What is Hypothetical: Definition and 189 Discussions

A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used synonymously, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A working hypothesis is a provisionally accepted hypothesis proposed for further research, in a process beginning with an educated guess or thought.A different meaning of the term hypothesis is used in formal logic, to denote the antecedent of a proposition; thus in the proposition "If P, then Q", P denotes the hypothesis (or antecedent); Q can be called a consequent. P is the assumption in a (possibly counterfactual) What If question.
The adjective hypothetical, meaning "having the nature of a hypothesis", or "being assumed to exist as an immediate consequence of a hypothesis", can refer to any of these meanings of the term "hypothesis".

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  1. M

    B How would physics change if Planet 9 were a primordial black hole?

    I watch John Michael Godier on YouTube. He is a futurist and makes fantastic videos where he speculates on many things. Todays video was about primordial black holes and he speculated about Planet 9 not being visible because it may actually be a black hole born in the dawn of the universe. He...
  2. M

    Is there a way to use the hydrogen in the human body?

    I recently read that there is enough hydrogen in the human body to lift 195 lbs off the ground. I know this sounds super-silly but if we ever develop nanites; could they manipulate the hydrogen and allow us to float?
  3. M

    B Would the Giant Arc be visible from a hypothetical exoplanet?

    I recently watched History of the Universe and they talked about the Giant Arc, a large scale structure that spans 3.3 billion light years long, exceeding the hypothetical limit of 1.2 billion. The Arc was discovered last year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giant_Arc They said if the Giant...
  4. M

    Hypothetical stable isotope of Promethium?

    Say one was to create an artificial stable isotope of Promethium as it has predicted applicable properties. What would it’s number have to be? I know Promethium-147 is semi-stable.
  5. Amaterasu21

    B What Happens When You Connect Different Voltage Batteries in Parallel?

    Hi all, I've been thinking about a hypothetical circuit with (say) a 6V cell of negligible internal resistance, a 4V cell of negligible internal resistance, and a resistor in parallel with each other, and I can't figure out what the potential difference across the resistor would be. I've tried...
  6. S

    Michio Kaku and Max Tegmark....?

    Did Max Tegmark talk about his Mathematical Universe hypothesis at this event (https://www.zimbio.com/photos/Brian+Cox/Michio+Kaku/rAcvFyE88Ul/World+Science+Festival)? And if that's the case, what was the opinion of Michio Kaku?
  7. Auxirius

    I What would a hypothetical quark-quark collision yield?

    As seen in the summary, my question is purely hypothetical and I understand that it would most likely be impossible to happen (or I just haven't read enough). The concept that quarks and leptons are the fundamental particles of the universe has existed for a while now - therefore we know that...
  8. N

    What is necessary for a hypothetical supersonic speed Radio Controlled Jet?

    Hi everyone! :) While i watched rc jet exhibitions on youtube, i find that the most fast of this RC reached +700 Km/h. When i browse more information about the tourbine, i realized that for a hypothetical supersonic RC the mechanical system of the tourbine must have a complete air compressor...
  9. K

    I Information traveling faster than light? (thought experiment)

    Let us consider a hypothetical scenario, where we are able to translate any mass at a constant speed of 10m/s w.r.t to a given frame of reference. For simplicity, we are going to assume that the object is at rest initially. Case 1 - Now, consider 2 points A and B at a distance of 10m, and our...
  10. crudux_cruo

    B Bug walking around the perimeter of a lazy susan (hypothetical)

    Given a bug that's walking counterclockwise around on the surface of a lazy susan (which itself is sitting on frictionless bearings), wouldn't the the friction between the bug and the lazy susan (which is needed to be able to walk) apply torque (no matter how negligible) that accelerates the...
  11. JackFyre

    B Explore the Hypothetical: What Happens to a Spinning Top with No Forces?

