprisingly fascinating! I love science (from a distance 'cause I'm rubbish at it). My wife caught me watching the Periodic Videos channel the other day and couldn't stop laughing at me, I guess I married well then!

    That's part of the reason I loved the battle scenes in Battlestar Galactica, they muted the guns unless it was your ship firing and stuck with "conventional" weapons and nukes.

      *Loved* BSG. Even the last season. Must get that show again... but yes I loved how they stuck with using nukes too :D

      Really liked BSG except for the space stuff, but didn't really like all the religo stuff though. I just couldn't get into it.

    One word, well maybe one word and a number

    Babylon 5

    Very well reasoned! We'd never use space fighters either, the close you'd come would be drones, smaller ships with fewer people are much more wasteful of resources and it's much, much harder to keep a single person alive in a small ship in a battle situation in space. Besides, the acceleration and manoeuvrability that are the only real advantages for small craft don't matter so much in space because battles would take place much further away where the raw power of your sensors, weapons range and ability to hide are more of a factor.

    I think there would be war in space, because people are dumb and stupidly aggressive and acquisitive.

    I always thought ramming would just be the way to do it.

    "Why do movies\tv\books, etc get the physics so wrong?"
    Cos they'd be fkn boring that is why.

    Shot 1; Frames Ship 1 on a black background, which you can't hear, shoots it's weapon which you can't see at ship 2.
    Cuts to;
    Shot 2: Frames Ship 2 on black background, which you can't hear, while it gets shot with invisible weapons, killing all on board without any visible physical damage to the ship...

    Sooo basically, you don't see or hear anything, I can't wait to see that movie!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now