Questions tagged [scientific-development]

For questions about the process of developing scientific discoveries and what prerequisites are needed for different types of discoveries.

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Chemistry without oil

I looked through some posts discussing worlds without oil. Those posts mainly focus on fuels and transportation. But I realized that the distillation of oil produces lots of organic compounds - ethene,...
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4 votes
5 answers
283 views

When is the earliest possible opportunity for earth to create an absolute unit of measure?

Throughout history we have used units of measure that were defined by arbitrary standards; things that were conveniently around when whichever government needed something measured. “How much tax does ...
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3 votes
2 answers
174 views

Alternative reasons for inventing blackpowder

I'm working on a small personal project. I've hit a bit of a roadblock though, that being the question why someone would bother inventing blackpowder in my world. Blackpowder isn't something that was ...
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3 votes
4 answers
586 views

Aliens exist on the other side of the nearby wormhole, but we don't know wormhole exists yet. How might they be detected and communicated with?

Scenario: Humans have setup an observation/research station close enough to study the super blackhole Sagittarius A*, which in this world is a wormhole. Aliens exist on the other side. (I am flexible ...
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1 vote
1 answer
95 views

Realistic sensor array capabilities?

This is a follow-up to an as of yet unanswered question: What would the local effects/affects be of a ring spinning near luminal velocity? If you can, please take a look at this question as well! ...
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3 votes
3 answers
188 views

A perfect filter spell. What knowledge could it bring? [closed]

I am only asking about knowledge. What things can be learned more easily now that this item can be used. I know that it could result in a faster scientific advancement due to it creating an abundance ...
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4 votes
5 answers
385 views

How would asexual reproduction (via mitosis) affect human cultural development?

I’m writing a humanoid race with perfectly symmetrical bilateral anatomy. This trait is shared by almost all complex life on their world and has shaped the way they reproduce; via mitosis. I’ve ...
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2 votes
6 answers
804 views

How would a world with limited access to modern technology work?

The setting is a semi-modern fantasy world with pockets of population separated by huge expanses of wild land where monsters and other predatory creatures live, keeping civilization from expanding too ...
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18 votes
14 answers
6k views

What kind of Alien artifacts or minerals could advance the human race?

Let me explain what I mean. Let's say an Alien civilization left a lot of devices on a planet or moon (in our solar system or wherever). They had a colony, want/wanted to Terraform (or "Xenoform&...
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0 votes
1 answer
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If people had different views on biology/nature since the 1600s, would scientific and technological development be different or would it be the same? [closed]

I was reading this article, https://aeon.co/essays/can-animals-be-usefully-described-as-clockwork-machines, and was wondering if people kept viewing animals as machine like would technology and ...
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  • 651
1 vote
3 answers
182 views

Humans in a world without trees [closed]

How do you think humans would develop technologically in a world without trees? If all the other requirements of basic survival like food, oxygen, etc are met? There are animals around but no ...
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6 votes
4 answers
429 views

How feasible is it that aliens would use a number field other than the standard real numbers?

I will begin this with a disclaimer that I barely understand the p-adic analysis beyond very general ideas of what the p-adic numbers are and how they are constructed. But this is a question I've been ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Without biological research, would be people ever able to come to an idea of neural networks? [closed]

Without biology, would people come to an idea of computer neural nets?
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3 votes
2 answers
135 views

Could a self-consuming rocket be useful or cheaper than regular ones?

Technically speaking, all rockets are self-consuming, since they are basically tin cans with fuel. And to carry even less weight with then, they have stages. Allowing not only the rocket to go farther,...
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  • 579
4 votes
6 answers
187 views

Cheap and Efficient material (real or not) to power thrusters that could be used for space ships that work in and out of atmospheres

Takes place in an advance sci-fi setting where old alien races have found new laws of physics. (aka the mcguffin to make this work) I need some sort of material that is theoretically possible, but we ...
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2 votes
2 answers
243 views

How can you create non-centripetal artificial gravity and apply it to propel a spacecraft by riding the gravitational space time warp?