    I was just reading up about the Earth's three motions, and it was written that the 'wobbling motion' (precession) exhibited by the Earth, could be compared to that of a spinning top. Intuitively, I guessed that a spinning top wobbles because of the Earth's gravity, and I found out that the...
  12. Pmfr

    Hypothetical sci-fi question about wormholes and elapsed time

    Hi there. I'm writing a sci-fi story for a video game. At some point in time an advanced civilization from the future, say 4010, creates a wormhole for a not so advanced civilization spacecraft in the past, say 2050, to travel through. The idea is for the not so advanced civilization...
  13. jayromano

    B Hypothetical Gravity Question #2

    Hello all, My second hypothetical question for the day (and last). Suppose you drilled a hole from the surface of the earth, through the Earth's core, and out the other side. The sides of the hole are reinforced preventing any of the hot stuff from escaping the Earth's core, in fact this hole...
  14. jayromano

    B Gravity Inside a Hollow Sphere

    Hello all, Suppose you created a 20x20 foot hollow sphere at the most central point of the earth’s core. This sphere is protected from the heat and oxygenated, in fact it’s a perfect 22 degree C inhabitable environment for a human. What kind of gravitational forces would one experience in this...
  15. Epsilon Eridani

    Hypothetical discussion on the effect of magnetic fields on planets

    Ok, so I have long been fascinated with magnetic fields and their mysterious nature. I've been wondering what would happen when the magnetic field of Earth gets bent/disturbed/rippled by some extraneous force. I am aware the extent of effects that magnetic fields have on a planet is great, but I...
  16. mahonskey

    I Hypothetical Eclipse Calculation

    Hypothetical: Approximately how far from Earth would a star the size of the sun have to be for an object the size of a quantum particle to cause a total eclipse of that star when orbiting the Earth at a distance equal to that of Earth to the center fro the moon?
  17. mahonskey

    B Quantum total eclipse of the sun?

    This might be total nonsense, but the thought popped into my head while I was trying to get to sleep, so I thought I see if I could find any advanced help with the following hypothetical: If light were instantaneous, how far from Earth would the sun have to be to cause a quark orbiting in place...
  18. S

    A hypothetical isotropic antenna

    At 100m: (a) 0.03315 W/m (b)4166 W Since E is inversely proportional to 1/r^2, then E at 150m is 2.22 V/m. (a) 2.22/377= 0.00654 W/m (b) 4*pi*r^2*Wrad= 1665 W Is this reasoning correct?
  19. Miles Behind

    Simple atmospheric question re: Mars

    Assuming that both the Earth and Mars's atmospheric pressure follows an exponential curve, how many kilometers deep would the average bore-hole on Mars need to be in order to arrive at a depth where the atmospheric pressure was 0.35 bar or approximately 5 psi? What about 0.7 bar?
  20. Lren Zvsm

    What hypothetical properties would negative energy have?

    I would like to know about the hypothetical properties of hypothetical negative energy--most especially the properties that would be useful for a science fiction writer to know. If such energy existed, could it be used in a drive for space craft? An FTL drive? For a weapon? A safety...
  21. M

    Some hypothetical limits for the Star Wars universe?

    I’ve read many Legends and Canon Star Wars books and I always take away stuff on their limits of technology and science. Over the years; here are some things they said science can’t do. 1.) Cybernetic liver- In Lost Stars, it was said Ciena’s liver could not be replaced as it was one of the...
  22. kyphysics

    Dumb Hypothetical Question -- Is it Ever "Profitable" to be Uninsured (Health)?

    Just wondering about this (as I have a ridiculous $7,000 health insurance deductible - I basically have a non-employer catastrophic plan): Say you are a young, healthy person, who makes $50,000/year (assume an average American city COL) and you have to buy your health insurance on your own...
  23. BWV

    NASA hypothetical engine w/ relativistic ions

    Does this violate conservation of momentum or some other law? It claims to take advantage relativistic mass increases to achieve propulsion https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20190029657.pdf
  24. N

    Hypothetical Movement of Unidentified Aircraft

    I know that the standard mantra of physicists who view themselves and their work as mainstream believe its never aliens. After all, as Carl Sagan reminded us, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, " as it should rightly be. But, recently, some pretty extraordinary proof has made its...
  25. InfiniteEntity

