Questions tagged [technology]

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

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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 ...
17
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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 ...
17
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8answers
1k views

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 ...
14
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6answers
3k views

Is Ternary a option for a tech future?

I have an idea for a story set in the near future, with a character who breaks onto the global scene with a breakthrough advance in technology that makes him billions. My question is whether or not ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Artificial star?

A long time ago in a galaxy called the Milky Way..... An alien race had its planet thrown out of its solar system. It is now a rogue planet. They survived for thousands of generations in underground ...
11
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6answers
2k views

How could there be underwater thriving city in the medieval age?

I'm writing an adventure story set in the medieval age, our hero came(dived) across an underwater city with an estimated population of several thousands at depth of hundreds of meters below sea level. ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Boats for really tall people

So I'm writing a book that takes place in an endless ocean with islands inhabited by many races, and I'm trying to come up with unique boat ideas for races; well I have most of them, but I would like ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Why would civilizations with advanced technology still use castles?

Despite being awesome marvels and once incredibly important, ever since explosives became a thing, castles have become obsolete. Until now... Imagine two equally advanced civilizations at war. Both ...
10
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12answers
802 views

How to explain magical internet

In one of the stories I'm writing, I have a character that falls from our world into another, far less advanced one, and brings his smartphone with him (along with a few other things, but they aren't ...
9
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12answers
1k views

How would you defend a package from magic Ninjas?

Without boring you with details, in my world, a government is try to protect a package from ninjas crossing over from another world. Technological Bases The technology in this government's world is ...
9
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8answers
2k views

Airships without huge balloons/gas bags that can still “float” in air, using minimal or no energy

Making a world where you live in the air, as the surface is not survivable (Venus-like) but there are mountains which serve as islands. I'm gonna leave out the story of the planet as it's not ...
9
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4answers
7k views

How long will technology (satellites, GPS, Cell Phone) still work after civilization is destroyed?

If a large part of the population was killed, but the infrastructure was basically unharmed (I know it take people to keep things going, but I guess that is part of the question), how long would I ...
8
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3answers
746 views

What effects would moving between areas of different gravity have on a human?

Basically, this is a setting in which artificial gravity generation is possible and can be confined to certain areas with different settings. There are maybe five human colonies on planets with near-...
7
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4answers
1k views

How can we detect a small black hole?

We’re in the late 2020s and we’ve all the planned future telescopes - WFIRST, JWST, Giant Magellan Telescope etc - and technologies. There’s a small black hole in the outer solar system. It has a ...
7
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11answers
4k views

How to defeat the elven insects using modern technology?

In an alternate Earth setting there are two intelligent species at war with each other, they are the humans and the elves. Human technology is an exact mirror image of our current technology, and the ...
7
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4answers
466 views

Could a character survive having a device torn out of their radial artery? + effects

In this society, the citizens are given a bracelet-like device that is connected to the radial artery in their dominant hand. The device monitors their health, offers advice, etc and also serves as a ...
6
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4answers
474 views

Which types of firearms would be damaged or broken by a global change in combustion intensity?

I'm wondering what types of firearms would be impacted if explosives and combustion in general were to have a random chance of being more potent or less potent. Could new firearms and/or ammunition be ...
6
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2answers
247 views

What would a medieval steam locomotive look like?

My question is pretty simple, if the steam locomotive were invented during the middle to late medieval period, what would it look like? We are just going to ignore how it was invented. My guess is ...
6
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3answers
688 views

The practicality of Wild Dog's arm-mounted gatling gun

In the Time Crisis series of games, terrorist-for-hire and recurring antagonist, Wild Dog has a cannon mounted in place of his missing left arm. Throughout the series, this weapon takes various ...
6
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7answers
1k views

Humans get knocked back into the stone age; would archeologists from 10,000 years in the future be able to tell that we existed?

I am inspired by Dr. Robert Schoc's hypothesis that the Great Pyramid and Sphinx date back to a lost civilization from 10,000 BCE. The Question: Suppose an asteroid/mega solar flare/etc. reduced ...
6
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8answers
1k views

Why would many future interstellar spaceship designs come with a self-destruct button instead of an EMO button?

The year is 2267 A.D. Humanity has colonized Prima Centuari system. A federal government is established; the population is expected to grow at an exponential rate to reach 1 billion by 2300 A.D. A ...
6
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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 ...
6
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13answers
2k views

How could a civilization with approx. 18th-century technology weaponise mined nuclear materials?

In a nutshell, what are the pre-requisites for having sailing ships fire nuclear cannonballs? The setting is entirely alternate-universe, so the available material can be a lot more naturally "primed" ...
6
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4answers
693 views

Scientific Accuracy - alien communication ideas

(Disclaimer: I tried this question earlier in the scifi site as well as real science sites, and was told should be on topic here) I'm writing a speculative story about aliens coming to earth - and ...
6
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3answers
438 views

How must computers/telecommunication deviate from reality for a retrofuturistic setting?

. I love the aesthetics of retrofuturistic settingsand I aim to build my own. A mixture of a fantastical, Thundercats(2011),Outlaw Star x Star*Drive. How yesterday saw tomorrow is quite fascinating ...
5
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1answer
414 views

Is the following mission profile appropriate for a manned mission?

