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Questions tagged [technology]

For questions about the creation, use, and application of all types of technology.

6
votes
5answers
377 views

How much can you learn about a planet while in its orbit?

Suppose a team of astronauts have travelled to another solar system, and are currently living in a craft which is in Medium Earth Orbit of a planet which has oceans, continents, and complex life. ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Could an industrial and a post-industrial civilization exist at the same time?

One of the big issues I have run into while building the story I'm currently working on, is the fact that their are multiple nations that exist in an industrial state, while others are far past this ...
-2
votes
0answers
88 views

can an army armed with smgs defeat an entire medieval army? [on hold]

Lets say in an alternate reality where technology developed quicker and mankind started using firearms, how effective would an army armed with submachine guns be against an army armed with smooth or ...
1
vote
3answers
116 views

Spaceship Engineering & Infrastructure Challenges: Air Currents

I have a spherical spaceship that is about 2 kilometers in diameter with an outer clear, yet strong shell. This spaceship is largely made up of empty space occupied by air. Aside from this the ...
9
votes
9answers
4k views

Would it be more efficient to build fleets in orbit?

My Dino theme park business didn't end well and I reluctantly fall into depression and decided to go into suspended animation to seek a cure. 200 years later, a lady claims she works with the military ...
1
vote
5answers
247 views

What's the next stage of transportation, after wormholes are invented?

I've seen many movies in which advanced civilizations use wormhole-opening technologies to either travel across the universe, or to simply get to the other side of a city. And this is also what I've ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

How can a city state remain neutral among techno barbarian tribes? [closed]

There was an ancient war between two advanced alien civilizations that culminated in a battle over Earth. These two armies destroyed themselves in this final battle, but the fallout indirectly ravaged ...
5
votes
2answers
151 views

Minimum percentage of immune when epidemic lowers IQ in the 80's?

I have an epidemic of unknown origin spreading across the earth. The effects are decrease in cognitive ability to around 80+ IQ. So we have a surgeons who don't know how to operate, engineers who don'...
31
votes
10answers
7k views

Would using thick glass wall be better than electric fence for my dino theme park?

My company has perfected its gene modifying technique.We can create life-sized hybrids of dinosaurs, with the exact appetite and behaviour as the original species (at least according to our advice ...
8
votes
7answers
364 views

Technologically advanced civilization still using melee armor and weapons

Similar idea to this post, why would an advanced civilization able to create AI/ droids ranging from 'hardshell' (I-Robot (movie) or C3P0) to 'soft' (Bishop (Aliens)) still have use for melee combat, ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Creating a world run by corporations [closed]

Recently, CDPR Projekt Red released a trailer featuring a dystopian cyberpunk world more or less run by corporations. To give an example, the most powerful (and expensive) medical services group will ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Tanks in medieval age [closed]

If people of the medieval age or 14th century had knowledge over steam engines and decided to make tanks out of it, how would it work and how effective would it be? Since they would be big and heavy, ...
10
votes
3answers
457 views

How Long Would Artifacts Last Under the Moon's Surface?

How Long? In the 1960s, unknown to most, the United States set up a secret base on the moon manned by an "extra" aboard each Apollo lander. NASA architects decided that the base must be built into ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Trains and light bulbs but no guns? [closed]

Would it make much sense in a sword (and possibly sorcery) world to have trains and light bulbs but no guns?
7
votes
13answers
4k views

Could machine guns be produced in the 14th century? [duplicate]

Could light machine guns such as the Madsen be made during the 14th century? And since materials may be scarce only a few would be produced for use by a single soldier in a unit. Lets say their ...
34
votes
24answers
11k views

What is the most reasonable way for non-binary computers to have become standard?

Let us assume planet Earth, with a history similar to ours. Except, the result of the computer revolution is not a computer system based on binary (i.e. 0 and 1), but some other system. This system ...
3
votes
2answers
83 views

Could the gatling gun of the civil war be made smaller for individual use?

