Questions tagged [technology]

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

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45
votes
8answers
9k views

Can coins be made out of concrete or cement?

Would it be possible to make coins from concrete with designs like the metal ones?
5
votes
3answers
155 views

Would a life form with the intelligence of a human but without an appendage for manipulating its environment be able to have advanced technology?

On another planet there is a life form that has the same level of intelligence as humans on Earth, but it has no appendage to manipulate its environment. It has similar social structures to humans ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

How might teleportation to or from a place far from a teleportation device work? [closed]

In many science fiction television shows, and movies characters are teleported from the space ship to a planet, and vice verse, even though the planet has no teleportation device on it's surface, and ...
1
vote
3answers
223 views

Could a percussion rifle be produced in the 15th-17th century?

Could a percussion rifle such as the springfield m1861 be made somewhere between the 15th-17th century? If so how would it be made?
6
votes
3answers
246 views

What would a car look like for an animal with eyes on the side of their heads?

Imagine an animal like a cow in regards to eye positioning; they can look forward to lessen their frontal blindspot a bit but assume that doing that for a prolonged amount of time is straining. What ...
5
votes
4answers
769 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 ...
-4
votes
12answers
406 views

A properly malfunctioning gun [closed]

A friend of mine wrote me: "I have designed a rifle that cannot be used for a terrorist attack. It fails to shoot in the instance of it. Other than that it is a good gun. In fact it is the best and a ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is a self contained air-bullet cartridge feasible?

In my world, there is no access to modern or traditional gunpowder. I was wondering if a dedicated technician with a modern shop (cnc machines, and a surplus of parts and raw material, etc) would be ...
6
votes
3answers
272 views

Most effective melee weapons for arboreal combat? (pre-gunpowder technology)

The creatures I am working with are primate-like, hexapodal aliens with a terrestrial/ arboreal lifestyle. On flat land they are able to walk bipedally, freeing up their top 4 arms for manipulating ...
8
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5answers
2k views

Repeating Arbalest

This is an Ancient Chinese repeating crossbow It is fast, light and easy to use, but really weak. One bolt alone could hurt someone but not kill, 3-4 bolts could actually be deadly but it's a ...
-2
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2answers
185 views

Feasibility of ocean-spanning railroads? [duplicate]

I answered another question with the possibility of a world-girdling railroad. Another poster on that thread did not feel that was viable for Earth. I've been pinging around on the Internet ... I find ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

Flywheels for high altitude airship control

Airships in RL are not very great in combat for various reasons. However in my setting there is Unobtanium that is repelled by gravity, instead of being attracted. A lump of Unobtanium can be used ...
30
votes
17answers
7k views

How could indestructible materials be used in power generation?

Background: In this scenario assume technology is initially equal to our own, but a method is discovered to render material indestructible. The affected material is treated as requiring infinite or ...
60
votes
38answers
16k views

Why would technology dictate graphical interfaces to be rare on spaceships?

This question differs from that question in that the other question is asking about a change in history while this question is looking for a change in the future. In a near future setting I am ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Can Roman-age tech break up harder metals?

This question is a follow up to my last one about silver So silver and presumably all metals of lower and equal hardness can be broken down with muscle and stone tools, by forming droplets, using ...
7
votes
5answers
379 views

Modification to Chariots for Heavy Cavalry Analogue for 4-armed race

I have a 4-armed race in my world that is the predominant species of a country. [ Country A] This race is also too heavy to ride horses as cavalry. A major enemy of this country is a human race that ...
23
votes
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 ...
1
vote
5answers
386 views

In a SciFi world, how could a “suit” cary 1000X+ times the wearer's weight/volume?

First question here; not sure how well it fits this site... I'm looking for a reasonably believable way to explain how someone could walk around in a space/combat suit (not a giant robo-suit; more ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Could you fly airplanes on Jupiter?

Perhaps you've flown in a plane on an especially cloudy day when all you can see are clouds beneath and above you. It's a beautiful sight, strata'd white all around. So what if the plane were flying ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Could an aircraft fly or hover using only jets of compressed air?

In a world with practically unlimited energy and advanced technology they have no need to burn fuels for energy or even use fire. To travel around their huge planet cities they use aircraft and hover ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it logically or scientifically possible to artificially send energy to the body?

Is it possible to use a power plant-like machine to create small amounts of electrical (or other) energy directly inside the human body, making it such that the human has energy for activity without ...
9
votes
1answer
171 views

Low-efficiency fusion propulsion?

I'm working on a fusion rocket concept for a hard science fiction setting. I'm envisioning laser catalyzed Proton-Boron reactors (low waste heat, aneutronic, 100% of their output being He4 Alpha ...
5
votes
4answers
373 views

How long would a stoplight work after the apocalypse?

The apocalypse has come! Everything is dead, and I do mean everything. People. Animals. Plants. Don't ask how, I'm not entirely sure. Let's assume this town is in an out-of-the way area as far as ...
4
votes
3answers
233 views

need help building a convincing Airship steam engine room [closed]

Building a world with airships that are powered by steam engines. Big boiler, water tank, lots of coal. Enormous engine room. Propellers, masts with huge sails. There are steam-powered automatons in ...
4
votes
3answers
211 views

How to have a robotic whip move effectively?

I recently read The Prefect (now named Aurora Rising) by Alistair Reynolds. The book is about a police force protecting a belt of space stations. The local democratic regime has mostly disarmed the ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Far Future, Space. Most plausible way to store short-term energy?

