Questions tagged [technology]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
18
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

In a world of science AND magic, how is magic explained scientifcally? [closed]

Obviously there are multiple ways to explain this, so the correct answer in this case would be the most reasonable and detailed answer with as many explanations as possible.
11
votes
7answers
3k views

How high-def can my TV be without computers?

Introduction See background information here. In the Harmonious Republic of Mars, the finest forms may be found of any and all luxuries available in the Solar system. This includes moving pictures. ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the earliest that a civilization could develop airships?

Assuming a technological progression roughly similar to that of Europe in our world, what is the earliest that a civilization could have developed rigid-frame airships? For example, one could imagine ...
8
votes
3answers
489 views

How to blanket moon with a permanent atmosphere?

There exist numerous theories on why the Moon lacks a layer of air if any, however the main culprits are gravity and the lack of Geo-dynamo simply put the Moon does not have the necessary mass nor the ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Organic Material able to store massive amounts of energy?

I am looking for a (at least somewhat) plausible organic matter, which is able to store massive amounts of energy. After reading up on biobatteries and so on, I am aware that I would need something ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Technology developing in a different order - nukes without gunpowder?

We always think of some technology as being more advanced than others, e.g. (space rocket) > (aeroplane) > (car). To what extent is such a scale absolute, and to what extent does it just come from the ...
6
votes
3answers
382 views

What ways are there to keep a steady altitude with large fluctuations regarding load?

Setting: In my world I've introduced some science-defying material. I use it to grant the ability of flight to airships that are less Hindenburg-y and more ship-y. They are not literally ships that ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

A post-apocalyptic industrial revolution

It's been a couple of thousand years since humanity bombed itself back to the stone age. Most places are now safe to travel through but there's barely any sign of the old cities, new ones have sprung ...
3
votes
3answers
863 views

Could a medieval / early modern blast furnace produce steel alloys

Blast furnaces have been in China since the 1st century, and arrived in the west during the late 1400's. Imagine now a society "stuck" in the early modern / late medieval period, could they produce ...
5
votes
4answers
592 views

What methods might an ancient civilization take to extract fresh water from great depth?

I previously asked What measures might an ancient civilization take to protect itself from extreme heat? The answers gave some useful suggestions as to how cities could be adapted. For convenience in ...
4
votes
1answer
729 views

Sonic Weapon for Non-Lethal Crowd Control [closed]

In my book there is violent protesting throughout the city. Peacekeepers have been called to quell any acts of violence, but there are rebels amongst the crowd that attack and kill peacekeepers when ...
2
votes
6answers
438 views

Melting the core [duplicate]

I have suggested that you could use antimatter to melt the core of Mars and restart the magnetic "dynamo", but it occurs to me that I never really considered exactly "how" you could do this. Melting ...
2
votes
3answers
624 views

What would happen to an urban fantasy Earth hit with a supernatural, planet-sized EMP?

Assuming a modern urban fantasy setting (thus, the world is "ours" in the present time, with the known continents, cities, technology, and general environment), what would happen if a supernatural EMP-...
1
vote
3answers
228 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?
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 ...
45
votes
24answers
22k views

Why do aliens who visit us have higher tech than us? Couldn't they wait for us to have it too?

It is a well known fact that if aliens invaded, it would be our puny kill-one-person-then-reload-for-half-a-second-or-more-firearms against their super-cool-ultra-mega-thingy-laser-mumble-quantum-...
68
votes
10answers
18k views

Is there a real life substance like movie acid?

Is there a real life chemical or compound that exhibits the characteristics of stereotypical movie acid? From what I know of most acid, it is usually clear or just a little cloudy, but I'm looking ...
65
votes
19answers
15k views

What modern technology would be most revolutionary to ancient Greeks?

In Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" a nineteenth century character finds himself in medieval England and shortly manages to build all the "modern" inventions: from steam ...
40
votes
10answers
8k views

What effects would a change in the nature of human sexuality have on society and infrastructure

Consider a group of humans at a bronze-age to early iron-age technological level colonizing a new earthlike planet. There is just one difference - there exists on the planet something which changes ...
31
votes
13answers
9k views

How “advanced” can a stone age society get?

I'm working on a world where, with very few exceptions, metalwork is not possible/unwanted, and I'm trying to figure out what major differences one might see in daily life, and what would be necessary ...
22
votes
10answers
13k views

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....
30
votes
11answers
4k views

Long-abandoned, yet still working ancient technology

A staple of both fantasy and science fiction literature is the long-vanished Ancients, who left nothing but their buildings (or devices) behind. Somehow, these (usually) decrepit structures still ...
53
votes
24answers
12k views

Wooden sticks are the only allowed weapons in a technological society - how far would these weapons have progressed by now?

