Questions tagged [technology]

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

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16
votes
10answers
4k views

Is it possible to have a Society to evolve into a industrial age society without discovering gunpowder

I want my world to be set in early to mid Industrial Age but for various reasons that I won't go into here I don't want there to be any gunpowder based weapons. Is it possible for a society to ...
15
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4answers
3k views

Is the bottom of the ocean a good place to make a long-term base?

What's happening: It's the year 2019. Russia announces that they've developed a few 245-megaton atomic missiles and threaten to detonate one on in the USA. The American president dictator, Donald ...
14
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15answers
5k views

Can there be a long-range railway system without industrialisation?

Consider a civilization with pre-industrial, possibly even pre-gunpowder technology, but the economic incentive to have continent-spanning railway tracks. Would it be possible for them to build those ...
11
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3answers
2k views

What would the world be like after 10,000 years if we all suddenly disappeared?

My story involves everyone in the year 2015 suddenly disappearing. What would visitors to Earth find if they arrived in the year 12015, or 10,000 years after we all disappeared? Assume none of our ...
11
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7answers
987 views

Towering Titans of Technological Terror

Okay, this is unrelated to my current world building in any way whatsoever, but... I have always been a huge fan of the humongous mecha genre (bonus points to anyone who actually recognized my avatar ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Could there be a group of people with highly advanced technology?

Is it possible that a group of "elite" humans have highly advanced technology, but have kept it hidden? For example, is it possible that some people already had powerful computers and automobiles (...
10
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5answers
2k views

How would a Dragon society, separated from a human society for 500 years, up until the modern day, have advanced differently?

Let me outline the current world at the moment: Its a modern society, with smart phones and jet planes, much past the medieval ages where humans warred with dragons. The fact that dragons were so ...
10
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7answers
507 views

What features might a wind-powered ship designed for travel over sand have?

In this world, a nation's army uses sailing ships to travel across a desert. They only travel at one time of year, during which a very powerful windstorm blows from the East. They leverage the wind to ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Sci-fi Science: Physics of Impossibru: “Force fields”

Welcome to this fun little series, that will explore all the classic sci-fi tropes and attempts to turn them into reality with the ALMIGHTY POWER OF SCIENCE! Today's topic is: The Force Field What ...
8
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4answers
669 views

Magic carpet maximum flying speed and height

I have a magic carpet, but the only thing magic about it is that it flies where and how its owner directs it. No bubble around it, no other magic; she has to hold onto it. I'm wondering how fast ...
8
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3answers
1k views

How early can transparent glass windows be easily available?

TL;DR: How early can windows made of transparent glass (can look through) be readily available (not a rare luxury) to "common" citizens (at least top 10% of population)? Disclaimer: I know very ...
6
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7answers
949 views

Phasing Superhero

Currently I am working on how to explain a character that can "phase" through objects in a similar manner to Martian ManHunter. His abilities are negated by certain (rare) metals. His ability could ...
5
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1answer
233 views

Is it possible for type II civ to resuscitate dying star?

I suppose there is sufficient time for us to achieve type 2 civ status on the Kardashev scale, that means we cannibalise the Sun! Joke aside would such a civilization level be sufficient to revert a ...
5
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4answers
761 views

Where would water come from in an underground colony?

A large solar flare event ignites the atmosphere of Earth, but luckily, humans have been preparing for an event like this for some time. We have a fairly large shelter around 2.2 kilometers ...
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5answers
1k views

How long will our technology last?

Say there's some sort of apocalypse. A few hundred years from now, the ruins of our civilization will still be standing, but what about our technology? Obviously computers, robots and complex vehicles ...
3
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3answers
758 views

What would an Earth-like binary system be like?