Please assume the following: A spaceship in the far future. Output: The ships systems have a high base demand of energy and sometimes you need extreme amounts of Energy in a very short period of ...
-4
votes
2answers
170 views

Killing TV Presenters by Audience Consensus - Diss Topia

In a dystopian world (Diss Topia) of the future, being a TV presenter is a hazardous job. All viewers have the ability to vote to save or kill a given presenter while they are on air (more ...
5
votes
7answers
188 views

Feasibility or challenges of using stealth “fighters” for weapon control

So, say you have a stealth technology that is really effective. But, the tech is too big to mount on missiles, and anything over a certain size (like a space ship) is too large to hide properly. If ...
7
votes
8answers
330 views

Self-charging PCP Airgun

In my story idea the main character is given a PCP airgun with a sort of self-charging mechanism in order to commit certain covert operations by assassinating certain individuals. (Don't ask, he was ...
-4
votes
5answers
266 views

In a world without software how would Hacking work?

A definition of computer hacking. Computer hacking refers to the practice of modifying or altering computer software and hardware to accomplish a goal that is considered to be outside of the ...
1
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3answers
133 views

Why would jupiter brain be completely devoid of ocean? [closed]

Jupiter brain is known as a colossal computer the size of a planet, if heat dissipation is a concern when constructing it how come most models lack an ocean of distilled reverse osmosis UV treated ...
2
votes
4answers
343 views

How would a Type I civilization not cook itself?

A type 1 civilization is defined as a civilization that can utilize the maximum amount of energy equal available to its entire planet, roughly 1017 watts for Earth. This is equal to the amount of ...
8
votes
2answers
138 views

What geological and chemical changes to the earth's makeup could effectively limit technological advancement

Basically, I want to freeze the technology of earth at a level reminiscent of pre-Industrial Revolution Europe. I'm trying to figure out what substance or material would have to be absent from the ...
0
votes
2answers
234 views

Making a low-budget flash grenade during medieval era

In a world consisting of dark-age-esque technology, how would an alchemist go about making a low-budget "flash grenade?"
14
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10answers
4k views

Could solar power be utilized and substitute coal in the 19th century?

Would it be possible for a nation with 19th century to very early 20th century technology and history and hot desert climate to utilize solar power for electrical generation as a substitute for coal ...
2
votes
3answers
131 views

Is spaceship made of precast reinforced concrete tougher than those malleable alloy?

Set in the mid 22nd century AD, a major construction work is being carried out in the orbit of Uranus. The military is developing a cheaper fleets using precast reinforced concrete(PRC) hoping to ...
1
vote
2answers
160 views

What would happen if a modern model city was found in a fantasy world?

Now to clarify, when I say a modern model city, I don't mean simply getting New York and plonking it somewhere on fantasy land #27544. I mean a city specifically designed for the purpose of being ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

How would a world where electronics are organically based differ from ours? [closed]

I'm building a Retrofuture space fantasy setting. Some relevant information on that can be found here... One of the core aspects to me of the retro sci-fi aesthetic is its hardware focused nature. I ...
46
votes
14answers
9k views

How to preserve electronics (computers, tablets and phones) for hundreds of years

Let's say you wanted to preserve some electronics for 500 years or more in a museum. What could you do to preserve them in working order for hundreds of years? Deep freeze? Lead lined vaults? Vacuum? ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Gunpowder in the 15th-16th century [duplicate]

If smokeless powder was already invented then and machines to help make rimfire cartridges, could a sub/light machine gun be invented?
19
votes
18answers
4k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
265 views

There are diamonds 10 times tougher than ceramics, approaching some aluminum alloys toughness, are these diamonds useful as an armor? [duplicate]

According to this paper if diamonds are doped with some boron and nitrogen it will gain enormous toughness while retaining the superhardness characteristic of diamonds. This diamonds reach toughness ...
6
votes
5answers
237 views

How can ruler support the invention of useful things?

Good rulers support invention of useful things. But this question has two sides. Support of invention Prevention of fake inventing Basis: Many inventions arise as side-effects of searching for ...
4
votes
5answers
320 views

How to detect gyroswords

So, in the land of futuristic feudalism, the board of sword duels has a dilemma. During a duel, one of the duelists added put gyroscopes in his sword. He claimed this was to improve his balance, which ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
-4
votes
3answers
89 views

How to compromise block chain force shield? [closed]

Set in the distant future, a notorious terrorist group infamously known as "51 Crew" is planning an ambush near the orbit of Thebe, Jovian moon. In the next few hours an armoured shuttle holding a ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
160 views

Could a pump jet be made in the 15th-16th century? [closed]

With the knowledge required, could the pump jet be created for use in ships in the given timeline? If not, what other forms of engines can be made in said timeline that can power ships without the use ...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

Ancient Egypt - Primitive Blockchain Technology

Premise The goal is to implement a bronze age version of blockchain in ancient Egypt to introduce a layer of security for the royal tombs. Tomb raiding was rampant, and at times even the legitimate ...
3
votes
4answers
750 views

Can a one-dimensional blade cut everything ? (chainsaw) (Sword)

I was thinking in a character who has a...kind of Steam powered Chainsaw, and a sword, what make them special is because the blades of the chainsaw are one-dimensional, same with the sword, they are ...