Questions tagged [technology]

For questions about the technology and its usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or serve some purpose. Must be related to an on-topic work. Use this tag in conjunction with the tag of the work in question, e.g. [star-wars].

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What are droid brains made of?

Has a source ever confirmed what droid brains are made of? Since Artificial Intelligence is likely extremely complex and energy consuming, I have my doubts that it's made of silicon, but I'd like to ...
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3 answers
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What does it mean to "bypass" a plasma relay or EPS conduit, etc.?

At various times in the Star Trek universe, somebody says they should bypass something like a plasma/EPS relay or conduit. What does such a "bypass" entail? Like, physically, what is ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What do we know of the technical advisors on ST:OS?

I think there is no doubt that the science in the science fiction of Star Trek in the 1960s was far superior to that found in any competing show. Some "science fiction" shows made no real ...
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1 answer
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Can K feel Joi's touch?

I believe she can actually light his cigarette, probably a function of the same lasers or whatever that project her being focused to cause heat (perhaps this would not work with the portable emanator)....
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What is the Skinners' source of weapons and ammunition?

The story begins at the civilization level of roughly 1860s to 1870s. So one can see a range of weapons used by main and most tech-advanced combatants. To illustrate the point and the context of the ...
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9 votes
5 answers
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What was the earliest fiction to use cloning as a magical ability/superpower?

I've seen media where a character is able to clone/replicate themselves in an instant. These clones help fight off enemies either directly, or serve as a distraction. So I've wanted to know, what the ...
26 votes
3 answers
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What is hyperspace in Star Wars?

Is it teleportation, making a wormhole, or something else? Does it always exist and people just go into it, or does someone create it for themselves when they jump? Does it manipulate time?
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3 answers
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Semi-recent sci-fi movie where everyone is chipped and controlled by an evil corporation or government

I’m looking for a movie I watched within the last year (likely released within the last decade), where everyone is chipped, and is in-turn controlled by an evil corporation or government. People ...
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1 answer
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Scifi novel about two high dimension beings trapped on earth by a "jailer"

Looking for a recent novel about a pair of aliens who fight amongst each other and trapped on Earth as a result. They try to escape, by nudging humanity towards discovering specific tech, and are ...
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1 answer
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Stargate teleportation vs Star Trek's: very different technology?

It is my impression from what little I know of Stargate is that their method of teleportation does something like warp space: there is no disassembly and reassembly of objects and beings and this ...
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Where did the idea of the ornithopter originate?

This question stems from a commonly depicted mode of transportation, the ornithopter. It is the primary flight tool in the latest Dune movie as well as seen in Black Panther and in several books I've ...
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Could the mobile emitter in Voyager be used by any program created on the holodeck?

In the Star Trek: Voyager episode, "Future's End, Part II", Voyager's EMH, the Doctor, was able to leave sickbay or the holodeck and roam freely with the help of a mobile emitter (the ...
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7 answers
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Do computer games still exist in Star Trek?

I don't remember, other than the TNG episode The Game, of any other types of video games in Star Trek. Obviously, you can go into the holodeck, load up a simulation, and have fun, but consider the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
283 views

How do starships in orbit avoid mundane detection by pre-warp societies?

In the episode First Contact, the Enterprise is in orbit around the planet Malcor III, a pre-warp society that is planning to launch their first warp-capable vessel in a year. The implication behind ...
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What's the first appearance of monomolecular wire or nanofilament (extremely thin, superstrong, hence cuts almost anything)?

There's a pivotal scene in Larry Niven's short story, "The Borderland of Sol" in which Beowulf Shaeffer uses a length of Sinclair monofilament -- a monomolecular wire as strong as molecular ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Is the hyper drive a plot hole? [duplicate]

In The Last Jedi, Vice-Admiral Holdo kamakazis' her cruiser by jumping it to hyperspace through the enemy fleet, destroying it in the process. This seems like an enormous plot hole. Why don't the ...
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In the DC universe, how do Zeta Tubes work?

In the DC universe, there is a means of travel called the Zeta Tubes. How do they work (conceptually)? Do they copy the info of what's in the origin, destroy its contents, and paste it at the other ...
4 votes
2 answers
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What is the earliest work of fiction featuring spaceships with shield technology?

