Questions tagged [technology]

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

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6
votes
7answers
167 views

Android vs. Biped/Humanoid Robot in the Military

In the story I am writing, a robotics company receives funding from the military to create a prototype for a combat android capable of passing as human but I am having trouble justifying the need for ...
17
votes
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
99 views

Impact on the Environment of a Steam-Powered World

So in the world I've been creating, I decided that the inhabited world (which is actually pretty small because of reasons) uses steam power as its main source of energy. This inhabited area is about ...
4
votes
2answers
375 views

When is the earliest in Earth history when Grade 5 Titanium alloy could be made, assuming one knows the formula and has the feedstock?

Bob the time traveler has a problem. He went to 75,000,000 BC to get some dinosaur eggs (don't ask) and his time machine re-combobulator broke and a big chunk is missing. Fortunately he can still ...
5
votes
3answers
219 views

Can Humanity Expand to the Oceans?

Consider a large landmass such as Australia. Imagine if they hypothetically wanted to expand their borders, but they already used up all of their landmass, including the deserts. Could humanity find ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Plausibility and performance of a composite longbow

English Longbows were typically selfbows made of yew, and were pretty effective at what they did, however, I’ve heard before that while composite bows, like the Mongolian, could have less raw power, ...
3
votes
3answers
140 views

Would an exoplanet highly rich in Iron (and other metallic properties) have any effects on technology?

Im working on a story about a new exoplanet discovery and its subsequent "Near Future" colonization. The planet is close to its parent star. As such, I have decided to give it a sizeable molten iron ...
5
votes
3answers
171 views

How much damage could a complete loss of technology cause?

I'm working on an idea for a story. It takes place in the somewhat distant future, say 200-300 years. Some time between now and then, an event occurs which causes all computers to simultaneously fail. ...
5
votes
2answers
188 views

Travel distance across water in early prehistory

I have a species which is about half the size of a human. They live on a continent composed of large islands. I'm looking at their migration history. The thing is, I'm likely to have the origin of ...
3
votes
4answers
174 views

How Fast Can A Weightless Human 'Swim' On Air Using Medieval Tech?

This world has gravity, air, and clouds. If humans are weightless yet still has mass, it's gonna take some force to accelerate them. How fast can they move on air, say, if they had fins like divers? ...
-5
votes
4answers
143 views

Human colonies beyond Pluto (on a potential ninth planet)

To be able to colonize another world, there are some requirements; the harvesting of energy, enough recourses, handling of the environment (pressure, temperature and gravity and so on) and ...
5
votes
1answer
387 views

Post-apocalyptic aircraft

I have a post-apocalyptic scenario, set in the ruins of an American metropolis with flooded streets. Boats are used most of the time, but aircrafts have advantages, for battle or if you have to get on ...
-2
votes
2answers
148 views

Ancient City Expansion

I want to write about a city in environments like the grasslands in France. Its progress from its rise until its fall. Could the city expand to an empire in one or two generations? (Middle ages ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

How quickly would a wooden treasure chest rot?

Suppose a wooden treasure chest is placed in an underground dungeon in a medieval European climate. The chest is as sturdily built as is practical, but isn't protected by any kind of magic or advanced ...
21
votes
13answers
4k views

Fantasy Military Arms and Armor: the Dwarven Grand Armory

I'm having some trouble coming up with arms and armament for my fantasy world's dwarven race. I have a few ideas for what they could wield but I'd like a few more to really make this army feel Alive. ...
2
votes
6answers
469 views

Keeping disparate tech-levels between two worlds despite knowledge transfer

The setting I'm working on has a parallel world alongside modern-day Earth. This world is Earth-like, though there is somewhat limited magic as well (e.g. people can be transformed into animals and ...
10
votes
16answers
4k views

How to supply water to a coastal desert town with no rain and no freshwater aquifers?

Think Tatooine in climate, but with oceans. Here are a few restrictions due to setting: There is modern technology, but not too much electricity ie no super high amperage machines. Population is ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

What would make an ideal stationary night vision device?

In a futuristic world, on a small military spaceship, I want to give it an external camera/telescope-like device that has incredible night vision so it can see the landscape underneath the ship in ...
7
votes
4answers
719 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Wich knowledge would persevere in this post-apocalyptic world?

First of all: sorry for my english. I'm writing a post-apocalyptic book and I got some simple questions before I can finish shapping its world. In my fiction, the world fell apart (doesn't matter ...
9
votes
9answers
3k views

Why not use futuristic pavise ballistic shields for protection?

Working with a world with relatively high industrial technology, including good materials technology but no energy weapons or the like but modern-day ballistic technology. Why not use the equivalent ...
1
vote
2answers
343 views

What can prevent a super elevator to a space station from being invented?

Let's say that space around earth has no debris. Super elevator is some super durable cable between a space station and earth by which some elevator can travel. Space station is in geostationary orbit,...
3
votes
1answer
196 views

What technology can be used to create liquid suit? [closed]

I'm new to WorldBuilding, so please let me know if I'm doing something wrong or should add more information! Thanks in advance. Explanation Liquid costume/suit is technological solution of future ...
3
votes
5answers
223 views

Expanding a space habitat

Let's say that I start with a Stanford Torus that can house some amount of people. Over time, more and more people start living there, to the point it starts getting crowded. How could I expand the ...
27
votes
12answers
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
308 views

How much medical information could we gather from a wrist-worn device?

