Avatar scientifically possible?

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I read somewhere that James Cameron made the planet Pandora as scientifically plausible as possible according to his scientific advisers.

Are the Na'vi's physically possible? having a humanoid structure and being like 10 feet tall and being so athletic like they were in the movie. Also, how their skeletal structure was coated in carbon fiber, it was also interesting how they could bond with the plant and animal life on the planet with their "hair".

Is this all scientifically possible?
 

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  • #2
CRGreathouse
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Are the Na'vi's physically possible? having a humanoid structure and being like 10 feet tall and being so athletic like they were in the movie.
With the low gravity, I don't think their athleticism is surprising, and the height is fairly natural.

Also, how their skeletal structure was coated in carbon fiber, it was also interesting how they could bond with the plant and animal life on the planet with their "hair".

Is this all scientifically possible?
The hair was implausible for me for many reasons: no adaptive advantage for receivers, communication being much too hard, etc. Carbon-fiber coating, no problem.
 
  • #3
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Its more of a biological question. whether or not it is biologically possible?
I am going to have to say maybe.
If they were not carbon based life forms, but silicon based, they may be able to have the electromagnetic connection they share with plants. However, this doesn't explain the "naturally occurring Carbon Fiber" on their bones.
Of course, there is the debate regarding the atmosphere on Pandora, there may be some chemical in their air that stimulated these abnormalities.
However, I also believe that the "goldilocks zone" (the area in space in which life occurs) only allows for a certain type of life. The current life on Earth.
 
  • #4
ideasrule
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Low gravity? The gravity certainly didn't seem low to me.
 
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I'd also like to say that this movie was friggin awesome!
 
  • #6
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Low gravity? The gravity certainly didn't seem low to me.
Did you miss the floating mountains?
 
  • #7
russ_watters
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Low gravity? The gravity certainly didn't seem low to me.
Well according to the weightlifting colonel, it was.
 
  • #8
mgb_phys
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Lucky that they had evolved hairless bodies, hair is a real pain to render.
 
  • #9
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The floating mountains could contain a room temperature superconductor ores which levitate in a presence of magnetic field. Although no such material is known to exist, but it's still actively sought by researchers.
 
  • #10
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So what do you think of Cameron's attempt at being somewhat possible, how would you grade it? Would you say it is a pretty good attempt or was there no thought involved at all similar to movies like Day After Tomorrow, War of the Worlds, etc.
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  • #11
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The floating mountains could contain a room temperature superconductor ores which levitate in a presence of magnetic field. Although no such material is known to exist, but it's still actively sought by researchers.
The only thing about that solution that bothered me was a lack of smaller debris (via natural erosion). Why would this be limited to larger samples (mountains)?
 
  • #12
EnumaElish
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Can't (a version of) the flying mountains be floating objects at geostationary orbit?
 
  • #13
mgb_phys
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Can't (a version of) the flying mountains be floating objects at geostationary orbit?
No because water is falling down from them - and people (or things) aren't floating on them
 
  • #14
DaveC426913
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Low gravity? The gravity certainly didn't seem low to me.
They addressed this at least once near the beginning of the film.
 
  • #15
EnumaElish
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No because water is falling down from them - and people (or things) aren't floating on them
How about a space-elevator kind of thing, held together with really strong plants? (Ignoring the question how they got there in the first place.)
 
  • #16
mgb_phys
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They are on a moon around a gas giant, so you could have a magnetic material in the mountain rocks being held in the flux between the moon and the planet - rather like the field between Jupiter and Io. That would also explain why the instruments didn't work.
 
  • #17
ideasrule
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Well according to the weightlifting colonel, it was.
Yes, but according to the speed of freefalling objects and the fact that humans could walk normally on the surface, it wasn't.
 
  • #18
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the bottom part of the mountains were just invisible, or in a state of quantum flux, that's all


(though, I haven't seen the movie)
 
  • #19
mgb_phys
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I can't believe I am getting into this (I'm not even a trekkie) but:
The unobtanium (!) was a room temp superconductor, see the bit floating on the stand in the managers office - if the mountains contained this stuff and were in a magnetic field between a gas giant and it's moon they could float.
 
  • #20
cronxeh
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Yes, but according to the speed of freefalling objects and the fact that humans could walk normally on the surface, it wasn't.
And what is the speed of freefalling objects? Acceleration due to gravity on Earth its 9.8 m/s^2, on the moon its 1.62 m/s^2. Any value below 9.8 and above 1.62 could be present on Pandora.

If they weigh 170 pounds on Earth and g on Pandora was 4.9 m/s^2 they would weigh 85 pounds. Time it would take them to hit the ground jumping from a 100 meter height on Earth would be 4.5 seconds, and 6.38 seconds on Pandora, assuming no air resistance. Do the math before condemning a work of art.

And as for floating rocks/supermagnet concept I believe I've answered that question https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=364626&p=2505170"
the rocks are superconductors and the tree flux is a magnetic flux. Diamagnetic superconductor rocks are stable in z-axis and combined with lower graviation they stay relatively stationary in one place, supported by vegetation.
Refer to this awesomeness I've attached for time it would take to hit ground vs acceleration due to gravity (g) for a 100 meter height jump
 
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  • #21
DaveC426913
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the bottom part of the mountains were just invisible, or in a state of quantum flux, that's all


(though, I haven't seen the movie)
And when they flew under the mountains?
 
  • #22
cronxeh
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And when they flew under the mountains?
He was kidding, the mountain are not in state of quantum flux obviously. Any quantum state would've collapsed upon observation and we would see the mountains. rewebster, you sir, have made a terrible science joke and Mr. David Bohm would kick you square in the pants.
 
  • #23
DaveC426913
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He was kidding, the mountain are not in state of quantum flux obviously.
Well, he did suggest they could be invisible...
 
  • #24
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If the floating mountains are a result of magnetic flux between moon and planet, what good would the mineral be to others?

rewebster has a square in his pants?
 
  • #25
cronxeh
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If the floating mountains are a result of magnetic flux between moon and planet, what good would the mineral be to others?

rewebster has a square in his pants?
Magnetic flux is not a result of moon-planet interaction.

The superconducting 'rock' is very useful in magnetic levitation - for trains that travel at super-duper high speeds. The price for such material would be high and worth it.
 

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