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Questions tagged [technology]

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

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11 votes
5 answers
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Not-so-precious metals: tools with only precious metals are available

Imagine a world where only precious metals are available. They are as common and plentiful as iron or aluminum are in our world. Any metal that is not precious does not exist outside of biological ...
Rhomaioi's user avatar
  • 1,349
4 votes
3 answers
413 views

Could three-dimensional beings engineer a multi-dimensional structure?

Consider the bigger-on-the-inside concept of sci-fi staples like the TARDIS from Doctor Who. A generally accepted explanation for how a space’s interior could be larger than its exterior shape and “...
inkwell87's user avatar
  • 941
17 votes
8 answers
4k views

Is there a physical/structural upper-speed-limit to steam locomotives?

In my world (essentially playing in the late 1920's to early 30's, though with a bit of hand-waved technological and political progress), a rail line exists that spans Eurasia from Lisbon to Bangkok. ...
NimRad's user avatar
  • 1,222
4 votes
3 answers
165 views

Would it be possible for someone to have his prosthetics that were made from steampunk materials back in the 1930s?

Edit #1: As I was asked to define the steampunk materials, I should’ve clarify that by this term, I mean materials that consist of metallic elements in general, such as gold, might as well have bronze,...
Xialite's user avatar
  • 41
14 votes
22 answers
5k views

Why would a highly advanced society still engage in extensive agriculture?

What are some plausible reasons why an advanced, futuristic society would still have a sizable agricultural/rural component, and a significant rural population? This hypothetical civilization is ...
mrz123456's user avatar
  • 141
8 votes
7 answers
4k views

What would naval warfare look like if Dreadnoughts never came to be?

I sadly couldn't find any answers to this question, probably because it's quite niche, so i'm posting this as my first question here! The https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Dreadnought_(1906) was ...
NimRad's user avatar
  • 1,222
5 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is it possible for a group/clan of 10k people to start their own civilization away from other people in 2050? Like the Amish but with more technology?

They are a group of fed up people in a third world country who somehow acquire/buy land in a remote place near the Himalayas. Ignore the powers like China trying to conquer them. Is this possible in ...
D V's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is there a material lightning does not strike?

I was imagining the possibilities of creating a ship mast which could not get struck by lightning. Is there a material it could be made of that would never get struck by lightning?
worldbuilder's user avatar
7 votes
7 answers
3k views

How would a 4-armed, blind species,use firearms?

My blind, intelligent species has advanced technologically to the stage of space exploration through the usage of FTL travel. The reason for their blindness is evolving underground, after the surface ...
Fedor Scheglov's user avatar
7 votes
11 answers
5k views

Could a race with 20th century computer technology plausibly develop general-purpose AI?

I have a race of aliens whose technology roughly corresponds to humanity’s in the early 1970s. Wireless communications via microwaves have been developed, but are only available to important groups ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,657
1 vote
2 answers
88 views

Can technology that prompts or inhibits neuron firing be able to add/alter brain pathways and behavior?

Imagine I had a bunch of little molecules or electrodes or chips or something of the sort, which were outfitted with the ability to attach to brain cells, receive specific electric signal/field ...
inkwell87's user avatar
  • 941
3 votes
2 answers
411 views

Sci-Fi Science: Ramifications of Photon-to-Axion Conversion

I'm considering what consequences would come from the development of hypothetical devices that could convert photons to axions at cost and power requirements accessible to governments, large ...
cthon's user avatar
  • 327
13 votes
14 answers
3k views

Would it be possible for a civilization to create machines before wheels?

I know wheels have been a pivotal part of every invention and machinery for hunmankind. But currently I'm making an alien civilization with access to floating rocks due to superconductivity. Thanks to ...
JustMika's user avatar
  • 513
1 vote
6 answers
671 views

How could submarines be put underneath very thick glaciers with (relatively) low technology?

So in this scenario, some people need to put (large) submarines under very thick glacial ice, thicker than Antarctica, ~4km on average & in thicker areas it get get to 6-8km, the thinnest areas ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Power grid on the Moon

Actually this is not an idea for a book, I thought about it after reading this article. The power grid they propose for the moon would require a lot of electric cables and robots that bring power ...
FluidCode's user avatar
  • 3,783
10 votes
19 answers
6k views

How could I justify switching phone numbers from decimal to hexadecimal?

A very common media technique is to replace area or exchange codes of phone numbers with 555 to prevent people from dialing real numbers and harassing people by accident. However, I find this a bit ...
Pleiades's user avatar
  • 2,280
2 votes
2 answers
261 views

What medical problems would doctors in a far future setting, plausibly have trouble dealing with?