I've been interested in binary systems lately, and I was recently wondering what Earth would be like if it was in a binary orbit with another Earth-like planet. Both planets exhibit the following ...
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3answers
2k views

What alternate course of technological advacement could realistically have occured? [closed]

Imagine you're writing an alternate history or parallel universe set at present day or possible sometime a little before present day. Being an alternate history technology and society would have ...
27
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9answers
6k views

The Anti-Santa: Dealing with the Naughty List

Old Nick is Saint Nicholas' elder brother. He sees his brother's good work at Christmas and wants to help in his own way, and sees a gap in the market (he really can't compete with spreading good). ...
25
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14answers
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What would drive people to risk death in the deep?

Dateline: 2067 Setting: A research base at the bottom of the Marianas Trench Depth: 10,000 meters. Mission Duration: Thirty days A research base lies at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, housing ...
22
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17answers
7k views

How to defend against the “convince-me” ray gun?

A secret organization operating out of an undisclosed location for an undisclosed parent organizations have invented a "convince-me" ray gun (CMRG) that works by an unknown mechanism. After an idea ...
22
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10answers
6k views

Really, really hard wood - how is it cut and formed?

In the County of the Isles, on Ironwood Island, there grow the Ironwood Trees. Ironwood is close to steel in strength, doesn't take an edge well, and is lighter than steel. The technology level of ...
19
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15answers
4k views

Steam Powered Hammer

Question So lets say a post-apocalyptic society that primarily uses steam to power everything wants to make war hammers that have their impact force enhanced through the power of steam. What ways ...
18
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7answers
8k views

How long does an era last? What are the key factors in moving on?

In this story I'm writing, I start in a sword and sandal "age of myth" type setting, but as the centuries press on, it becomes medieval in nature. As even more time passes, there is even some ...
17
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5answers
2k views

Biological Spaceships - Possible?

My source of inspiration and imagination... StarGate Atlantis Tv-Series: Wraith hive-ships were mainly biological. Genesis Rising Pc-game: The game itself, storyline, human technology, etc based ...
15
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5answers
498 views

What factors could lead to a narrow focus of technology?

In many SF stories (or fantasy if you replace science with magic), there is one technology that is hyper advanced in one specific field, like robotics in Real Humans or in Extant, but almost nothing ...
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6answers
6k views

Could humanity survive in a closed box?

Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Humans require energy (food) to operate, but that energy must return back to the environment one way or another. If given an unlimited supply of handwave ...
14
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9answers
4k views

Automobiles after the apocalypse

So last year I started writing a post-apocalyptic story, and then realized I had no idea what the world was really like, and quite a few things just didn't seem to make sense. One of the biggest that ...
14
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7answers
2k views

Is there a scientifically plausible way to wipe out power & communications in an urban-fantasy Earth?

In this question, I asked what would happen if a supernatural EMP hit an urban-fantasy Earth. The answers pointed out a flaw in my assumption: an EMP, supernatural or otherwise, would not likely have ...
13
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5answers
833 views

Hiding own space program

Question inspired by movies You only live twice and Moonraker: I am Evil Overlord at his best: I am super rich person with net worth of 32 billion US dollars. I already own island and I am making ...
13
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10answers
4k views

Reverse engineering electronics

I haven't found this question anywhere else so I don't think it's a duplicate. So here it goes, some background information of the world. Suppose there is a civilization with access to magic which ...
12
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5answers
794 views

The Project Sahara

This is The Sahara Project my grandfather made up with me: On the western African coast and its surroundings, where the rocky Sahara desert lies, great fields of solar panels will be placed; they ...
11
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10answers
3k views

She Can Move Mountains (Literally)

Imagine we're in a world where massive, outrageous amounts of energy are available at our fingertips. Perhaps one of those crazy cold fusion ideas panned out, or we eventually built ourselves a --...
11
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3answers
1k views

What if time travel had to take into account spatial distance?

In this setting, humanity has advanced to the technological capability of extra stellar travel via faster-than-light drives. However, due to distances between inhabited areas being extremely large, ...
8
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8answers
744 views

How can I change my Luck?