    I Hypothetical Question About Particles & Movement

    I was watching videos on YouTube and this question suddenly popped into my head: If I was able to push a sub-atomic particle (proton, electron, etc...) a distance of 1 Planck length. Excluding all the quantum interactions and uncertainties, is it possible to measure/calculate how fast the...
  26. José Ricardo

    Other hypothetical types of life

    is there any sci-fi that would rerate a life based on ammonia or silicon or any other type of life?
  27. DAirey

    A The Distance between two points in a hypothetical universe

    I have a hypothetical universe where the distance between two points in spacetime is defined as: $$ds^2 =−(\phi^2 t^2)dt^2+dx^2+dy^2+dz^2$$Where ##\phi## has units of ##km s^{-2}##. The space in this universe grows quadratically with time (and, as I understand it, probably isn’t Minkowski...
  28. nearc

    I Modeling Simple N-body in Hypothetical Relativistic Dark Flow w/ Netlogo

    Looking for existing examples of or guidance on building computer simulations of simple N-bodies in relativist situations. Of particular interest is the simulation of a planet orbiting a star whilst that trivial solar system is caught in a dark flow of relativist velocity; maybe .8 or .9 C. Not...
  29. S

    Physics Hypothetical question for physics BS graduates

    Hi there. I wanted to direct this question to all of you (and am especially interested in hearing from @Vanadium 50 , given his often harshly realistic views). I wanted to present an hypothetical scenario. Suppose a student a student is finishing his/her BS in physics with an admittedly weak...
  30. S

    Schools Hypothetical: How highly regarded are Canadian universities?

    Hi everyone. I wanted to pose an hypothetical question. Suppose we have a student who is a graduate from a physics program in a Canadian university (e.g. University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, McGill University, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Guelph...
  31. C

    I am writing a story involving a hypothetical chemical reaction

    Hello, this is my first posting on this forum. I enjoyed Chemistry in high school, though the arts were where my abilities drew me. I've learned that a ratio of 2 hydrogen to 1 oxygen, when ignited by a certain amount of heat, will create a small amount of water. I will give a brief outline on...
  32. L

    B Hypothetical 3 Dimensional Coordinates

    If the coordinates x = rsinθcosφ, y = rsinθsinφ, z = rcosθ represent a Sphere, then what does the coordinates x = rsinθcosφ, y = rsinθsinφ, z = rcosθsinφ represent? @fresh_42 @FactChecker @Infrared @WWGD
  33. J

    Can a Hypothetical Device Save a Human from Extreme G-Force Acceleration?

    I'd like to ask about a hypothetical situation. A human, wearing a jetpack, for example, accelerates forward with 200,000 m/s^2 and therefore, experiencing extreme g-force of roughly 20,408 g. If there will be a hypothetical device that will be able to redirect the gravity force (g) to elswhere...
  34. D

    B (Hypothetical) 6ft hardened-steel cube dropped at 100 meters

    During a random conversation with a friend, we got onto the subject of dropping a 6ft cubed cube of Hardened-Steel from the height of 100 meters. I ended up getting really curious about the energy it would cause, as well as the potential impact/destruction it would cause on the area...
  35. DaveC426913

    B Hypothetical ring world thought experiment

    I know this won't work, I'm having trouble explaining why to someone who thinks it will. Make a ring around a planet. Give it low walls. Fire countless pellets at hypersonic speeds around the inside of the ring. The pellets are moving at super-orbital speed, pushing the ring outward, making it...
  36. S

    I How would weather differ on a planet with a longer day?

