Questions tagged [technology]

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

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10
votes
5answers
942 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
votes
6answers
218 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
974 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
votes
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
408 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
9answers
846 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 ...
7
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11answers
541 views

How could the 'Totally-not-space-wizards' completely suppress technological advancement

On its mission to explore new worlds and seek out new civilisations, the spaceship 'Exciting Undertaking' came across a planet of seemingly unadvanced aliens. Following their First Direction (...
7
votes
6answers
379 views

How can chaotic entities be prevented from spreading beyond their domain?

This is a follow up question to one I asked earlier:How can religions be structured in ways that allow inter-faith councils to work? So, these gods are basically artificial intelligences that are ...
6
votes
2answers
833 views

How powerful a microscope could my pyromancers make?

BACKGROUND In the antiquity of my world, a college of pyromancers attempted to create stronger magnifying lenses so that they could apply their ability to control heat to ever more finely detailed ...
6
votes
7answers
529 views

Plausible way to send a moon crashing into the planet it's orbiting?

Obviously future tech is allowed, but I'm looking for a solution using technology as near as possible. I would like to send a moon the size of Earth's moon crashing into a planet Earth's size. I ...
6
votes
3answers
195 views

Unleashing bottled wind

Set in a dystopian future, levels of technology similar to today's levels exist with some advances, but the knowledge of how to create and utilize much of it has been lost. Those giant mechanical ...
6
votes
2answers
380 views

Monolithic vehicles vs a convoy; So you want to go on a road trip

The scenario; suddenly a modern human world finds their nice, simple, understandable spherical world/solar system going poof overnight, and it being replaced by a mine-crafting plane world. Everyone ...
6
votes
2answers
314 views

Making a Modern Minimal Monastery

There's a cult of people in Mexico who worship an AI, believing it will grant them brain uploading: destructive surgical removal of their brains to have themselves recreated as unaging software minds. ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

Human to robot interface for data exchange

I am writing a short story and would like to know what would be the most realistic way to introduce a human to robot interface (exchanging data with an AI robot)? I was thinking of some kind of a chip ...
5
votes
3answers
586 views

How does an O'Neill cylinder generate its own magnetic field?

The purpose of a magnetic field is to shield against solar winds, which are relativistic ions produced by our Sun. This is a typical O'Neill cylinder with 4 islands. I'm looking for a cost effective ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

The possibility and possible backlash of a thruster large enough to move a planet

Inspired from the game "Planetary Annihilation" a Halley Delta V Engine is a engine built in the ground that is big enough to move the planet when used. This can be used for two things in my mind. War,...
5
votes
4answers
764 views

Can I kill a cyborg with magnetism?

I am an average person being hunted down by a homicidal cyborg. He is about 90% metal, with his only remaining organ being a brain and all other meat on him being tissues which serve only as an anchor ...
5
votes
6answers
423 views

How can I keep an atmosphere on Mars?

Okay, so I'm an engineer who's been tasked with transforming Mars. I don't need to make it perfect for people to be able to walk around free with no life support. But I do need to make life, ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Would it be plausible to have a Machine that generates storms? (No Magic)

For my fictional world I want to conceal a location from a governing body. Would it be plausible to have a machine that generates a severe storm that could get rid of boats and airplanes? Would ...
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
4answers
514 views

How would I relay information on a screen to echo-location utilizing sentients?

Since they don't use sight to relay information to their brains, how would information on a computer screen be displayed in a meaningful manner? Would this hinder the advance of my civilization? EDIT:...
3
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4answers
2k views

How do you know an invisible person is near to you and catch him with day-to-day items? [closed]

Some people developed the power of being invisible. They start bothering the population and no scientist seems to know how to develop some advanced technology to detect and stop them. The government ...
3
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0answers
99 views

Semi-liquid Atmosphere - Other questions [closed]

Part 4 (last) of Semi-liquid Atmosphere Questions: This part I'm not really considering too strongly yet. But feedback is still awesome. Other stuff. For future. Possibly. Landforms How might this ...
3
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2answers
580 views

Is an artificial womb feasible?

Does the following progression/collection of technologies make sense on the way to an artificial womb? The central assumption to this question is that the female body is a delicate, complicated ...
3
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2answers
215 views

Sapient aquatic species substituting geothermal vents for fire

In a question I saw on here a while back, somebody said that the development of a sapient, technologically progressing species requires fire, and thus such a phenomenon could not occur under water. ...
2
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4answers
332 views

Capturing wind in a bottle

I have been wondering lately what changes would need to be made to our world to be able to capture wind in a container. To clarify, I would like to be able to have something like a water bottle with ...
2
votes
5answers
922 views

What shape would a spaceship have [closed]

I was watching Star Trek, and I thought that the shape of the Enterprise is quite weird. So what do you think a big spaceship like the Enterprise would look like? We assume in this case that the ...
2
votes
3answers
330 views

Would a nuclear fission thruster with continuous fuel injection be possible?