Could the gatling gun used during the civil war which was heavy and large be made into a smaller variant with perhaps 3 barrels for individual use? What challenges would be faced and how can they be ...
7
votes
3answers
134 views

On a world of sapient anthropoid felines, can fur pattern be used for recognition?

On a world populated by sentient anthropoid species evolved from Terran felines, both big and small cats, could the local authorities use the fur patterns and colors the same way that we used ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

Medieval airlocks, would they be possible?

In terms of context, this airlock would be used on airships which fly at a height in which oxygen levels are too low for humans to live. Within the hull of the airship, stored oxygen would be pumped ...
22
votes
11answers
6k views

How long would it take to nuke an alien spaceship in orbit?

Some gigantic, and presumably evil, alien spaceship has taken up residence in LEO. This spacecraft is ominously blocking all satellite communications, and launching smaller flying saucers towards the ...
10
votes
6answers
883 views

How can spacecraft manufactured on the moon be powered?

Background: The moon has been selected as the base for human space exploration. Rather than ship tonnes of material out of earth's gravity well, interplanetary space-craft and space stations will be ...
7
votes
7answers
382 views

How could carbon nanotubes help me build supertall skyscrapers?

It is the near-future. Breakthrough, mass produced carbon nanotubes have been invented and are relatively cheap. These nanotubes have the properties that we would expect, and are manufactured in '...
5
votes
6answers
244 views

What would need to happen for solarpunk technology to exist in the 1920's/30's?

Solarpunk, for those who are somehow unaware, is a subgenre similar to that of steam/cyberpunk that instead depicts a future running on advanced renewable energy-powered technology. It usually depicts ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

How can you build a secure, pre-digital distributed ledger?

A distributed ledger is a 'database' without a central administrator or central storage. Instead, each copy of the database replicates and saves an identical copy of the data and updates itself ...
23
votes
12answers
8k views

How does a super-power salesman not get shut down for legal reasons?

I am in trouble: my boss, a multi-millionaire, has just come up with a scheme, but it has problems and he wants me to solve them. The whole thing started when he saw this picture: This gave him an ...
1
vote
3answers
154 views

How do I build an ancient moisture vaporator?

Let us suppose a world that exists under a harsh red sun. The entire planet, which may once have been fertile, is, in its current state, covered with desert. The civilization living there, which may ...
42
votes
14answers
8k views

Can the Aztec Empire learn and reuse Conquistador technology?

In this alternate history, Christopher Columbus makes landfall in Central America, after passing south of Florida and sailing through the Gulf of Mexico, arriving right on the doorstep of the Aztec ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Could people of the 14th century create an inline engine for use in aircraft and vehicles?

If an expert of some kind travels back in time to the 14th or 15th century with modern tools and machines that don't require power to work and if he were to past on the knowledge of modern technology ...
4
votes
6answers
368 views

Sentient trees. Can they develop technology?

Flying insects are the only moving animals in this world - they take care of pollination. Adult trees (over 10 years old) are rooted to the spot with very wide-spreading root systems. Trying to ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Can a steam powered plane be as effective as a normal plane? And if so what can be done to improve it [duplicate]

can a steam plane fly as long as a normal one? Can it carry heavy loads and can it fly as high as a normal one?
7
votes
6answers
762 views

Time Travellers And The Roman Empire, Part 1: Transport and Control

I am a time traveller from the not so distant future. I have gone into the past to the Roman Empire (specifically the Nerva-Antonine period) and via -handwaving magical mumbo-technobabble- have become ...
1
vote
9answers
251 views

How would a steam powered machine in one place provide power to towns that are far away?

I am building a work in which steam plays a vital role. I would like to include the idea that much of the power for the people is being provided by a central machine that is isolated in one place but ...
9
votes
4answers
444 views

What torch-ship engine requires the least complex control system?

