Questions tagged [technology]

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

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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 ...
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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 ...
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16answers
7k views

Fantasy alarm clocks

In my fantasy story, it has come to a point in which it is completely necessary for lead to wake up at a certain time that his body is not accustomed to, however, this made me stop. It is crucial that ...
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14answers
8k views

What body armor protects against a laser?

I've been working on a mostly-realistic story set, let's say, 500 years in the future. Humans have colonized the solar system and no longer live on Earth. Semi-automatic weapons with frangible rounds ...
22
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17answers
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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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11answers
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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 ...
22
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30answers
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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 ...
22
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15answers
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Magical internet - unique addressing system

Inspired by recent watching of Shrek 2 and by Lord of The Rings: When talking about magical Orbs or Mirrors, we have mostly in mind above picture. Skilful mage operates hard to obtain device. But ...
22
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10answers
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A World Without Mathematics

What significant technologies would be lost in a world without "Advanced" Mathematics? Specifically, what technologies required to get to the next level of scientific progress in an area would be lost....
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4answers
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Severed Space Elevator

If the ground end of a space elevator was severed, what would the unfolding event look like from the ground? What would the movement(s) look like, and over what period of time? I’m assuming that it’...
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5answers
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How might you detect a “life sign”?

It's a common trope in science-fiction: "scanning for life signs". A few taps on the screen, and you get an instant population count, often with the ability to distinguish species, and even personal ...
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17answers
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What is the viability of trains on planets covered in water?

I want to write a science fiction book on a planet mostly covered by ocean, but I also want to incorporate trains into my story. However, it seems that with advances in ship and plane technology, ...
21
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17answers
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What is a medieval technology method of underwater enemy detection?

I am writing a DnD module where fishmen are invading island nations. The islands would naturally have adapted to this in some way as the raids have been happening for years. What method would these ...
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15answers
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Symbiotic benefits for large sentient bio-machine

I’m working on a setting, and have a state I want to achieve but need to come up with a compelling reason for why it is the way it is (even if no one but me ever knows the ‘why’.) I’m after a reasoned,...
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18answers
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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 ...
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12answers
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What would be an ideal breathable atmosphere for a planet so that fire couldn't start naturally?

I want to have an intelligent life-form on a planet, but I want this life form to be technologically limited because of the lack of discovery of fire. What changes would have to occur in the ...
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14answers
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What would hinder the exploration of an alien outpost?

Let's say the dots on Ceres are abandoned alien outposts. Within the next 40-200 years humanity manages to send a team of research scientists to the location. The scientists quickly found a way inside ...
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10answers
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How would we compile our code if all our binaries disappeared?

How would we compile our code if all the binaries in the world disappeared and we had only the source code? At first you might think “It’s all okay: I have my Roslyn code here”, but wait! It’s in C#! ...
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6answers
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Exploration of a 50 mile high mountain

My friends and I are building a world with a 50 mile high volcano on it. The mountain is the result of some bored god deciding to play a joke on everyone. Or, some other god got angry and decided to ...
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7answers
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How might it be possible to move a star?

I'm imagining a super-powerful spacefaring race which has the capability to build or modify a star system or even galaxy by moving stars around, but I wonder if it's really feasible. Is it ...
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6answers
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Where are all the bodies?

In my near (+200 years) future world teleportation has been invented and is now in common use especially for off-world travelling, but it works by creating a perfect copy of the travelling human ...
20
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15answers
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How to bootstrap technological development from one man in the forest, to building a spaceship? [closed]

The last human alive is on the Antarctic continent and needs to find a way to leave the planet before Earth becomes unsustainable for life. (He would look for a planet orbiting a younger star. That ...
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14answers
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Can a robotic army really defeat humanity?

A common sight, made famous by the Terminator franchise, is the robotic apocalypse. It's usually said that due to their lack of organs and ability to use radiation and biological warfare without a ...
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20answers
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How to enslave a species that can transport themselves anywhere on the planet instantaneously?

I'm thinking of creating a story where a relatively peaceful species is capable of taking themselves apart and then putting themselves back together again in a different place. Because of this, a ...
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13answers
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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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9answers
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How to create a seawall with medieval technology?

A seawall is basically a coastal defense to prevent waves and tsunamis. Let's suppose there is a town that is located in a lagoon next to the ocean, a sea version of Esgaroth, the lake town. In this ...
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10answers
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How could the current model of the Solar System have been recognized and accepted earlier?