Imagine that the inhabitants of Earth all follow a religion that allows only wooden weapons. How would warfare look nowadays? Commandment 37. 37a) Thou shalt make weapons only from the wood of ...
28
votes
16answers
4k views

Cooking underwater

How would an omnivorous civilization of merpeople prepare food? Their diet would be like humans', but naturally seafood-centered. They would have typical medieval technology. How would they "fry" or "...
26
votes
18answers
7k views

Can spacecraft defend against antimatter weapons? How?

Here is what we know: We have the means to create stable antimatter We can direct it in a beam It can travel nearly as fast as light with ease Antimatter and matter combine in dangerous ...
23
votes
15answers
5k views

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 ...
17
votes
15answers
3k views

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 ...
22
votes
10answers
11k views

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#! ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How big should a terrarium be to be self-sustained?

I read some time ago about terraria (singular: terrarium), which are basically small ecosystems of plants, isolated from the outside world (they get just energy from outside, not water or oxygen). The ...
13
votes
4answers
9k views

Does mirror armour work against laser guns?

The next war will be fought with lasers beside computers, I'm wondering could a bullet proof vest coated with a highly reflective surface protects user from laser blast. The laser in question is ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

Low-tech inertial dampener options

As mentioned in this discussion: How to keep humans pilots instead of AI in sci-fi future? the ability to handle G forces is a limiting factor on what pilots can do. Some of my solutions to address ...
14
votes
5answers
467 views

Internally consistent grav-plating

So in (a lot of) sci-fi we have magic gravity that gives up and down and layer-cake decks, and nice and easy set design for the TV studios. I’m actually pretty much okay with this, but what rubs me ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Perfect logic implementation by computers

Those who have seen the movie, I Robot, will understand my question better. Imagine we're in the future, where a quantum computer (read wikipedia for speeds of QCs) that uses 'perfect logic' controls ...
24
votes
2answers
7k views

Would Vantablack hide planes from radar?

Vantablack is very dark, absorbing 99.965% of light. I've also heard it absorbs waves beyond the visible spectrum. Does this mean planes painted with Vantablack would be invisible to radar? If yes, ...
13
votes
10answers
4k views

Reverse engineering electronics

I haven't found this question anywhere else so I don't think it's a duplicate. So here it goes, some background information of the world. Suppose there is a civilization with access to magic which ...
10
votes
6answers
324 views

What technologies might lead to or support “perfect recycling”

I'm developing fictional technology for "perfect recycling." A large plant that takes in water and every cubic millimeter of waste humanity can produce (in the local area, of course). It ...
8
votes
4answers
557 views

Dragons and aviation bureaucracy, the sequel: Dragons on Instruments!

Starting with the background provided in this question, how would a dragon outfit himself/herself (avionics, power systems, etal) for operating under the Instrument Flight Rules? How would the ...
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 ...
6
votes
12answers
2k views

How would a vagrant civilization evolve? [closed]

What if the human race never sedentarized and was forced to wander on earth. What if a creature hunted humans restlessly and the only way to survive was to avoid settling down for more than 48 hours. ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

How hard is it to build a generator if you've jumped to the distant past?

In this question: How far can a time traveller go into the past before his electrical equipment becomes unchargeable? @Mark assures us that "Building a generator can be done at any time:" (just wind ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Can we build a 3D maneuver gear from Attack on Titan?

Context In the animé Attack on Titan, armed forces use a special device called 3D maneuver gear (also called vertical movement gear) to move through the air. The system is based on a pair of ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

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’...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

What early tools might be devised on a planet where diamonds were abundant?

It seems likely that if life evolved to the point of civilization on a planet where carbon diamonds were not a scarce luxury resource, but rather a plentiful mineral as accessible as copper or iron ...
13
votes
10answers
917 views

How would a time traveller conquer the ancient world?

I have found myself approximately 2000 years in the past, I didn't bring anything with me. But since I am here, I want to conquer the world with my knowledge from the future. Or as much as is possible ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What can cause the aliens not to understand our signal?

I am wondering if alien race detecting our signal could actually understand such broadcast. But for my story, I need the aliens being unable to understand what we are broadcasting. How can I achieve ...
8
votes
7answers
621 views

How would a repressive world regime forcibly regress communications technology to mid-twentieth century level?

I am interested in the actual physical steps such a regime would take, e.g. cutting the submarine telecommunications cables. How might such a regime destroy the mobile phone network? What would it ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Is making bullets from scratch possible?

In my world a a several members of the US Armed Forces get transported to a medieval world. They have only a limited amount of resources and they must find a way to replenish their supplies. ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Can you harness electricity without metal?

Can you make devices that produce and use electricity like power supplies, motors, light bulbs, etc. in a society without metal? Not just metal isn't in the device, you can't even use metal in the ...