I like the idea that it is possible to use the warping of spacetime as a propelling force to move spacecraft through an independent non-centripetal artificial gravity drive. This drive uses the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
73 views

What are the technologies which has a prerequest of quantum mechanics [closed]

I'm thinking about a world where the planet was wrapped by a force field that experiments which lead to quantum mechanics and special relativity gives the false result. I'm wondering what technology ...
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-5 votes
4 answers
284 views

How to have a religion that would not impede scientific development

The world setting is as follows: The main species is human and beastoid(animals that walk on two legs and have hands capable of dexterity, mostly like dog, wolf, cat, bear, rabbit, goat). Half-blood ...
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5 votes
3 answers
183 views

How do you make scientific progress happen in the presence of superpowers?

With superpowers, people would lose the desire to build machinery as superpowers can perform most purposes, and people would be less interested in studying the environment than wielding superpowers (...
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3 votes
5 answers
325 views

How to incorporate scientific development into fantasy/sci-fi?

In the Avatar the Last Airbender manga/comic and Avatar The Legend of Korra, scientific advancement took over industrial work replacing bending. Eventually nuclear weapons would be found (as well as ...
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5 votes
3 answers
168 views

Could a pre-modern civilization make a gas canister with rough valves and pressure regulation?

I wanted to have a gas cylinder that would hold up to about 10 litres of gas (oxygen, mainly) at 20 atmospheres of pressure. Or, if that's impossible, 7 atmospheres would suffice. The setting is pre-...
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1 vote
2 answers
201 views

Could you develop Electrolysis with Pre-Modern technology?

Electrolysis was a popular idea for how mermaids would generate oxygen for their guests. This leads to another question: Is it possible to perform electrolysis with pre-modern technology? Electrolysis ...
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18 votes
6 answers
3k views

What technology would mermaids excel at?

I regularly see people speaking about the difficulties of technology underwater, and see questions about whether underwater civilizations could produce fire, electricity, etc.. But I haven't seen any ...
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  • 4,078
9 votes
3 answers
274 views

Complete graph (DAG) of prerequisite relationships of human technology

There are a bunch of questions here that require knowledge on ''which technology is a prerequisite for which'' (for example here, here or here). I was wondering if there was ever any attempt to ...
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5 votes
4 answers
273 views

In an alternate universe in which humans can live, how to encourage emphasis upon the life sciences

Let us presuppose a universe adjacent to our own, that has collided non-catastrophically with our own on a number of occasions, causing an exchange of matter including humans in the most recent ...
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3 votes
1 answer
167 views

Evolution of biotech [closed]

So, I want to write a realistic alternate timeline where people switch to biotechnology in the 21st century, assuming that the technology to make it it already there. I have postulated several reasons ...
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3 votes
4 answers
161 views

Putting together a research expedition to an alien planet - what kind of scientists am I taking with me?

It's the 22nd century and we have discovered a derelict alien craft somewhere in the Oort cloud. The craft contains a star chart showing its origin on an alien planet some 30 light years away. Let's ...
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1 vote
4 answers
200 views

How can early people prove that their planet is a cuboid?

Imagine a cuboid planet with a thick atmosphere orbiting a star similar to our Sun. The inhabitants are as intelligent as humans and recently discovered the universal laws of gravitation and motion ...
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7 votes
5 answers
495 views

What problem in classical physics can a computer solve that a human doing calculus cannot?

So in my setting there is a small and exclusive group of people that have access to devices that work like computers (but which are not the same as computers. They do not use semiconductors and ...
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  • 241
1 vote
1 answer
143 views

Building a formula 1 car within one month?

! One of my characters wants to participate in a medieval chariot race. The catch is, they use magical chariots that can go at significant speeds, similar to today’s street cars. So he and his ...
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2 votes
2 answers
277 views

How to evacuate an entire planet?

Setting: An Earth-like planet except all the continents are joined together like Pangea. The locals are in the medieval era and have the ability to use magic. Magic can level buildings at best, ...
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10 votes
9 answers
5k views

Which is easier to develop: a piston prop engine or a jet engine?