Assume that Uranium is vastly available, as are the building materials. Can you build this device? The fuel tank stores uranium at a high temperature so that it remains liquid. The fuel injector/s ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

How to tour Cretaceous Period on economic class?

Supposedly I found a phone booth that can transport user 65 millions years into the past (location fixed at Chixulub just 30 minutes before the announcement of the arrival of the impactor. Points to ...
2
votes
1answer
476 views

Is a shruikan dragon size possible in the real world?

In eragon/ inheritance (the book series): Is an organism like Shruikan, the black dragon of Galbatorix, really possible and if so, what would one have to do to create an organism of that proportion (...
2
votes
1answer
302 views

Explaining high tech gadgets in an ancient world?

In a medieval world, the protagonist has a suit of armor that draws off of his body heat to produce a weak electromagnetic shield that repels against attacks from metal weapons. I don't feel ...
2
votes
5answers
216 views

What mechanism could be used to create an eternal night?

My question is how a species, given sufficiently advanced technology - could block out all - or most - visible light to a generally earthlike planet without rendering it uninhabitable. The only ...
2
votes
3answers
271 views

Could canals solve H G Wells Martians water shortage problems?

Could a world similar to that envisioned in the Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs / H G exist? And if so would canals be a practical way to make the planet habitable over the long term? For current ...
2
votes
3answers
169 views

Lonely gods and their planets [closed]

I would like to make a world that follows all of our laws of physics except that every star has a habitable, earth-like planet in its Goldilocks Zone (I love that term). Each planet has a collection ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Would a fighter jet be able to go into orbit from Mars surface?

Says a F22 with full tank is trying to break through the thin layer of Martian atmosphere and almost moon like gravity(alright that's probably too exaggerated) anyway say there is a runway stretching ...
2
votes
3answers
427 views

How can I make a Nuclear Powered VTOL Safe?

Here's the set up. In my slightly-futuristic mildly-sci-fi novel, I have a need for an aerial transport vehicle (I have been informed what I need is closer to a VTOl than a hovercraft). These crafts ...
2
votes
3answers
358 views

Non-Metal society

As pointed out in Non-metal warfare, it is highly unlikely that a society without access to metals will be able to progress further than the stone age: In my world the only available metal is ...
1
vote
2answers
842 views

How would civilization change without electricity? [duplicate]

Let's say that starting today, electricity "stops working" (I'd like to sort the details of that in a different question). The case is that somehow electricity can't be used anymore. How would ...
1
vote
7answers
279 views

How would one design infrastructure in a world where people can disable technology with their eyes?

So, the central conceit of my story is that one day in the modern times, everyone on Earth over the age of 13 starts getting superpowers. While some of them are possible to remove (but only if ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

What would the consequences of this IEG be?

In the universe that I am developing the following has occurred... A new type of "liquid energy" has been found/created: 432,540,909,020.0724 Mj in 1 Liter Edit: Description of what the fuel is in ...
1
vote
5answers
637 views

Why make androids look human? [closed]

In my world, automation reaches a new level with the introduction of androids. Robotic human beings capable of doing any job a regular person can. The concept of these androids is that they can be ...
0
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2answers
278 views

How to keep intelligent races from discovering electricity?

Without changing a planet from being habitable for humans and keeping a similar ecosystem why could intelligent races never access electricity? ...
0
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2answers
316 views

What could be done to make a red dwarf become a blue dwarf, then a white dwarf and then finally a black dwarf in a short amount of time?

My civilization is highly advanced Type III and wants to conduct an experiment on a red dwarf. They want to artificially cause it to become a blue dwarf, then a white dwarf and then finally a black ...
0
votes
2answers
563 views

What are the most efficient sources of water and electricity in a vast desert? [closed]

I have a story taking place in a vast desert. There are however a few large and highly advanced cities within this desert with running water and electricity and I was wondering if this would be ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

What could prevent a planet from possessing magnets/electricity?

Without changing a planet from being habitable for humans and keeping a similar ecosystem why could intelligent races never access electricity? What systems need to be erased from the planet to not ...
0
votes
0answers
78 views

Scientific Accuracy - alien communication ideas [duplicate]

I'm writing a speculative story about aliens coming to earth, and just wanted to bounce a couple of ideas for scientific accuracy (or at least lack of obvious impossibility). This is set in the near ...
-3
votes
3answers
529 views

Is a fuelless engine possible? [closed]

I would like to know if a fuelless engine is possible in reality. I think you've heard of the Chinese making one. Can there be an engine that doesn't require any fuel? The idea is to make human-...