    Hypothetical question that came up in World Building stack exchange. The question asked for what the longest reasonable day length would be. I thought that a 100 hour day: * Afternoons in what are now hot deserts would be uninhabitable. * Frost traps in more polar climates would be...
  37. rfranceschetti

    Medical Gene flow in hypothetical genetically engineered humans

    Hi all, It has come to my attention this article on PF (https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/can-gene-editing-eliminate-alzheimers-disease/) about a genetic approach to prevent Alzheimer's disease, based on applying gene-editing techniques on human embryos. In short (so not to be...
  38. iHaveQuestions88

    The Decay Rate of a Hypothetical Antimatter Container

    Hi All, First time poster here, and I've got a couple questions. Straight up, I'm writing a sci-fi story where antimatter is utilised as fuel (feel free to laugh at the cliche), and I want to portray it as realistically as possible. To that end, I've come up with a storage method and I want to...
  39. FallenApple

    I Would quantum laws work in other hypothetical universes?

    Not saying that there is another universe. But if there were, would the laws be the same? I've heard Leonard Susskind explain that extraneous solutions of string theory could represent the environment in regions very far "away". So is it just small things like the physical constants being...
  40. Nerophysics

    Strangest hypothetical objects in space?

    Hi What strange hypothetical objects in space do you know of? Example: Magnetar, pulsar, black hole. As I am currently writing a sci fi book for children, I am trying to probe the universe of your mind in search of extraterrestrial objects.
  41. R

    Exploring Centripetal Acceleration on a Hypothetical Planet

    Homework Statement Imagine another planet with an acceleration of 10.00 m/s^2 at its equator when ignoring the rotation of the planet. The radius is 6.2 x10^6 m. An object dropped at the equator yields an acceleration of 9.70 m/s^2. Determine the length of 1 day on this planet. Homework...
  42. KarminValso1724

    B What are the odds of getting a number on a hypothetical infinity sided dye?

    Let's say for example, there was a dye in which any number with any amount of digits could be scored. You also had an equal chance of scoring every number. Which means that you have the same chance of rolling a 1 as you do 5 billion. If you rolled that dye, how many digits would that number...
  43. F

    Gas pressures with (hypothetical) filter

    Imagine I have 2 constant-volume, constant-temperature containers. Container A has a volume of 10 L and one Container B has a volume of 5 L. My hypothetical gases Ideal Gas A and Ideal Gas B have the same properties as each other (temperature, mass, energy, heat capacity, blah blah blah). If I...
  44. L

    Range of Earth's year within habitable zone?

    Hi all, So the (hypothetical) question I have is about the range of the Earth's length of orbit (number of days) within the Sun's habitable zone which could sustain human life. I.e. what would the length of the shortest 'habitable' year be, and the longest (in days)? What would our living...
  45. L

    Fiction hypothetical about axial rotations

    Hello everyone! I am a fiction writer with a hypothetical question. For my work I have a new planet, the same size as Earth, with a moon with just a very slightly longer mean orbit (a few days). I have been reading about tidal locking which ensures that observers on the planet only see the...
  46. R

    Need a Little Help With Gravity--just hypothetical & theory

    I was helping someone with his fanfiction where a system didn't have the same gravitational constant that exists within the rest of the universe.There was a throw-away line given by Q on the Star Trek episode, "Deja Q", where Q was asked how would he fix the problem of a moon falling out of...
  47. S

    Is the future undetermined or simply undeterminable?

    I'm not entirely sure how to clarify this question, so instead I'll pose another one that should serve the same purpose. If, hypothetically, someone in the future devised a way to travel back in time (which to my understanding has never been shown to violate any laws of physics) after...
  48. Adrian F

    Falling Through a Hole in the Earth: GR Effects on Motion

    Hi, folks. There's a somewhat popular hypothetical situation that involves a person falling into a hole dugg all the way through the Earth or any planet, passing straight to its center. Now, I understand quite well that the resulting motion would be periodical and the reasoning behind it. My...
  49. P

    What Would Happen if 2 People Were 1 Light Hour Apart?

    Say for instance me and another person were 1 light hour away from each other. Now at my position I am subjected to a much greater gravitational field and thus, due to time dilation, 1 hour for me is 2 hours for him (at his current position). If I were to send a beam of photons at him...
  50. wolram

    How many hypothetical particles do we need

    How many as yet undiscovered particles do we need to make the standard model work?