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Questions tagged [technology]

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

8
votes
1answer
369 views

What kind of engine could the 14-15th century world create?

If someone in the 14-15th century world had the knowledge required to build an engine for use in locomotives and ships, what kind of engine could be made using technology that already existed back ...
-2
votes
2answers
109 views

How to physically force a remotedly controlled cannon to shoot? [closed]

Imagine there is an advanced spaceship. It's huge, and it's equipped with cannons operated by some kind of advanced energy source (atomic and upwards). This source is located in the same room as the ...
0
votes
1answer
148 views

How would immersion in water affect a gas-mask?

As he debuted his super hero career as an unlicensed superhero, my main character always wears a gas-mask to conceal his identity and protect himself against tear-gas from police force. Before ...
-1
votes
4answers
131 views

What advancements in firearms technology to increase overall effectiveness could we see with material science more advanced than what we have today? [closed]

If there was access to more advanced material sciences (such as polymers, metallurgy, plastics, and ceramics), what new developments in weapons technology could we see that can be as paradigm changing ...
6
votes
3answers
392 views

How must computers/telecommunication deviate from reality for a retrofuturistic setting?

. I love the aesthetics of retrofuturistic settingsand I aim to build my own. A mixture of a fantastical, Thundercats(2011),Outlaw Star x Star*Drive. How yesterday saw tomorrow is quite fascinating ...
3
votes
3answers
258 views

How to use and maintain assault rifles brought to the past

A group of time-traveling soldiers ends up in 15th century Europe. They have an arsenal of either AR's or SMG's and need to use them until their resources (ammo) run out. How can they maintain the ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

How can I turn ice into gold?

I have my eyes on this new Porsche but all I have is an unlimited supply of ice and a molecular distillery. How can I convert this ice into gold? The molecular distillery can disassemble and ...
5
votes
8answers
282 views

Locking an old spaceship from the outside?

I know it may be a bit of a silly question and not really something of great importance to a story, but how would you secure a spaceship when you leave? For example; when the Millennium Falcon lands ...
3
votes
1answer
196 views

Ancient, medieval, and middle ages ship speeds

I think an opportunity was missed when this question was asked, but closed. It is relevant to worldbuilding in the same way that this question and this question are, to determine how far apart ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

How realistic is it for civilization to regress to a pre-industrial era? [duplicate]

So here's a quick setup: One or two calamities hit as once. No one is spared and every nation on earth is effected by it. Soon the population dwindles to roughly the same number as the 1800's which is ...
3
votes
3answers
331 views

What's a modern era armor that would be best for a late medieval-style fantasy world?

Armor has changed to meet the needs and demands of a particular time period's training, technology, and combat styles. If you were sent to a medieval fantasy world- full of monsters, mounted knights,...
3
votes
3answers
157 views

Mechanism to slow down the light emitted by an object such that it will result in inaccurate position of the object to the observer?

Let's say that there are two people named S and C. They are not far apart; less than 10 meters. Let's also assume the scenario takes place in late evening or in the night, for simplicity. Normally ...
4
votes
7answers
463 views

Most effective Faraday-Cage hat design to avoid government spying

A tin foil hat is a hat made from one or more sheets of aluminium foil, or a piece of conventional headgear lined with foil, worn in the belief or hope that it shields the brain from threats such ...
7
votes
3answers
433 views

Practicality Of Orbital Fusion Reactors for Power

Much of the struggle with terrestrial fusion power seems to be with keeping the ultra-hot plasma contained. In a classic Tokamak configuration, magnets using massive amounts of power, suspend the ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Could someone reasonably clean off and return a child's toy retrieved from a radioactive fallout zone?

So... I've been playing a lot of the video game Subnautica lately, which put me in the mood for a "trying to cope with being marooned on an alien planet" sort of story; however, there's something in ...
5
votes
2answers
78 views

Technological Animal Control

In various TV series and movies villains or organisations have been shown to control animals through technological or cybernetic means, such as the future predators in Primeval. These creatures have ...
4
votes
2answers
119 views

What water generating technology would be required to create a planetary scale flood?

Aqadatio is a planet which is completely flooded. This flood was generated by its own government to get out of debt (long story). The inhabitants of this planet are technologically advanced, more so ...
68
votes
34answers
19k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
163 views

How much equipment would be needed to set up a mining colony?

Setting: a mining colony on a distant world, exporting rare-earth minerals. As in many space opera stories, the world is a shirtsleeve environment with a reasonably pleasant biosphere. Tech level: I ...
-1
votes
3answers
150 views

Using Snow to generate Electricity in Antarctica

So I had an idea for an emergency electricity generator that works like this: you fill a bucket up with snow, you pour it down a hatch and the snow spins some turbines which spin some generators to ...
5
votes
5answers
655 views

A Roman-technology clock run by slaves - how to make it accurate

In a land similar to the Roman Empire, slaves are used to drive machinery. Mostly this is a matter of getting them to pull carts or wind handles. The Emperor wants a clock that is accurate to the ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

What could prevent a planet from possessing magnets/electricity?

Without changing a planet from being habitable for humans and keeping a similar ecosystem why could intelligent races never access electricity? What systems need to be erased from the planet to not ...
0
votes
2answers
261 views

How to keep intelligent races from discovering electricity?

Without changing a planet from being habitable for humans and keeping a similar ecosystem why could intelligent races never access electricity? ...
9
votes
1answer
124 views

What are the fundamental limitations of echolocation in Earth's atmosphere?

I'm writing a cyberpunk novel where one of the characters has an augmentation that allows them to echolocate. The idea is that there is a device on the center of his forehead (is there a more optimal ...
29
votes
12answers
7k views

Enforcing a speed limit in medieval times

The Emperor has decreed that the speed limit for horses and horse-drawn vehicles within city limits is to be 5 leagues per hour. As usual he has left the implementation details to his Scientific ...
4
votes
5answers
157 views

Hypothetical: Could living standards improve in a zero economic and population growth society?

This is a hypothetical question, with the intention of exploring the nature of wealth and standard of living. By zero growth, I mean that the output of goods and services produced per person does not ...
11
votes
9answers
4k views

Victorian CCTV?

In a setting of late Victorian technology, would it be possible to record and replay sound and light near-real-time similar to modern video-recordings? The ideal criteria for the system would be (in ...
1
vote
2answers
310 views

What can I do with perfectly precise “weights”? [closed]

Suppose I have a few "weights". Half of them, and I know which half, has a mass EXACTLY, to infinite precision, twice the other half. I know that very quickly the weights will not be exactly related ...
8
votes
5answers
750 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
138 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
335 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
167 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
445 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
93 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
133 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
472 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
112 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
102 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
154 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 ...
8
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 ...
23
votes
10answers
2k 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 spacecraft and space stations will be ...
7
votes
7answers
457 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
267 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 ...