Questions tagged [technology]

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

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How to distinguish magic from technology? [closed]

Reading other questions I see that a quote by Arthur C. Clarke - "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - is often being treated as an axiom. However, in a world where ...
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5answers
696 views

Why make androids self aware?

In my world, automation reaches a new level with the introduction of androids. Robotic human beings capable of doing any job a regular person can. The concept of these androids is that they can be ...
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6answers
2k views

A different artificial gravity: Ultradense material

Guests of this large space station enjoy Earth-like gravity (80-90% minimum). How? Well the space station is so massive it has its own gravity. The disk shaped "core" is made with ultradense ...
7
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4answers
725 views

Rambo style compound bows, feasible with renaissance tech-level?

One of my local TV stations re-broadcasted Rambo II last night and that got me thinking. That compound bow is really cool. It is relatively compact to carry around, because the limbs can be ...
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5answers
1k views

Humans with 360 Degree Vision across IR, Visible, UV and XRay?

Wearable and implantable technologies are increasingly blurring the line between natural and augmented reality. Currently, our commercially available computer-aided vision systems for the blind are ...
4
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11answers
948 views

What is a believable reason to not have a super AI in a sci-fi universe? [closed]

Artificial Intelligence will continue to be improved until we reach the Singularity and spawn a self-improving artificial general intelligence (AGI). This will probably happen within 100 years, and be ...
3
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2answers
397 views

Compression Rifle Designs for Combat Use [closed]

So to start things off I know that Compression Rifles work in combat and are deadly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girandoni_air_rifle what I'm looking for is a more modern version of the gun, like ...
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5answers
667 views

Could an advanced species, having evolved on a large planet with a deep gravity well, be helped out of it from above?

Suppose an intelligent species evolved on a large rocky planet, one with sufficient mass that the species had little hope of developing anything anytime soon that could achieve escape velocity. They'...
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3answers
314 views

Would it be possible to remove all the technology from the universe in one hundred years?

In the year 2500, the main planets are all colonised for various reasons (Mars as another place to put the population, Mercury for minerals, etc.). The planet Mercury then becomes more and more rich, ...
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6answers
583 views

How to parry a mono-blade? [closed]

The molecular thread used is consist of a single long super dense compound with extremely fast angular momentum (referring to its quantum property) at nearly the speed of light. This filament less ...
123
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33answers
24k views

What cheap modern items can I use to bribe medieval people? [closed]

Inspired by this question about a time traveller. So, I've travelled to the medieval age. Think 12th / 13th century Europe. Unlike the time traveller in the other question, I did bring batteries for ...
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18answers
11k views

How do I make an alien technology feel alien?

In a lot of science fiction series, such as Halo, Mass Effect and Gears of War, they show alien technology that is flatly human with a few added-on bells and whistles. It lacks the awe or feel of ...
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18answers
16k views

What would happen if an alien race gave us a computer capable of 2^256 calculations per second?

The security of public key cryptography relies on computers not being able to generate anywhere near 2256 guesses per any reasonable time length. The obvious implications of a computer this powerful ...
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34answers
20k views

What (modern) weapons could be used to destroy skeletal enemies as completely as possible?

As per the cliché, after getting hit by a truck, our protagonist finds herself in a 'swords and sorcery' fantasy world. Also as per the cliché, she is granted an overpowered ability to make her new ...
51
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20answers
12k views

Could an advanced alien race prevent the death of the universe?

We all know that the universe is going to die one day: all the stars will die, all the black holes will evaporate and life will be gone. But hypothetically speaking, if a super advanced alien race (...
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19answers
17k views

How to keep a military technology secret while using it?

We are situated in an scenario like the Terran cold war in the 1980 era. I am the omnipotent dictator ahem.. president of the "good" side. Recently my research team completed some breakthrough in a ...
53
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22answers
10k views

How do I defend an island nation from attackers with 15th century technology?

Apologies in advance that my bullet points got away from me and turned out a bit long, but I'm trying to give as much information as I can to ward off initial questions. Imagine the following ...
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20answers
11k views

Why would the Federation ban escape pods that come with manual override?

The year is 2216 C.E., humanity develops an economic solution to travel to the Alpha Centauri A, our closest star system, in a matter of decades. Despite mankind's technological prowess our species is ...
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5answers
4k views

Can free-space holograms exist?

Holograms are a real thing. But what science-fiction TV shows and movies call holograms are something different entirely. From a classical geometric optics standpoint, in order to create the ...
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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 ...
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15answers
11k views

What methods might an ancient civilization use to desalinate sea water?

Following on from my previous question here concerning the ancient civilization I have called the Androy and their struggle to survive terrible drought conditions on their planet. After years of ...
27
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9answers
3k views

Computer that lasts for centuries?

So, somewhere around one hundred years from now, a terrible - and unexpected - disaster strikes Earth, most of humanity dies off, yadda yadda yadda. Luckily, secret-lab-dwelling scientists had ...
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20answers
7k views

How to limit magic mirrors so they're not overly powerful?

Based on a set of questions by Pavel Janicek about how to address and then monetize magic mirrors in today's modern world. The short version of these magic mirrors is that any one magic mirror can ...
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27answers
13k views

If a large space ship crashes on a planet, what could kill passengers without obliterating the ship?

The situation I'm considering is as follows: A large research vessel with a crew of about 100-200 attempts to land on a potentially habitable planet, but something goes wrong during the descent. A ...
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31answers
16k views

A way of getting the water to the top of the tall building without electricity?

First, let me explain the situation. Post-apocalypse setting, a group of humans (let's say around a hundred of them) have to find safe places to live at, protected from animals, bandits, and other ...
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12answers
7k views

Could a civilization without access to computers have cryptography?