I'm trying to figure out what is the earliest mention of shield technology in any work of fiction to feature spaceships that are protected by shields or any similar force field technology (think of ...
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1 answer
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Are self-sealing stem bolts a Star Trek in-joke?

During a scene in Star Trek: Discovery season 3 episode 6 "Scavengers", Burnham mentions self-sealing stem bolts. This item has had a few mentions in earlier Star Trek series, beginning with ...
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11 votes
3 answers
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What is a chain code and how do they work?

In several episodes of The Mandalorian we have had mention to a chain code. I believe Cara Dune, Moff Gideon, Greef Karga, and Din Djarin all bring them up at some point. In Chapter 14: The Tragedy ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Can Borg drones control their ships with their minds?

I've seen some people get upset at seeing Borg drones press buttons on computer consoles, arguing that they should be able to simply control the ship via their hive mind connection. I'm pretty sure we'...
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5 votes
3 answers
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Why do many people live like medieval villagers in a society with ubiquitous advanced technology?

In The Mandalorian, chapter 13: The walls protecting the village are basic metal. The village itself looks like something out of Game of Thrones. People are dressed like medieval peasants. There are ...
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1 answer
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What does "auto-wash" actually do?

Recently, I needed a washer mechanic to come to my home to clean out the lines. He told us that we need to do an... auto-wash ...from time-to-time to avoid problems, and that made me wonder about a ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Sonic weapon used by necromancer -- does air have enough density to transmit power like that? [closed]

I think there are real-life sonic weapons that can kill people but the actual explosions/almost complete disintegration that the necromancer's weapon causes seems unrealistic -- no matter how much ...
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How does Spider-Man track chemical trails?

In Spider-Man PS4, Peter Parker has the ability to identify and track certain chemicals he comes across. The identification process is most likely a form of spectroscopy, probably Raman. But after ...
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1 answer
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Short story about a farmer who unearths a mysterious motor or engine [duplicate]

He is working his field and digs up a large object that seems to be humming. There is an opening in the case, so he inserts a piece of lumber and it spins with such torque that it almost kills him. I ...
20 votes
4 answers
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First work where a traveler from afar arrives to a backward society and he tries to help its scientific progress

There is a traditional trope in science fiction: an alien arrives in a backward world and tries to advance its scientific and technical progress. I would like to know the first novel or story in which ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Are there any specifics given as to how the Genosha mutant power suppression technology works?

In the X-Men franchise, there are numerous human made tech which somehow stop mutants from utilizing their abilities. It doesn't matter if the power is physical, psionic, or energy based; once applied,...
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1 answer
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Do any non-Federation starships have deflector dishes?

One of the answers to this question says The visible dish itself is a bit unique to the Federation. (emphasis added) Is that true? Do any non-Federation ships have deflector dishes?
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1 vote
2 answers
244 views

Does interdiction technology exist in other universes other than Star Wars? [closed]

In Star Wars Rebels, we see an Interdictor cruiser, which is capable of pulling other ships out of hyperspace. Since most other science fiction universes have hyperspace as a means of trans-galactic ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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How was the base on Pandora built in Avatar?

I understand that ships like the Venture Star were used to bring people to Pandora, but the Venture Star's actual payload is quite small (the fandom page says payload is 350 tons, you can also compare ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Are these three Star Trek characters all a result of the same "glitch"?

In the various Star Trek shows, we have seen at least three examples of a Holodeck character achieving sentience: Professor Moriarty (TNG) Vic Fontaine (DS9) The Doctor (VOY) In all three cases, the ...
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2 answers
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In the Star Trek universe, why is cloaking technology so rare?

The ST universe predominantly only depicts two main races with cloaking technology: the Romulans and Klingons. In universe, the Klingons originally got the technology from the Romulans as part of a ...
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17 votes
3 answers
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What is the communications range of a standard Starfleet combadge?

This has been suggested to pretty far, even light-years, plus have been turned into a subspace beacon or transponder especially if damaged to aid in finding the owner either to rescue a survivor or to ...
13 votes
2 answers
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Why do the Rebels probe the section of the shield within the gate?

