Questions tagged [technology]

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Mathematical analysis vs. Practical genius

Concerning the role of mathematics in technological inventions: which books would you suggest that examine the historical relation between mathematical analysis & practical wisdom? For example, ...
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2answers
56 views

Are there historical origins of “robotic” voices seen in earlier sci fi movies?

While today text to speech technology gets so advanced that synthetic voices come quite close to human ones, during my childhood I got quite inspired by "robotic" mechanical voices in Hollywood sci fi ...
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Why was Beaumont's steam engine not replicated for about 100 years?

Via a recent answer of mine, an ultimately wikipedia, I've learned that the first Steam Engine used to drain a mine was invented by Jeronimo Beamont, in 1606. He got a patent for it too. This was in ...
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3answers
119 views

Does war speed up technological advancements and research?

I've heard of Nazi Germany developing many a tech that we still use today and that communication technology such as the telegraph came about due to war time needs. I was wondering to what extent does ...
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78 views

Why was there so much technological advancement in the 1980s?

I was born after the 1980s so I don't really know what it was like then. However, whenever I hear older folks reminisce about all the new and innovative technology that came out back then I have to ...
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97 views

Study of path from science to technology

Much of the advertised reason for scientific research is that there is a trickle-down effect from science to technology. For instance, here is a quote by Enrico Fermi that I grabbed from Wikipedia. ...
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1answer
2k views

When was double-paned glass first invented and used for insulation?

Double-paned glass windows have a hollow space between two panes of glass, usually just filled with air. This can make a much better insulator than normal glass, according to Engineering Toolbox. I ...
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1answer
130 views

How did crude oil pipelines work before WW2?

Before World War Two, how did pipelines work for crude oil? What kind of metal or plastic were they made out of? What kind of sensors and monitoring did they need? Did they have "pigs" that travel up ...
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1answer
38 views

How much had the rise of drons been connected with the study of birds?

I've read in "How do they fly" by Rudolf Dvořák that the main constraint from inventing some kind of remote-controlled flying machine that could go all directions was the lack of theoretical ...
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34 views

What enabled the spread of virtual reality systems?

What new technology enabled us to construct VR recently? Was it just the resolution which makes believable image?
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2answers
136 views

Why were the first steam engines “atmospheric engines”

Anybody who has boiled water knows that a positive pressure builds up when steam is produced. Indeed the first conceptual design of a steam engine (the Aeolipile) was a "positive pressure" engine. The ...
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90 views

Why were light bulbs traditionally marketed based on power consumption rather than light output?

Historically, incandestent light bulbs were marketed primarily by their power consumption in watt. I don't know if light output in lumen was specified at all. I'm not aware of any other electrical ...
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114 views

How many computers are there?

There are about 7.13 billion humans alive today. When installing Java, it says that 3 billion devices run Java. The question is, out of how many? How many computing devices that have enough ...
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417 views

How did artillery and physics co-evolve during 1400-1700?

Artillery was established in Europe around the year 1400. But physics, the mathematical and systematical description of how objects fall, the foundation of engine construction, didn't dawn until about ...
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2answers
450 views

When was the diving bell invented?

This question comes from my attempts to give a good answer to the previous question, How was difference in water pressure perceived in ancient cultures or the middle ages? I know from my childhood ...