Many factors in history have contributed to society's taking a long time to accept the heliocentric (= the Earth orbits the Sun) model: the first that come to mind immediately are religion and, more ...
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13answers
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What non-intuitive modern items would be useful in a medieval-ish world?

The world is similar to that in Prince of Thorns: namely, so far in the future that civilization has essentially reset, and is back to a medieval level of technology and culture. However, there are ...
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6answers
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Sonar Jamming Squids

Context In the arms race of survival many animals have developed ways of evading predators, but the animal I am interested in for this question would be the tiger moth. So basically these guys jam ...
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3answers
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How to design tentacle massage machine?

I started to wonder about the possibility of a tentacle massage machine. To make the setting even more bizarre, it was intended to be a mass market home appliance. The tech level should be comparable ...
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5answers
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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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19answers
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The most secured, completely untraceable mobile phones in the world

I'm writing a story about a company similar to Google, i.e. which wants to know everything about everyone and which wants to trace everything what is traceable out there. But which, in the same time, ...
19
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10answers
5k views

Planetary defense in an interstellar society

Let's say that you are some sort of tyrannical dictator of an inhabited world with futuristic technology (ex. railguns, a fully automated labor force, efficient space travel.) You know that within ...
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15answers
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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 ...
19
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14answers
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How can I save a high-tech/no-spaceflight civilization against the wrath of non-technological gods?

The Problem: Atlantis has angered the gods. Having developed fantastical technologies far beyond the rest of the planet, they have managed to challenge the gods themselves. The gods' reaction is to ...
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18answers
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How can I explain mind control without using magic?

Mind control is a favourite tool of science fiction writers, it allows us to make certain characters do things that they would normally never do without the hassle of explanation. But hard science ...
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15answers
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Combat in age of swords and railguns

In a world that i am building, there is an advanced civilization that is somewhat close to 21st century humans. Two of the differences are: they have discovered electricity much earlier than we did ...
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6answers
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How could the elevator at The Wall be powered?

In the show Game of Thrones there is this thing called The Wall. It is a monstrous, 300 mile (≈ 483 km) long bulwark consisting of a fortified ice wall that is 700 feet (≈ 213 meters) high (check the ...
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4answers
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In a post-apocalypse world, with no power and few survivors, would Satnav still work?

Assuming: there was no power, so there was no web/internet you had a mobile phone (one of the smart ones, not a basic one) powered by solar the phone had maps downloaded on to its memory card (so you ...
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8answers
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How would an aquatic civilisation forge tools?

One of the first steps in technological is the ability of a civilisation to forge tools* humans achieved this by using fire and creating forges. There are obviously underwater heat sources but I don'...
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10answers
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In a world with escape velocity greater than the speed of light, would a civilization be able to reach space?

Htrae is a planet with an abnormally strong gravity. In Htrae, the escape velocity is greater than the speed of light. Suppose a civilization like humans (call them snamuhs) evolves, with the unique ...
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11answers
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Implications of a Lightsaber on the Middle Ages

Imagine if by chance, a Lightsaber was transferred using a time machine to the middle ages. At first it was found by a peasant. The poor fellow didn't know what to do with it, so he sold it for a few ...
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10answers
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Are sheer numbers enough to beat a foe with more advanced technology?

In an all out battle between two forces with one side having such advanced technology and weapons that they appear as magic (from now on called wizards) and the other side have nothing but spears and ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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How to enforce belief in technology as divine without an enforcing class

I have a civilization in my story structured around the idea of worshiping the sun(s) as gods. The Church is the ruling body of this interstellar civilization and ensures that the "Blessings of the ...
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6answers
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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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3answers
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New York to Los Angeles using no fuel

In my very lengthy story in the near future, there are some great 'Modern Marvels'. The next one I'm going to introduce might not be feasible, but if it is, I'd like to attach some numbers to it. ...
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6answers
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Technology without heavier elements

The theory of Late Heavy Bombardment says that approximately 4 billions of years ago, something disturbed the orbits of asteroids in the Kuiper belt, which caused extremely heavy bombardment of Earth ...
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2answers
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Is a 3-D printed silencer feasible?

Would it be feasible to construct a weapon silencer with modern day 3-D printers and available materials? If so, what might the lifespan be? Is there any chance of creating a durable device or is it ...
18
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9answers
945 views

Compressed air lighting?

So I've got this civilization that doesn't have electricity, but does have municipal power distribution via compressed air lines. Now, you can do a lot of useful things with compressed air. Even in ...