Questions tagged [technology]

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

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18
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13answers
8k views

How close can we get to heated blades?

In many sci-fi scenarii, most often when mechs are involved, it is not uncommon to see such a technology, usually called heated blade. Supposedly, it would make the blade even more efficient at ...
18
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4answers
2k views

The Information Desk provides all sorts of Information; how did it work?

I am wanting to build a world with a strong retail presence, and became interested in the Information Desk at Selfridge's. This was not the simple standard store information desk, where you ask ...
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4answers
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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
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Ancient Light Trigger Mechanism

In the first scene of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, we see a booby trap where a series of spikes are thrusted out of a wall, and are triggered by "walking into the light". I think in ...
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16answers
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How does a modern military defend against a guerrilla Army of wizards

Magic in this world comes from an external Force which is virtually Unlimited. So, Wizards won't get tired from doing spells; they could continue doing spells for weeks if they could stay awake that ...
17
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12answers
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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 ...
17
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10answers
5k views

Is there a technology capable of disabling the whole of Earth's satellitle network?

Machine-based communication (and navigation) relies extensively on satellites. In the future, with the massification of 5G, more and more reliance will be put on satellites (e.g. the Internet of ...
17
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13answers
1k views

Personal Shield Generators effects on Strategy/Logistics/Tactics

In World War II shield generators were discovered. As their durability or surface area coverage scales up the cost exponentially increases. By their nature they wrap around the target approximately, ...
17
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7answers
4k views

Advanced Technology in a Fireless World?

I have this world in my cosmic garden where open flames are not possible in the primary atmosphere (either not enough oxygen or some other factor that limits free burning of fuel). Given that ...
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9answers
4k views

WIll we use crappy design like R2 units in Star Wars for our factory droids?

I was wondering, there's something that keeps me asking myself in Star Wars and other SF universes. Many S-F universe use "vintage" or "crappy" or "old-fashioned" designs for robots. Like C3PO & ...
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5answers
4k views

Which inorganic tool can never work when 3D printed?

3D printing technology has come of age, its application is widespread and has already started to replace many manufacturing processes. Let us cut to the chase: I am wondering if we can really print ...
17
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15answers
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How could a town/city be annihilated without anyone knowing?

It's modern day, and aliens travel to Earth (cloaked so that no one is aware of them). They send huge robots down to a town or city and manage to kill everyone there, apart from a single survivor. ...
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16answers
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Science, Religion, Magic: Can they be maintained in equal and parallel opposition?

This has been a burning question of mine for many years: If magic is real, can it be true that rational scientific thought should exclude it? In the course of discussing it, I've realized I need to ...
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15answers
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Using physics - How can a character fly

I am writing a story in which the characters have some power over the physical world - literally able to transform their knowledge of physics into powers. I am trying to determine a good way for them ...
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7answers
2k views

What would be the next technological step for a civilization after it has depleted all resources that allow for conventional technologies?

Imagine a world that reaches the end of its resources in silicon, petrol, coal, metals... everything that allows for conventional technology — even before it has found a way over it (renewable energy ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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6answers
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Why would A.I. develop superiority complex?

Set in near future probably in the mid of 22nd century AD, most of our labours are being overtaken by robots and especially in those sectors which requires zero room for error such as surgical ...
17
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5answers
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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 ...
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11answers
6k views

Could aliens with a WW2 technology level steal and use technology from current day humanity?

In my world, the walls between realms are breaking apart. There are portals (using that word to simplify things) that allow travel between dimensions and across space. One alien race has technology ...
16
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26answers
4k views

Limit computation technology in a futuristic society

I'm wondering what kind of events or limitations would be needed in a science fiction society hundreds of years into the future in order limit computational advances to the level of the early 70's to ...
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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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10answers
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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 ...
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20answers
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An exotic yet portable powersource

For my current setting, there will be super robots of ludicrous proportions strutting about as though they own the place (which in all honesty they actually do). So, being so nonsensically powerful, ...
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13answers
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How does a migratory species advance past the Stone Age? [duplicate]

In a world I am building the day and night cycle lasts nine years, resulting in the majority of animals migrating across the planet. One of the problems my sapient races suffer is that they cannot ...
16
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11answers
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What sort of rules / limitations could govern and affect a crystal resource that is both anti-gravity and energy-producing?

I apologise if this is rather vague but I'm struggling with creating a concept that would allow a Victorian (steampunk) civilisation to have antigravity ships and floating islands through the use of a ...
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5answers
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Is it possible for underground bunkers on different continents to be connected?

In a scenario I'm thinking of, the Earth has been nuked bare and a few remnants of humanity are surviving in their underground bunkers. Let's say there is one in North America, one in Central American,...
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9answers
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What underwater creature would be well-suited as a pack animal?