I’m writing a novel where people from our universe move to another. The other universe is a fantasy one with medieval technology. These people have the help of an advanced AI that contains the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
277 views

How a character from the future, reincarnated in the medieval times, could use their knowledge without being accused of witchcraft? [closed]

The setting: more or less our regular medieval times, no magic or magical creatures, but religion is big and most people believe in folklore and superstition. The plot: character from the far future ...
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-4 votes
2 answers
172 views

Did people have an idea of DNA in the 17th century? [closed]

I know that DNA was discovered later in time but during the 17th century, specifically around 1620 and onwards, would people have known anything about the idea of DNA? If so then how much would they ...
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2 votes
1 answer
117 views

The solar system is open for exploration. What fundamental research will we do first? [closed]

In the near future, technology and budgets for space flight have advanced considerably, with lots of uncrewed probes around and crewed missions as far as Mars. Notably, there's a significant ...
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1 vote
5 answers
260 views

Advance human society by time-transporting a book. Which to choose? [closed]

Humanity has done it - the first time-machine was built! However, the machine's capabilities are very limited as it is very costly and fragile, which means we only have one shot. Building another one ...
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  • 906
2 votes
4 answers
162 views

What are some difficulties in synthesizing desirable substances produced in nature?

Suppose that there is a substance that is produced in nature by an organism. This substance is rather desirable. The reason this substance is desirable can be anything: Whether it is because it is a ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
212 views

What is left in physics for a scientist in the Star Wars galaxy to study? [closed]

I know this question may be considered too broad, but I legitimately wonder what physics science; scientists are working on in Star Wars. Many many people have said that there is no scientific ...
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  • 9
2 votes
1 answer
146 views

Quaternionic electro-magnetism, world that it can exist in, and the appropriate equation system [closed]

The thing could not exist in real world; it is imaginary concept, expressed in a equations in a paper, that could run as a simulation on a PC. That could be interesting for people with some ...
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13 votes
5 answers
3k views

Efficient way to transport a Stargate [closed]

In the future Earth, scientists have successfully created Stargate. And because of the greedy nature of human being, they wish to colonize as many planets as possible! And they sure can NOT wait ...
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6 votes
5 answers
278 views

How can ruler support the invention of useful things?

Good rulers support invention of useful things. But this question has two sides. Support of invention Prevention of fake inventing Basis: Many inventions arise as side-effects of searching for ...
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14 votes
6 answers
601 views

Could just a brilliant idea advance science by decades, or even centuries?

Inspired by this story, I started thinking. Let's say we have a person, from the modern day, who miraculously gets a superpower: He can rewind time, but retain his own memories. He can rewind all the ...
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0 votes
4 answers
128 views

which problem can be solved by virtual world technology [closed]

can we use this technology to do scientific experiments(example : making The Large Hadron Collider, New medicines's reactions against virus and bacteria.) maybe you can make the argument that the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
533 views

What kind of science could be done in a station orbiting black hole [closed]

I am writing a script for science fiction RPG where everything takes place in a science station orbiting a black hole just outside the Schwarzschild radius. But it occurred to me I have no idea what ...
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1 vote
1 answer
144 views

How fast can directed evolution make the leap from unicellular to fishlike ability level? [closed]

Premise target: A few thousands of intelligent machine-scientists have been tasked on the creation of an organism with the abilities of an animal. The exact requirements that they are given are: Can ...
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  • 487
5 votes
8 answers
2k views

How to make variable super-soldier size the norm versus a single size

Imagine you can build your soldiers in a lab somewhere. You can control everything, and you've found a the ideal humanoid form (ignoring potentially better forms here). You could build them in all ...
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2 votes
0 answers
150 views

Implications of phlogiston theory? [closed]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlogiston_theory Assuming experiments in the 1770s had proven phlogiston theory correct instead of invalidating it, what would the implications be for the development ...
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3 votes
0 answers
142 views

How much longer would it take to reach technological parity without access to energy dense resources like fossil fuels to bootstrap development? [closed]

If the only difference in our hypothetical world is where fossil fuels like coal and crude oil are nonexistent, the advent of an analogous Renaissance Era, subsequent Age of Enlightenment, and ...
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-3 votes
3 answers
264 views

The muscles of these humanoids stay the same size as they get stronger: what false theories would they have about strength?

The muscles: They have muscle tissue that can grow stronger with exercise and can atrophy with neglect just like our muscle tissue. But their muscles don't grow larger when they get stronger, and ...
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  • 5,094
2 votes
2 answers
303 views

Earth evacuated - what advancements would an early civilization gain from what they left behind?

Here's the scenario: living deep underground, far from any influence of modern humans, is a civilization of what can essentially be considered early Sumerians (from 3000 BC). Disregard how they got ...
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