The Gerontocracy of the Favored has ruled essentially the entirety of the Known World for countless generations. The Old Favored might be men, might be machines, or some strange combination thereof. ...
8
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7answers
953 views

How do I track someone who wants to disappear using a submarine? [closed]

My first thought when I read How can I hide my island? was that if the villain is being tracked by satellite imagery, they should just go to the island via submarine. But then I realized I don't ...
7
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7answers
905 views

The Project Sahara V2

Edit: A bounty was offered; Later, I answered my question - see below the looong math answer. I accepted it, because it's the only one to calculate the outcome with all the parameters included. I'll ...
7
votes
7answers
366 views

Alternative for magnetic boots

In many sci-fi settings magnetic boots are used to help astronauts walk in microgravity. However, not all materials are ferromagnetic. Titanium, aluminum, the most form of carbon and silica can not be ...
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5answers
1k views

How to quickly leave a planet for another planet en mass starting out from stone age tools?

An alien race decides to test the hability of humans to survive and engage into space travel, for whatever reason. The planets The aliens prepares a pair of Earth-like planets revolving around a ...
6
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10answers
2k views

How to build a tsunami proof island city?

Igbi Island, a remote island located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, is notorious for its extremely powerful megatsunamis, huge, deadly waves averaging 500 feet (≈ 150m), but sometimes ...
6
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9answers
857 views

Anachronistic things built with medieval technology

In Back to the Future III, there is a scene where the professor has built an ice cube maker with 'wild west' technology. I'm not actually sure if that's possible, but given a solid understanding of ...
5
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2answers
428 views

Could a Tidally Locked Moon Ever be “Unlocked” via Artificial Means?

Premise The motivation as to why one would want to give a tidal locked moon a spin is out of the scope of this question. I only want to focus on the feasibility. Suffice to say there could be a few ...
5
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10answers
2k views

What prevents magic from being used scientifically? [closed]

In a fantasy world that behaves like our world where the same basic laws of physics, chemistry, etc. apply, except for the addition of magical abilities and forces - what prevents magic from being ...
5
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12answers
3k views

space-born ship-to-ship combat 150 years from now w fission/fusion tech

Let's assume 150 years from now Mankind has really made the leap to space, and there are a bunch of colonies spread perhaps over a radius of 2 to 3 solar systems (where Sol is the center, i.e. a total ...
4
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3answers
668 views

Kinetic energy reflection

I've had in mind for a while now a device that could reflect kinetic energy back onto an instigating surface. For example, a blade-like version of this device is planted in the ground in front of an ...
4
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3answers
3k views

Can we build a 3D maneuver gear from Attack on Titan?

Context In the animé Attack on Titan, armed forces use a special device called 3D maneuver gear (also called vertical movement gear) to move through the air. The system is based on a pair of ...
26
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7answers
4k views

How could a simple submarine be built using 100 BC technology?

I have some ideas, but I'd like my fictional Roman (100BC) General Mikey (ha) to build a submarine(s). This should be able to navigate in lakes and calm shores of the Mediterranean, succeed in ...
23
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3answers
3k views

What knowledge of the reasons for steel strength did medieval smiths have?

What did smiths/metallurgists know about why some steel was stronger than other steel in the early 15th century in Western Europe? I want to know so I can determine whether my mages could come up ...
17
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7answers
1k views

Occultic FTL Drive

In a hypothetical futuristic society that blends arcane magic with science, humanity has spread across the galaxy. FTL drives exist, but they are relatively slow and must exit at the outer edge of a ...
17
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8answers
1k views

Personal identification chip installation [duplicate]

In Futurama every person has a chip implanted with their personal details and a predetermined job. On the show the chip seems to be implanted in to one of their hands, and is easily removable. Where ...
14
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6answers
3k views

Is Ternary a option for a tech future?

I have an idea for a story set in the near future, with a character who breaks onto the global scene with a breakthrough advance in technology that makes him billions. My question is whether or not ...