A side shot from my series on a computer-less future; see here, here, and here. Project Rho defines a torch-drive as an engine with both high acceleration and high exhaust velocity. A torch-ship is a ...
16
votes
12answers
5k views

A clock for interplanetary travel

Introduction See background information here. 1000 years after darkness fell on Old Earth, humanity is scattered throughout the solar system. Apart from the Harmonious Republic of Mars, there are ...
5
votes
2answers
258 views

3-Level Roadway Engineering

I'm the city designer for a new city we're calling Morrowville. Having some of the worlds top minds, flying cars have been invented, but can only fly a few feet (2-4) from the ground and not everyone ...
-1
votes
3answers
260 views

TOP SECRET: How long before new technology becomes declassified?

A common trope in sci-fi is the idea of humans reverse engineering alien technology which results in breakthroughs in our own technology. My question is this: If a military/governmental organisation ...
0
votes
3answers
157 views

Immediate differences between 1898-2018 [closed]

I have a story where two characters from 1898 apear in the Texas hillcounrty, on a disused ranch. Neither are familiar with ranches, and they come from vastly different socioeconomic backgrounds. What ...
4
votes
8answers
742 views

Losing Knowledge

Is it plausible to create a world in which the people who live inside it developed technologies like the ones we had in WW2, but after their progress came to a halt they forgot their knowledge. ...
21
votes
18answers
4k views

What's the ideal era for harvesting resources by an advanced society?

It's 2100-ish and we're experimenting on our new time travel device, or let's say time travel bunker. What we gathered of information so far are: We can't really go back in time, literally. Every ...
31
votes
16answers
4k views

Why would precursors create devices that can survive and still work after hundreds of years? [closed]

In many stories, there are precursor artifacts that often have miraculous powers. Often, those artifacts are hundreds, if not thousands of years old. But, looking at our own technology, most of our ...
7
votes
6answers
276 views

Realistic hovering mechanism for my sci-fi drone

What realistic mechanism could be utilized to allow my drone to hover and move around in a visually pleasing and non distracting way? I am currently working on a short sci-fi film, which, among other ...
3
votes
4answers
118 views

How could an AI be in the real world organically and humanely (not in a robotic body)? [closed]

Say I have some artificial intelligence characters in a virtual reality world that my human characters have bonded with in ways of friendship, romance, etc before they find out they're AI. How would ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

If a space shuttle was going to crash during a botched landing back on earth, is there any way for crew to eject safely before impact? [closed]

If a space shuttle is going to crash during a botched landing back on earth, is there any possible way (emergency vessel, etc.?) for crew to eject and land safely away from the shuttle?
1
vote
3answers
163 views

Ice Age Cavalry

The history of horse domestication, according to recent research, starts somewhere on the plains of eastern Europe 6,000 years ago. Since then, cavalry had become a major turning point in Old World ...
-1
votes
1answer
91 views

How long would it take for rebooting current technology level on a parallel earth given almost perfect information of our past roadmap? [closed]

In the classical dystopian future scenario, imagine Earth is doomed but somehow an alien benefactor race offers us the possibility of transporting a set of humans to an almost perfect replicate of our ...
8
votes
2answers
223 views

How much medical information could we gather from a wrist-worn device?

Context I have been thinking about the Pip Boy device from the Fallout series of videogames. It is a portable, wearable computer that can gather a lot of data about the user. It looks like this: And ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

How do I make a rock with magical properties teleport people? [closed]

Thinking about it, you probably need more context than that, so here we go. Basically, in my Earth/Alt Universe world, there's this new magical rock, let's call it, stranglium! Stranglium, on touch ...
8
votes
4answers
430 views

How to not let magic advance the technology too fast?

So lets say that the level of the non-magic wielding species i.e. humans technology is at around the level it was in the early medieval times. I would then introduce magic to the rest of the world in ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

How would a different society learn to use our technology

I'm a long time lurker and while browsing this site, I just got a question: If all of us humans are replaced with a different set of humans with a different script and language right now, how long ...
0
votes
5answers
109 views

How would Asiimov's “Three Laws of Robotics” be enforced effectively for robots built by private companies? [closed]

For a storytelling project, I'm trying to imagine a world in which fairly advanced, bipedal robots are being developed and produced by private companies. As these robots would be capable of easily ...