There's a person who has enough working knowledge of our current real-world methods of cryptography (e.g. knows how a few modern algorithms work and could implement one or two from scratch). That ...
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4answers
2k views

How to make this base-10 metric time concept work

I am trying to make a fake metric-time app to prank some friends when we take a trip to Canada soon and would like to know how I could make this work conceptually. I already know that the time is ...
39
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16answers
13k views

What difficulty would the Roman Empire have besieging a fantasy kingdom's 49 m wall?

I'm trying to work out the logistics of a little fantasy-historical piece I'm working on. Rome at the height of its power (c. 117 CE) has decided to invade a fantasy kingdom up north. It has a ...
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16answers
7k views

Is there a precedent for inventing a new technology many years before anyone else?

History shows that most inventors of groundbreaking new technologies, for example, the light bulb or the telephone were not actually the first to invent this technology and that there were actually ...
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14answers
4k views

Can two civilizations on nearby stars develop independently but be at a similar technological level?

One thing that a few science fiction films seem to get wrong: it is extremely unlikely for two civilizations to evolve completely independently and yet be within a few hundred years of each other ...
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7answers
7k views

Could a 19.25mm revolver actually exist?

I'm working on writing a story wherein there is a revolver inspired by Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy's samaritan. My question is; can such a gun, as described below, work? Or would it be a bone breaker ...
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30answers
6k views

Could a civilization achieve spaceflight without inventing advanced weaponry along the way?

The question is fairly simple. Could a civilization progress so far as to have spaceships while still using swords, spears, and bows as their most advanced weaponry? (what those weapons are made of ...
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13answers
11k views

1 Light Year Diameter Planet

Suppose a species has limitless resources and the ability to construct megastructures of an astronomical scale. Would it be possible, given antigravitational technology (hypothetical), to create a ...
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6answers
3k views

What measures might an ancient civilization take to protect itself from extreme heat?

An ancient human like civilization exists on a planet like our own but warmer, with more deserts and smaller oceans. Climate change is forcing the daytime temperature slowly upwards. What measures ...
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7answers
4k views

How to make classical firearms effective on space habitats despite the coriolis effect?

The direction of the force will always be perpendicular to velocity and pointing to the opposite side of the rotation direction. In plain terms, any object traveling in the rotation plane: up (toward ...
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15answers
7k views

Is it plausible that a country developed steam engines before gunpowder?

Man, I really have to find a way to stop getting into logic dead-ends. So, in the story I’m writing, there’s this country that developed big bad war machines that run on steam engines. The way they ...
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8answers
5k views

How do massive starships levitate?

This scene is commonly seen: A huge starship levitates over the surface of a planet or a moon, staying effortlessly in one place, or moving slowly around at the fixed height. But how? Required ...
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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 ...
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4answers
1k views

What would the economic impact of the ability to transmute lead into gold?

Okay, my first trial run, How would humans and society react to a superhero existing and saving the earth?, of social sciences with hard-science is looking some what sickly at the moment (maybe ...
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4answers
6k views

How fuel-efficient are airships?

I'm putting together a steampunk novel, and I'm trying to plot out the course the main characters are taking. Let's say I have a small airship, meant for a crew of half a dozen to a dozen. Let's say ...
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2answers
2k views

How would nanobots consume objects?

I've been thinking about a cyberpunk universe where nanobots are a universal force capable of achieving many things, examples include: Biological and medical modifications of the human body Construct/...
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9answers
2k views

What form of anti-gravity is the most feasible?

Many sci-fi words use anti-gravity or artificial gravity to manipulate the weight of their ships making flight much easier. Wikipedia even has an article on it which discusses several attempts to make ...
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8answers
463 views

What limitations can I put on wings for more tense/risky action scenes?

This is my first post on Stack Exchange, so I'm not sure if this follows the right format. Let me know what I can change to make this more helpful on the site. Anyways, let's get to the backstory of ...
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12answers
550 views

How to limit the growth of a magic item that eats other magic items to gain their abilities?

I'm trying to design a magic item that can eat other magic items to gain their abilities. However, I keep running into a problem. Eventually, the magic item becomes semi-omnipotent as the abilities ...
31
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14answers
7k views

How would an army defend itself against mass robo-snake attacks?

This is set in a near-future war where advanced remote technology exists, drones and other automated weapons fight alongside human fighting units. These battles mainly take place in temperate ...
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11answers
4k views

What are the advantages of exposed bridge on spacecraft?

For most sci-fi movies/tv series ship bridge/main control room is exposed (external part of ship). Examples: Star Wars Star Destroyers Stargate Dedalus/Destiny/Atlantis(top of main highest tower) ...
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12answers
4k views

Benevolent aliens will help us all- on one condition. Can we end all wars?

Background It's a nice spring day on May 23, 2016. You sit outside with a radio and tune in to the news. In the middle of hearing the station talk about [insert politician here], you hear a large ...
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8answers
4k views

What kind of footwear is suitable for walking in micro gravity environment?

Set in the near future, the interior of the spaceship is coated with thin layers of Teflon approximately 10mm average thickness on top of titanium alloy which in case you are wondering it is weakly ...
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10answers
7k views

What are the power options for intelligent humanoid robots?

In my future setting on Earth (or an Earth-like planet; haven't decided), the fields of robotics and AI have taken off and we have intelligent, ambulatory robots. (They were initially thought of as ...
14
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7answers
1k views

How to shield my spaceship against all that deadly radiation?

Spaceships are a peculiar thing. We've got them in all forms, sizes & colours. They are everywhere and go everywhere else. carrying with them anything from music, over tractors, to foodstuffs and ...