My idea was to use 2 stages for an interstellar spacecraft (particularly the Orion Drive) and use it in a way similar to Project: Daedalus. Phase 1 would involve accelerating to cruising speed ...
5
votes
6answers
731 views

What planetary conditions would make computer and complex electronics useless, or at least difficult to maintain?

What planetary conditions would have to exist to make computers and other complex electronics useless or at least difficult to maintain? Would ionised atmospheric conditions, constant solar flares, ...
5
votes
5answers
360 views

How would a temple be made to last and “Reactivate”?

The loose idea of this structure is in my world a secret society believes the Earth is going to be heavily damaged in the near future by war and that humanity will be pushed to the brink of extinction ...
5
votes
4answers
372 views

Is there a reliable way to store all stable elements?

This is a follow-up to question about a transmuting 3D-printer Assume you need to store all stable elements in a spaceship. On board, a chemical assembler is used to compose everything, if you have a ...
4
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7answers
715 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 ...
3
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4answers
296 views

How to fly around the Martian thin layer of sky without burning holes in our pockets?

In the late 21st century C.E. total human population on the Martian soil reaches 5 millions with the majority inbred. They are scattered across the red planet living in football field sized domes and ...
3
votes
3answers
916 views

How Would Magnetic Weapons Work? [closed]

Magnetic weapons have been a part of the Sci-Fi genre for a while and I have recently started writing a story that would implement magnetic weapons, I'm talking about magnetic revolvers, rifles, and ...
3
votes
3answers
336 views

Can planes fly on Mars?

My question is very simple, I want to know if the Martian atmosphere is too thin to hold planes up and, if it is thick enough, how high planes could reasonably go. This is considering heat management ...
3
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2answers
243 views

is it possible to detect submarines in a sea from an aircraft? if possible how will it be?

While working on my story, I just came up with this doubt. Is it possible to know or to detect something like a submarine in an ocean from an aircraft with our current technology? I mean to detect it ...
2
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4answers
346 views

How broken would my jPhone be if I traveled back in time 24 hours?

I have a character who ends up jumping backwards in time by 24 hours. Essentially nothing else changes, but the character has their jPhone in their pocket at the time of the jump. How functional ...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

Sudden enrichment of heavier elements and its impact to medieval/renaissance society

Disclaimer Building from this question, and both of this answer by John_H, and this by Samuel, I'm going to compose a new question quite related yet not quite similar. Background So we have a world ...
1
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4answers
224 views

What could be a possible way to avoid the effects of time travel on the traveller? [closed]

Let me explain... you have a time traveler from the year 10,000. The traveler has a device that has all of recorded history up until 10,000 a.d. in it, like a text book to be read. If that traveler ...
1
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9answers
472 views

Speeding up technological development using a time machine [closed]

Imagine that we have invented time machine. Now we can go back in time okay? Now if we go back in time and teach our ancestors thing which were discovered or invented thousands of year later after ...
-3
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1answer
1k views

gruesome execution by slow dissolution in low-concentration acid solution [closed]

How about a new, very gruesome method of execution? The condemned person is placed in a vat filled with a low-concentration acid solution and he is kept alive as long as possible (IV feeding, ...
31
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12answers
10k views

In the late 1940’s to early 1950’s what technology was available that could melt a LOT of ice?

In my story I’ve devised lore where Greenland becomes a US territory, and they begin populating the region. It initially just served as the hub for numerous military bases and airbases, but eventually ...
21
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12answers
5k views

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 ...
10
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5answers
936 views

Skyping…by mirror?

In a few sci-fi and fantasy books I've read (IIRC, In the Year 2889 by Jules Verne was one of them), people had global communications through mirrors that are lined up exactly with each other. ( ...
10
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6answers
215 views

Technology capable of reading brainwave commands

In sci-fi we have seen computers, high-tech armour and other technologies respond to a character speaking orders out loud- would an interface that reads a person's brainwaves- basically receiving and ...
10
votes
10answers
2k views

Interstellar communcation with FTL

I am designing a world where humans have achieved FTL by means of the Alcubierre warp drive and are colonizing the stars. Originally I had communication pegged as being done with quantum entanglement ...
9
votes
2answers
965 views

Extending the Kola Superdeep Borehole

In an effort to accurately map and predict earthquakes and tectonic plate movements, scientists wish to insert sensors through the earth's crust and into the upper mantle. Through some Excel wizardy, ...
9
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13answers
3k views

How to disable off-world signals?

Request for Proposal The planet to host our new colony occupies a section of the universe considered off-limits by numerous militant groups opposed to the safe harbor of innocent civilians and ...
9
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4answers
1k views

How would a mathematician compare to a scholar in Ancient Greece?

Somewhat based on this question, let's say a normal person from our world for some reason goes back into time - to the Hellenic Greece around 490 BC and somehow manages to become a philosopher. My ...
8
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9answers
832 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
395 views

What kind of engine could the 14-15th century world create?

If someone in the 14-15th century world had the knowledge required to build an engine for use in locomotives and ships, what kind of engine could be made using technology that already existed back ...
8
votes
2answers
139 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 ...