This is based on another thread in regards to how you can avoid having sci fi technology be a deus ex machina. So when it comes to writing inorganic technology, IE spaceships and laser guns, the laws ...
Demiurge777's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
973 views

How Would a Spacefaring Civilization Using No Electricity Communicate?

I'm working on a civilization who was born out of a century-long interstellar war with an AI. So they had previously developed electrical and digital technology but now they're avoiding using any of ...
parkinglot's user avatar
3 votes
10 answers
1k views

Reasons for low-tech in sci-fi [closed]

My sci-fi world is stuck in a low-tech state. What would be the underlying reasons? In Dune, it's the recent Jihad against machines. In the 40k setting, it's religion. In MechWarrior, it's an ...
pinegulf's user avatar
  • 405
15 votes
9 answers
4k views

What would a Medieval-Tech "super-metal" look like?

Edit: I am not looking for a specifically scientifically supportable answer. Rather, I am curious as to what characteristics of weapon metal lead to making them harder, and better at penetrating/...
LoganP98's user avatar
  • 1,270
4 votes
2 answers
155 views

How would the development of computers be altered if it took longer to find out a practical way to synthesise silicon crystals for transistors?

How would the development of computers be altered by the time of the 1960s & 1970s if we only figured out a practical way to synthesise silicon crystals usable for silicon transistors after that ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
0 votes
2 answers
136 views

Fastest possible space faring civilization from cavemen [closed]

Let's say I have an Environment, called eden Abundant amounts of any resources needed to become a space faring civilization, as long as they are non-synthetic or man made resources filled with ...
Vatsa Pandey's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
94 views

An earth-like society with popular submarine travel [closed]

So I have recently been reading the new issue of "Just like us" from Feb 2245, the one that features the plane Aurora on its frontpage. I know that we've made a contact with these guys a ...
SBF's user avatar
  • 229
10 votes
14 answers
4k views

Is there any way to justify very different levels of technological development within a few thousand miles?

Imagine a continent the size of Africa. At the coasts are sophisticated cities, where people use digital technology, electric cars, and whatnot. Travel inland, across a mountain range or through a ...
wokopa's user avatar
  • 4,735
1 vote
0 answers
76 views

How to use and abuse a transformable metal [closed]

My dm has given my character a metal that can: "Be as flexible as linen or more rigid than tungsten. Properties that can be adjusted: tensile strength, torque strength, rigidity, density." ...
Ghoster_Toaster's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Would it be possible to create a technology that allows telekinesis? [closed]

im writing a story with the purpose of trying to stay within the bounds of realism (in a way), and telekinesis is one of my issues... Basically, I am trying to figure out if there is any way possible ...
Zoltan's user avatar
  • 35
2 votes
3 answers
279 views

What would be the fastest way to generate heat energy for damage?

For a suit of armour to deal damage via the hands/palms/claws primarily as an antihero/vigilante gimmick. Now thinking around ~2000°C (3632°F) (Containment is another question) but I need it hot ...
crane j.'s user avatar
9 votes
7 answers
2k views

Super broad gauge railway vs double wide/multi track railway

So here's the scenario, a mad scientist has just managed to take over the continent on his campaign for world domination (which continent I will leave to your imagination but for simplicity lets say ...
Tyler Phelps's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
194 views

Appearance of sky in space habitat with low (50 m) ceiling, using mirrors and blinders

Background I have considered rotating space habitats of various forms for my worldbuilding projects (i.e. cylinders, rings/torii, spheres) and recently discovered this intriguing design by physicist ...
sevenempest's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
141 views

How might a race of humanoids with haplodiploid sex determination reproduce artificially? [closed]

I'd like to have unique fantasy type 'races' in a world which appears as a typical fantasy world, but is in fact set far in the future after an apocalyptic event. I'd like one of these races to be '...
SterileAbrasion's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
73 views

Hycean world space travel [closed]

Hycean worlds are planets which bridge the gap between rocky and gas giant planets. They have atmospheres high in hydrogen and vast oceans with perhaps no dry land at all. How could the local sentient ...
Joe Smith's user avatar
  • 3,192
2 votes
1 answer
233 views

What would a society do with negative refractive index glass? [closed]

In the late 18th century, a chemist somewhere in the West discovers a cheap and easy process that can be used to produce glass with a negative refractive index. What use would society have for this ...
M S's user avatar
  • 2,404
7 votes
4 answers
377 views

How to make a signal difficult to find?

There is a construction fleet that has turned up on earth, to prepare it for extraterrestrial visitors (it's the new galactic place to be). In order to assist the locals (us) in understanding what is ...
Michael B's user avatar
  • 371
15 votes
18 answers
4k views

What makes my planetary shields more practical on the surface of planets than in space?