Context I have been thinking about the Pip Boy device from the Fallout series of videogames. It is a portable, wearable computer that can gather a lot of data about the user. It looks like this: And ...
-1
votes
1answer
224 views

Medieval/renaissance superweapon [closed]

Using the technology available at the time, what kind of superweapon could the medieval or renaissance age produce?
25
votes
17answers
5k views

Need reasons why a satellite network would not work

My story takes place on a hot desert planet that is a colony. At some point people are out in a very hot and inhospitable area of the desert. Dust storms, high heat, constant wind, etc. Characters ...
4
votes
10answers
562 views

How does privacy work if govt can access every camera throughout the city?

The 22nd century C.E. introduces a new concept of "smart city" in which everything is automated and requires little or no human intervention. For example, the daily household chores such as washing ...
5
votes
3answers
345 views

Magnetic thread storage?

Is the data storage based on magnetic threads instead of magnetic tape possible and practical? Particularly, magnetic thread cassetes with endless loop (which is easier with thread than with tape). ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

How would a low-tech device be able to alert its user?

Assume a low-tech scenario, no Electricity, more or less iron age tech-levels. Some people in this world carry devices the size of a modern compass. Within is a very thin (like hair, but of lighter ...
4
votes
3answers
199 views

Yet another low-tech device alert

After seeing this question, a similar but IMO harder question came into my mind: what if the magical alert is non-mechanical? Let me explain: Similar plot, low/mid-tech world, no industrial ...
10
votes
10answers
5k views

Given current technology, could TV display screens double as video camera sensors?

This was inspired by this YouTube video titled "Why all solar panels are secretly LEDs (and all LEDs are secretly solar panels)" and the fact that speakers and microphones are similarly related. So ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it possible to reflect the light from sun using a Satellite to the Earth?

The absence of sun is the reason for night.So is it possible for a huge satellite to reflect the light coming from the sun to lighten up the darker side of Earth (the side enjoying the night) ? EDIT ...
53
votes
14answers
11k views

Would a steam powered plane be able to cross the Atlantic ocean?

In a world where the development of internal combustion engines had been seriously delayed (for whatever reason), would it have been possible to power heavier than air aircraft by steam propulsion? ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Can I use a living organism as exotic matter for interstellar travel?

Would it be possible to use a living organism as unobtainium for interstellar travel? Would it make any sense? The story I had in mind would use them as the main bad guys seeking vengeance on those ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How to make a 'freeze' weapon work?

In a project of mine, I've contemplated an alien species that uses a weapon that shoots liquid nitrogen (or something similar) that makes enemy armour brittle by freezing it. Is there a way they could ...
4
votes
6answers
216 views

Technology to see an invisible being

I have a world where there are two types of beings. One type, let's call them X, exist in our "dimension," and the other, let's call them Y, exist in another "phase" or dimension. Only 10% of X ...
42
votes
17answers
10k views

How would modern naval warfare have to have developed differently for battleships to still be relevant in the 21st century?

So basically, battleships are awesome. I am interested in creating a setting where they were never superseded in their role of long-range command vessels and fire support by aircraft carriers, ...
10
votes
5answers
264 views

Preconditions for 'Classical' Space Fighters and Carriers

Let's say that I, like many other worldbuilders before me, want to have 'classical' (space-operatic) space fighters and carriers in a space setting. However, I don't want to do it by fiat and ...
4
votes
7answers
735 views

Impact on the sciences with helium instead of nitrogen

Suppose we have a planet whose atmosphere has roughly the same gaseous proportions as Earth, but helium replaces nitrogen, and has a strong hydrogen presence in the upper atmosphere; has a ...
16
votes
11answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
5answers
880 views

Could stone be used in place of metal for certain items?

For certain categories of items, namely weapons, armor and machinery (that's pretty general, I know), how well would stone fare vs metal? Assume that any complications with shaping the stone are gone. ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the minimum required technology to reanimate someone who has been cryogenically frozen?

As part of the story I am writing, an individual has been frozen with relatively crude cryogenic technology, then preserved as well as possible. Given the constraints of biology, what would waking ...
1
vote
4answers
219 views

Is using Casaba Howitzer like devices as precision-cutting implements plausible?

How well would something like a Casaba Howitzer work as a beam weapon? A Casaba Howitzer is a type of directional blast that focuses energy from an explosion into a specific shape or direction. For ...
3
votes
9answers
1k views

Best gun to modify into a monsterhunter weapon?

In my post-apocalyptical-urban-fantasy setting, the main character is a mercenary mage who uses a gun with a big bayonet as his main weapon. The blade is supposed to be some kind of a glaive. The ...
8
votes
9answers
835 views

Can industry work on a poor import schedule?

I've been working for some time on a universe in which there is limited FTL consisting of short (up to five light years at a time) jumps between points in space. The jumps take no time at all for ...
0
votes
3answers
144 views

Could Devils Tower Be the Model for Rapunzel's Tower?

Many adaptations of the Brothers Grimm tale of Rapunzel have come up with ways to make Rapunzel's tower so unscalable that the only way up is to ask her to let down her very, very, very long hair. ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Will my futuristic homing tracker signal be lost inside a mountain?

My protagonist is being pursued, and they have put a tracker in his arm he cannot remove, lest it blow up and kill him. Pretty standard stuff. It's the future, so maybe the tracker is more ...
5
votes
4answers
428 views

What is the best way to cause swarm intelligence to be destroyed?

In my story, there is a large group of humanoid clones that help the city function, doing mundane tasks such as cleaning and maintaining the city. Doing all of the minimum wage jobs and 95% of the ...