Questions tagged [technology]

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

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10answers
3k views

Deflecting an incoming star, railgun style

A friend of mine, ɹɐqooɟ, lives in a large globular cluster where stellar encounters and collisions are very common. His civilization is a Type 1.8 civilization, having built half of a Dyson Sphere ...
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30answers
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Could a civilization achieve spaceflight without inventing advanced weaponry along the way?

The question is fairly simple. Could a civilization progress so far as to have spaceships while still using swords, spears, and bows as their most advanced weaponry? (what those weapons are made of ...
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10answers
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How could the current model of the Solar System have been recognized and accepted earlier?

Many factors in history have contributed to society's taking a long time to accept the heliocentric (= the Earth orbits the Sun) model: the first that come to mind immediately are religion and, more ...
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4answers
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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’...
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5answers
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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 ...
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14answers
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What point(s) of departure would I need for space colonization to become a common reality by 2020?

As of 2020, colonizing outside of Earth and into the other bodies that orbit our sun--planets, moons and even asteroids--is all talk and no do. Sure, we have stations like the International Space ...
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17answers
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What is the viability of trains on planets covered in water?

I want to write a science fiction book on a planet mostly covered by ocean, but I also want to incorporate trains into my story. However, it seems that with advances in ship and plane technology, ...
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17answers
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What is a medieval technology method of underwater enemy detection?

I am writing a DnD module where fishmen are invading island nations. The islands would naturally have adapted to this in some way as the raids have been happening for years. What method would these ...
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13answers
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Benevolent aliens will help us all- on one condition. Can we end all wars?

Background It's a nice spring day on May 23, 2016. You sit outside with a radio and tune in to the news. In the middle of hearing the station talk about [insert politician here], you hear a large ...
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15answers
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How to bootstrap technological development from one man in the forest, to building a spaceship? [closed]

The last human alive is on the Antarctic continent and needs to find a way to leave the planet before Earth becomes unsustainable for life. (He would look for a planet orbiting a younger star. That ...
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20answers
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How to enslave a species that can transport themselves anywhere on the planet instantaneously?

I'm thinking of creating a story where a relatively peaceful species is capable of taking themselves apart and then putting themselves back together again in a different place. Because of this, a ...
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18answers
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What are plausible faster than light methods for a far advanced civilization that aren't a warp drive

Hopefully the title sums it up well, but I'm looking for potential faster than light travel (hoping for real or pseudo-real science here, as much as possible) that doesn't involve a warp drive, which ...
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12answers
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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 ...
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13answers
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1 Light Year Diameter Planet

Suppose a species has limitless resources and the ability to construct megastructures of an astronomical scale. Would it be possible, given antigravitational technology (hypothetical), to create a ...
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14answers
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What would hinder the exploration of an alien outpost?

Let's say the dots on Ceres are abandoned alien outposts. Within the next 40-200 years humanity manages to send a team of research scientists to the location. The scientists quickly found a way inside ...
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6answers
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Exploration of a 50 mile high mountain

My friends and I are building a world with a 50 mile high volcano on it. The mountain is the result of some bored god deciding to play a joke on everyone. Or, some other god got angry and decided to ...
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8answers
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How might it be possible to move a star?

I'm imagining a super-powerful spacefaring race which has the capability to build or modify a star system or even galaxy by moving stars around, but I wonder if it's really feasible. Is it ...
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6answers
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Where are all the bodies?

In my near (+200 years) future world teleportation has been invented and is now in common use especially for off-world travelling, but it works by creating a perfect copy of the travelling human ...
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5answers
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Can free-space holograms exist?

Holograms are a real thing. But what science-fiction TV shows and movies call holograms are something different entirely. From a classical geometric optics standpoint, in order to create the ...
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14answers
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Can a robotic army really defeat humanity?

A common sight, made famous by the Terminator franchise, is the robotic apocalypse. It's usually said that due to their lack of organs and ability to use radiation and biological warfare without a ...
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19answers
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The most secured, completely untraceable mobile phones in the world

I'm writing a story about a company similar to Google, i.e. which wants to know everything about everyone and which wants to trace everything that is traceable out there. But which, at the same time, ...
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9answers
6k views

How to create a seawall with medieval technology?

A seawall is basically a coastal defense to prevent waves and tsunamis. Let's suppose there is a town that is located in a lagoon next to the ocean, a sea version of Esgaroth, the lake town. In this ...
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15answers
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Steam Powered Hammer

Question So lets say a post-apocalyptic society that primarily uses steam to power everything wants to make war hammers that have their impact force enhanced through the power of steam. What ways ...
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11answers
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Implications of a Lightsaber on the Middle Ages

Imagine if by chance, a Lightsaber was transferred using a time machine to the middle ages. At first it was found by a peasant. The poor fellow didn't know what to do with it, so he sold it for a few ...
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8answers
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Where in the world can film in a crashed photo recon plane survive for several decades?

For a pen-and-paper RPG scenario, I want the player characters to find and salvage undeveloped film from a crashed early-cold-war or late-WWII photo recon aircraft. Where in the world is it most ...
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13answers
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What non-intuitive modern items would be useful in a medieval-ish world?