In Rogue One, during the Battle of Scarif, once the shield gate has closed, Y-Wings and X-Wings from the Alliance are seen probing the shield by dropping bombs and firing torpedoes at it, to no avail. ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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What was Han searching through when he found where Lando was?

In The Empire Strikes Back we have this exchange between Han and Leia HAN: Then we've got to find a safe port somewhere around here. Got any ideas? LEIA: No. Where are we? HAN: The Anoat ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Why wasn't the Moties planet overrun by Watchmakers?

In the book "The Mote in God's Eye", by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the humans are forced to evacuate one starship due to it being overrun by the rapidly breeding Watchmaker caste of 'Moties'. ...
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12 votes
2 answers
742 views

When and how was wheeled transport introduced to Middle-Earth?

In The Lord of the Rings, wheeled transport is common. Gandalf has a cart, travelling dwarven merchants have them, Gondor had many, the siege engines of Mordor obviously use wheels to get around, and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Is there a name for the style/genre of Sci-Fi using floating, illuminated technology elements?

Astral Chain, Mass Effect, Halo 4 (with the Forerunner technology and weapons) and Black Panther are all examples of Science Fiction that make use of floating, illuminated elements in their technology....
7 votes
2 answers
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What is the first work featuring noise cancellation?

Alternate Question Title: Did Stephen Bartholomew invent noise cancellation? I just read "The Rumble and the Roar" by Stephen Bartholomew (Worlds of If Science Fiction, February 1957) It is a story ...
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3 answers
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How is Iron Man's nanotech suit supposed to work given what we observe in "Endgame"?

In Infinity War, we're introduced to Iron Man's nanotech suit. In particular, it can emerge from his arc reactor chest amulet and it can form his helmet and reconfigure other parts of his suit ...
7 votes
1 answer
510 views

Why aren't stealth field generators more common during the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War?

The fan-favourite RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was the first to introduce a device known as a stealth field generator - a small and portable cloaking device that can be worn as a belt. ...
5 votes
1 answer
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Have all the diseases that plague Homo sapiens today been conquered by the time of the original Star Trek?

The Enterprise has an elaborate Sick Bay, well equipped with diagnostic and curative equipment. Dr. McCoy and his colleagues are busy repairing traumatic injuries and diagnosing weird diseases of ...
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27 votes
2 answers
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Do Iron Man suits sport waste management systems?

Obviously, it is difficult to be an effective superhero if you need to take potty breaks. And Iron Man's suit affords a unique opportunity to fix this problem. Do we have evidence of integrated ...
6 votes
2 answers
283 views

Is there a Star Trek episode that completely lacks futuristic technology or non-human traits?

I'm wondering if there's any Star Trek episode which could have been set in any pretty much any other (non-futuristic) setting without modification, even if the appearance of the technology is ...
3 votes
0 answers
60 views

Are wizards able to avoid Muggle detection after the invention of media cloud storage? [duplicate]

We understand from the books that there are multiple parts of the Ministry of Magic and its counterparts devoted to deceiving Muggles, including concocting explanations for Muggle head of states in ...
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2 answers
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Short story about scientists playing grooves on old pottery like an old vinyl record

Read a long time ago so not recent, maybe in the 1970s or 1980s. It might have been Bradbury, but maybe not. Some kind of researchers (anthropologists? physicists?) figure out how to play the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Do repulsor lift vehicles exert a reaction force on the ground below them? [duplicate]

Let's say I am lying on the ground when my friend runs over me on his speeder bike, does it feel like I've just been run over by a bike or as though a light breeze just passed over me? There doesn't ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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Aliens, technology, duck hunt: what's the name of the short story?

I have read this short science fiction story in the early 90's and am trying to find the author and the title. I hope someone can help me based on the outline of the plot: Aliens land on Earth and ...
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1 answer
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Norby’s time travel capability?

When did Norby, of the series of the same name by Isaac and Janet Asimov, gain his hyperspace and time travel capabilities? My guess is he gained them when he was first made. I first put this on the ...
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