Suppose that there was a tribe of nomadic mermaids whose lives were primarily centered around following pods of dolphins to eat. They live in the equivalent of the frigid antarctic seas. As they ...
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3answers
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Is it possible to detect a flying creature hiding inside a cloud with our current technology?

In my story, flying creatures rule the sky. These creatures are usually tiny like an eagle or a vulture compared to huge (cumulus/cumulonimbus) clouds and these creatures always hunt and hide as ...
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6answers
2k views

How would technological progress occur in a society that outlawed computerized technology?

Most technological progress today seems to be founded on the innovation that is happening in the realm of computers. If a society were to outlaw the use of computers, but the drive for scientific ...
16
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8answers
737 views

How to build a gun that shoots wet towels?

If you've never been in a shower fight you cannot possibly imagine the pain a wet towel can inflict.. Pete Williams, 12b Avergreen Road, 4th grade, likes Brussels sprouts1 A towel can be many ...
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4answers
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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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6answers
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How important is fire? [closed]

Fire (or the ability to create it) is often cited as the spark of civilization, it is so revered that its inventors are legendary figures in mythology. Practically speaking, fire can: Keep you warm, ...
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4answers
794 views

Would it be possible to raise a piece of land from the ocean's floor?

Would it be possible to raise a piece of land (say the size of Texas or France) from the bottom of an ocean (say, the middle of the South Pacific)? More specifically, would it be possible (given the ...
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31answers
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What is a good excuse for why an early 1900's-like fantasy world has not yet invented rifles / guns of any sort?

I am writing a book where the world is split into multiple kingdoms, with each kingdom using a similar magic system to the rest, but using different powers. IE one can control the elements, another ...
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9answers
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Is there a plausible way to build a pipette with medieval technology?

I'd like for a character in a vaguely medieval fantasy to be able to dispense drops of a ink reliably from a pipette, but I'm not sure whether this is a plausible - the tech level is pre-1500, but it ...
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8answers
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How far can a civilization technologically grow beyond others?

Exactly what it says on the tin. How far ahead of the rest of the world could a civilization be before others catch on and start using the newer tech for themselves? For instance: is it feasible for ...
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12answers
5k views

How cheap do prosthetics have to be for poor people to afford them?

A common sight that can be seen in Sci-fi is the sheer amount of people who have prosthetic limbs. Even characters who are apparently live in conditions implying they are poor are somehow able to buy ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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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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23answers
2k views

The singularity does not happen. Why?

The singularity can make a lot of problems for those of us who like our sci-fi low, gritty, and human ... or our possible futures a little more reasonably calculable. So I thought it might be useful ...
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8answers
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Placement of redundant containment systems?

In the near future humanity discovers a spatial anomaly at a point located somewhere between the orbits of mars and earth. This anomaly quickly induces delirium in anybody who approaches it and even ...
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7answers
2k views

Is it possible to detect or recognize mammals, fishes or any other sea creatures that swims in an ocean from a flying aircraft?

I am working on a story and I would like to know if it's possible to detect or recognize mammals, fishes or any other sea creatures that swims in an ocean from an aircraft with our current technology ...
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8answers
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How could a server explode? [closed]

In short: there are a few servers in a small server room. Being cheap general not-really-business-oriented machines, they did not necessarily have good safety features from the beginning, and what's ...
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15answers
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Which is a more effective strategic weapon/deterrent in a medieval fantasy world. A flying ship or a super gun or spellarms?

The Situation After 4 years being a baron, the empire that you are sharing a border with decides to declare war to your suzerain. It will take at least a year for them to muster their whole army and ...
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13answers
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Logistics of a hovering watercraft in a fantasy setting

So in my fantasy world, there exists a substance that (when applied to the surface of an object) repels water in the same way a very strong magnet would. This allows boats to hover above the surface ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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How to get rid of all the heat in my spaceship?

Spaceships are a peculiar thing. We've got them in all forms, sizes & colours. They run on nuclear fusion, creating loads of power driving all sorts of shenanigans... but they still generate lots ...
15
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2answers
543 views

Would a Roman civilization be willing and capable of building large scale sea defences against a serious but unrealised flood threat?

Scenario The straits of Gibraltar never quite opened and the entire Mediterranean basin is dry land apart from a few large salt water lakes at the lowest points ~5% by area. The Europe – Africa land ...
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7answers
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What if an Earth-like planet had no axial tilt? (climate and technology) [closed]

Hey guys, thanks for the suggestions and answers - here's a more streamlined question - presently focused on implications on climate and technology. I've also added a little more explanation in the ...