The world is similar to that in Prince of Thorns: namely, so far in the future that civilization has essentially reset, and is back to a medieval level of technology and culture. However, there are ...
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Sonar Jamming Squids

Context In the arms race of survival many animals have developed ways of evading predators, but the animal I am interested in for this question would be the tiger moth. So basically these guys jam bat ...
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5answers
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How to cross a metallic sea?

Suppose human explorers came across a terrestrial planet hospitable for life, but with more than 70% of its surface covered by gallium. When temperatures rises in the day it will form an ocean of ...
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3answers
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How to design tentacle massage machine?

I started to wonder about the possibility of a tentacle massage machine. To make the setting even more bizarre, it was intended to be a mass market home appliance. The tech level should be comparable ...
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10answers
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Compressed air lighting?

So I've got this civilization that doesn't have electricity, but does have municipal power distribution via compressed air lines. Now, you can do a lot of useful things with compressed air. Even in ...
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8answers
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How would an aquatic civilisation forge tools?

One of the first steps in technological is the ability of a civilisation to forge tools* humans achieved this by using fire and creating forges. There are obviously underwater heat sources but I don'...
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6answers
967 views

30 year groundhogs day: how to increase the world's technology

The premise: Our protagonist was a intelligent, good natured, programmer who just tucked himself in bed at the end of celebrating his 35th birthday, only to wake up as a child on the day of his fifth ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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15answers
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What would be the most efficient and cost effective way to stop a star's nuclear fusion ('kill it')?

I want a group of freelancers on a spaceship to stop a star from functioning. No government funding and they have to get creative. What would be the cheapest way for them to achieve this? I know we ...
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16answers
10k views

Black hole as a storage device?

I'm writing a sci-fi story, and there is a giant autonomous computer planet that constantly gathers resources from around the universe using drones. It stores a super weapon at the core of the planet, ...
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10answers
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Planetary defense in an interstellar society

Let's say that you are some sort of tyrannical dictator of an inhabited world with futuristic technology (ex. railguns, a fully automated labor force, efficient space travel.) You know that within ...
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19answers
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How could primitive people destroy or severely damage a very large very modern building?

In my story, there are a large group of technologically backwards Earthmen who wish to remove a futuristic Martian arcology from their ancestral land. The Earthmen do not have any 20th or 21st century ...
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14answers
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How can I save a high-tech/no-spaceflight civilization against the wrath of non-technological gods?

The Problem: Atlantis has angered the gods. Having developed fantastical technologies far beyond the rest of the planet, they have managed to challenge the gods themselves. The gods' reaction is to ...
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18answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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How could the elevator at The Wall be powered?

In the show Game of Thrones there is this thing called The Wall. It is a monstrous, 300 mile (≈ 483 km) long bulwark consisting of a fortified ice wall that is 700 feet (≈ 213 meters) high (check the ...
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15answers
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Combat in age of swords and railguns

In a world that i am building, there is an advanced civilization that is somewhat close to 21st century humans. Two of the differences are: they have discovered electricity much earlier than we did ...
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4answers
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In a post-apocalypse world, with no power and few survivors, would Satnav still work?

Assuming: there was no power, so there was no web/internet you had a mobile phone (one of the smart ones, not a basic one) powered by solar the phone had maps downloaded on to its memory card (so you ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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13answers
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How close can we get to heated blades?

In many sci-fi scenarii, most often when mechs are involved, it is not uncommon to see such a technology, usually called heated blade. Supposedly, it would make the blade even more efficient at ...
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4answers
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Surviving within SCP-3008 (The Infinite IKEA)? [closed]

There was an old SCP I liked called SCP-3008 (The Infinity IKEA) here it is: http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-3008 My question is, if a group of people were trapped within SCP-3008, what would be the ...
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21answers
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In a world where Magic steam Engines exist what would keep people from making cars

I am working a wild wild west mixed with contemorary fantasy setting. So imagine knights in shining Armor, riding along side a train as a dragon flies over and breathes fire down. on they have what ...
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10answers
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In a world with escape velocity greater than the speed of light, would a civilization be able to reach space?

Htrae is a planet with an abnormally strong gravity. In Htrae, the escape velocity is greater than the speed of light. Suppose a civilization like humans (call them snamuhs) evolves, with the unique ...
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7answers
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Advanced Technology in a Fireless World?

I have this world in my cosmic garden where open flames are not possible in the primary atmosphere (either not enough oxygen or some other factor that limits free burning of fuel). Given that ...
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7answers
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How to make classical firearms effective on space habitats despite the coriolis effect?

The direction of the force will always be perpendicular to velocity and pointing to the opposite side of the rotation direction. In plain terms, any object traveling in the rotation plane: up (toward ...
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7answers
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How long does an era last? What are the key factors in moving on?

In this story I'm writing, I start in a sword and sandal "age of myth" type setting, but as the centuries press on, it becomes medieval in nature. As even more time passes, there is even some ...

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