First off habitable planets play a major role in this setting. Furthermore this is a setting whose elements somewhat require that the surface of planets are not soft targets. In particular planets are ...
AllSeeingEye33's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
721 views

What would be required to allow a human brain to function for thousands of years?

Could a human brain be kept functioning (thinking, alive, etc.) for thousands of years by use of some sort of machine or technology by the machine preserving the brain? What would such a machine have ...
Kal Madda's user avatar
  • 1,851
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

How to stop empires with non-electrical communication from collapsing?

Background: If we look at the past (especially in countries from the early C.E.), a lot of empires collapsed for many different reasons. These reasons are mainly (not exclusively!) going to be an ...
EducatedScribbles's user avatar
22 votes
13 answers
10k views

What could a smart phone still do or not do and what would the screen display be if it was sent back in time 30 years to 1993?

A person is sent back in time 30 years to 1993 and they still have their phone. The phone is an iphone 11. It is on a contract. The battery is fully charged. The phone has a number of apps on it ...
AvengingEarth's user avatar
1 vote
11 answers
3k views

How to move a large amount of energy being generated as electricity in a situation where a powerline isn't a usable option?

There is a very very large dam in the middle of a desert; it operates similarly to the Qattara Depression Project, and was constructed both to power the areas south of it, but primarily for political ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
9 votes
16 answers
6k views

How do I prevent combat-oriented aircraft from being viable?

The more I compare fictional military vehicles and tactics with real-life ones, the more it seems like aircraft are near-omnipotent in the battlefield (operating word here being near). As such, it's a ...
PanzerFan R191's user avatar
2 votes
10 answers
1k views

Must a sapient species rely entirely on language to advance? [closed]

Humans, unlike other intelligent species, have a unique reliance on our language. Is this required? Could a species, with language, realistically advance to human-level technology without having a ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 16.2k
1 vote
3 answers
299 views

Best way to generate energy from a reactionless thruster?

The IVO Quantum Drive is scheduled to be launched into space on June 10th this year, for realsies. I fully expect that it will not work, because it would violate conservation of energy. But if it did ...
Logan R. Kearsley's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
379 views

Alternatives to electricity for energy distribution in a spaceship?

Basically, I want the aesthetics of "EPS conduits" without the soft-sci-fi handwaving of actual Star-Trekian EPS conduits. Is there some system for distributing large amounts of power around ...
Logan R. Kearsley's user avatar
20 votes
26 answers
6k views

Non-electrical technology that pre-modern people would see as magic?

My world was colonized by spacefaring humans who lost the vast majority of their technology in an unknown catastrophe at least 12,000 years before the present. They have now redeveloped roughly up to ...
DMacc1917's user avatar
  • 956
16 votes
13 answers
3k views

Is a "20th century" spacefaring civilization plausible?

This civilization has computational technology roughly equivalent to Earth's in the late 20th century. We're talking post-moon landing, but pre-Internet (roughly 1969-1983). They may or may not have ...
DMacc1917's user avatar
  • 956
2 votes
2 answers
156 views

Types of available ores and metallurgy on a "newly" terraformed planet?

I am developing a story set on an exoplanet that was colonized by spacefaring humans but has long since lost all contact with the homeworld due to some unknown catastrophe at least 12,000 years before ...
DMacc1917's user avatar
  • 956
2 votes
3 answers
201 views

Is there a NON-CHEMICAL weapon that can target the central nervous and/or muscular system?

There is research on nerve agents and gases, but are there any man-portable weapons that may be able to harm the CNS without gas? Thanks. AMENDED: Results in symptoms like shaking, tremors that are ...
Colette Puglisi's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
158 views

Is it possible to create a to create a homemade weapon using electromagnetic or microwave energy, sound or sonic beams? [closed]

Entire question: is it possible to create a homemade weapon using electromagnetic, microwave energy and/or sound or sonic beams that can permeate buildings and their structure without damaging the ...
Colette Puglisi's user avatar
10 votes
12 answers
2k views

Would improvised motor vehicles be feasible a century after the fall of industrial civilization?

I'm working on a TTRPG system that takes place about a century after an apocalypse event. I've hit a point where a bit of world building is required, and so I'm going down the list of technologies (...
Gerby's user avatar
  • 101
-2 votes
8 answers
1k views

What could make the technology to be conserved at the level of mid-late 21th century for centuries? [duplicate]

Here is my description of the world: The world is roughly at the technological level of our mid-21th century, with some things more advanced than ours and some less. There is seemingly no visible or ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 5,316
4 votes
3 answers
233 views

How advanced and/or important would aircraft be for a species capable naturally of decent to good flight? [closed]

I am wondering how a species capable naturally/supernaturally(with limits) of decent to good flight, i.e capable of flying for hours and possibly can hover, would treat aircraft like passenger jets ...
Conan Highwoods's user avatar

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