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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3
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4answers
130 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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4answers
151 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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5answers
363 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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1answer
119 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 ...
2
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2answers
178 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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9answers
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 ...
1
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1answer
139 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 ...
-4
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2answers
155 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 ...
2
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1answer
107 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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5answers
233 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 ...
2
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4answers
131 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 ...
-1
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1answer
199 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 ...
2
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1answer
124 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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5answers
2k 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 ...
6
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5answers
261 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 ...
14
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6answers
521 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 ...
0
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4answers
115 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 ...
4
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2answers
514 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 ...
1
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1answer
139 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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8answers
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 ...
2
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0answers
126 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 ...
3
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0answers
130 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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3answers
251 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 ...
2
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2answers
261 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 ...
14
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15answers
5k views

How might a Professor of Mathematics Change History?

A professor of mathematics is sent back in time to a post-Neolithic farming village. They accept him as their wise man, and he spends 30 years teaching them all he knows about mathematics until he ...
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3answers
562 views

Oligarchy as a form of government

Can a country with an oligarchy as an offical form of government be successful and have prosperous citizens?
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2answers
320 views

Could a species develop the tech necessary to land on their own moon without comprehending light?

Inspired by a brief comment converstaion found here. I would like to investigate the design and development of an alien species whose technological development did not include an understanding of ...
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0answers
96 views

What consensual human experiments would provide the most geopolitical value? [closed]

In the world I envision here, some countries take a much less fundamentalist stance on human rights (maybe a more extreme version of China) than we generally take for granted. For the purpose of ...
2
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4answers
262 views

Reasons why AI/mind-uploaded humans would run long-term anthropological experiments on biological humans?

I’m having a bit of trouble with this one. I’m trying to justify why a once scientifically advanced human outpost on an alien planet went the way of the Planet of the Apes and became a schizophrenic ...
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2answers
107 views

How would the lack of nukes/fission technology affect warfare and conflicts between 'great powers'? [closed]

(First time poster, but I don't shy away from receiving criticism :) ) Let's assume that there are two great powers that are vying for dominance over the planet, but neither of them has discovered ...
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3answers
758 views

Deriving a system of scientific units

The dominant society on my conworld is at a level of technological and scientific development not unlike our own, with minor differences here and there. Scientific standards are decided by Academy of ...
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0answers
219 views

Is it possible to build a Science-based medieval fantasy world? [closed]

For instance, I'm currently building a fantasy world set in medieval times in a fictional world. I'm very keen on Science and I would like to combine the two. I thought that the characters could ...
17
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6answers
4k views

What scientists would go on an research expedition to an alien world?

In my story, a team of scientists are sent to an alien world similar to Earth to conduct general research on its environment, ecosystem (that is: its animal- and plant-life), and weather. It is the ...
9
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3answers
392 views

Might a ritually cannibalistic society gain a head start or have an advantage in the study and development of the sciences?

This is largely inspired by two questions that @dsollen has asked over the past year or two. The first: Would ritual cannibalism of the dead lead to issues with disease? The second: Cultural beliefs, ...
6
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2answers
694 views

Is a habitable desert planet with large fossil fuel deposits possible?

I'm working on a sci-fi Western scenario on a habitable desert planet along the lines of Tatooine from Star Wars and Arrakis from Dune. For it to be habitable there has to be water below the surface ...
5
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6answers
641 views

How to explain why a human society's state of technology on another planet might be locked?

I've become interested in sci-fi / science-fantasy / weird Westerns. Building upon what I asked here I would like to be more specific and ask if there's scientifically sound ways to explain why a ...
11
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2answers
780 views

How far would science advance if we lived in a cave? [closed]

In the book The Quantum Universe, the author suggests that: If the human race evolved in an underground cave system, never to see the sky, it is possible that they could have imagined a ball of ...
0
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2answers
156 views

Is a nanocomputer something a civilization would strive to create? [closed]

I've recently been very interested in the concept of a nanocomputer for my future sci-fi world; as of now it's purely hypothetical/sci-fi esque. It seems cool, but I still have trepidations with it a ...
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2answers
243 views

Can haptic holograms be used to make something akin to a holodeck?

If the holograms are really advanced like the hologram of Snoke in The Force Awakens and they are haptic, which means you can feel them, can they be used to make an immersive virtual reality ...
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7answers
1k views

Pumping blood turned into power

How could we use our own heart which pumps our blood, to potentially charge devices such as a cell phone?
2
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2answers
214 views

How can one convince someone from the past that one really can transmute elements at-will? [closed]

The alchemists of legend and yore sought to transmute elements, among other things -- the classical "lead into gold", for one. Nowadays, we've figured out the nuclear physics required for ...
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1answer
602 views

What primitive and gun-based weapons would non-human species develop? [closed]

Pretty much the title, but I'll explain more below. I am currently working on creating a plethora of alien species for my universe. However, I am also unsure as to what kinds of weapons some of these ...
3
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1answer
152 views

How would a world with different timescales behave [closed]

Let's immagine time is like water or wind, it is uniform as of now, but it can also move and be uneven. So where there is more time, you'd complete a one-hour task earlier than if you'd have done it ...
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1answer
128 views

Can someone help me with creating a list of sci-inventions? [closed]

I'm trying to make a sci-fi RPG and I can't decide what technology I should use. Also all I can think of are overused cliques. I need some unique, really cool ideas. Can someone make a list for me of ...
54
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13answers
7k views

Crucial and unlikely discoveries in history [closed]

I'm trying to come up with an alternate reality where some specific invention or discovery was never made. Many inventions or discoveries in (mainly European) history were not a 'miraculous event,' ...
4
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2answers
237 views

18th century zombie scientists

How would the Royal Society react to news of walking corpses and would germ theory or other medical sciences be advanced due to the study of them? What theories and conclusions about the cause and ...
54
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15answers
11k views

Most useful knowledge from the 30's to understand current state of computers & networking?

Human-vampire hybrid wakes up from hibernation that started in the late 30's and finds that world has changed. What kind of knowledge from the 30's would be best starting point to learn computers &...
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6answers
1k views

What would be the last magic to disappear from the world

This is slightly based on Babylonian/Summerian myths where gods gave man perfect knowledge of every art and craft at the beginning of time and since then the knowledge has slowly been lost, making ...
9
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2answers
621 views

Under what circumstances will magnetic levitation kill Average Joe?

After the WorldBuilding community helped Average Joe start his own microstate, Joe has become scientifically inclined, and uses his money to conduct somewhat dangerous research projects from his ...