Questions tagged [technology]

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Is there any indication throughout history that technological progression will end?

Bernard Stiegler argued that technics was a form of memory and was always progressing. Yet, philosophy isn’t the right thing to rely on when dealing with science. Science doesn’t have a mind and ...
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Which modern sciences/technologies were contingent on the Copernican Revolution, & which could have developed even while believing in geocentrism? [closed]

Suppose that, for whatever reason, neither Copernicus nor anyone else had discovered the heliocentric model, and cosmology remained stuck in the geocentric model. ("For whatever reason" ...
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Did Newton ever use filtered or prism-dispersed colored light to view "Newton's rings" or other thin-film interference effects?

First please enjoy this wonderful answer to How did Newton explain his interference rings without wave optics? which describes the story behind what we now call Newton's rings. Below I show an example ...
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12k views

How did people make things perfectly straight?

Constructing houses, telescopes, and most other important projects requires shaping pieces to precise size, at perfect right angles, or to have flat surfaces. People today have all kinds of ways of ...
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When did telescopes become affordable?

There must have been a moment when most people had heard of telescopes, but they were only affordable by rich people or ship's captains. When did they first become affordable by the general public? ...
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1answer
113 views

When did the disciplinary distinction between art, science, and technology occur?

Often people talk of Leonardo da Vinci as an example of multi-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary successful approach towards the three fields - art, science and technology. This seems an uninformed ...
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82 views

"Nuclear fusion is 30 years away" since when?

It's a well-known, running joke (or criticism) in the fusion community that Fusion is always 30 years away. refering to the considerable difficulties that harnessing nuclear fusion as an energy ...
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105 views

Feynman's statement about the importance of basic science

I remember reading in the line that Feynman saying if the best technicians were tasked to build a radio they would make longer and thicker cables and transfer message but it took a physicist to ...
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67 views

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
82 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 ...
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114 views

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
285 views

Does war speed up technological advancements and research?

I've heard of Nazi Germany developing many a technology that we still use today and that communications technology such as the telegraph came about due to wartime needs. I was wondering to what ...
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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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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
5k 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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146 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
307 views

How did people realize they could do logic with electronics?

How did people realize they could do logic with electronics? Are there anecdotes of the first realizations? I'm wondering about the first "eureka" moments.
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1k views

Did the Soviet Union have their own discoveries in the development of semiconductors and the semiconductor industry?

After the Second World War Russia had a vastly larger number of students being trained in their universities compared to the United States around the time of the International Geophysical Year in 1957....
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119 views

During the development of QFT was this theory actually used to build any invention like the MRI?

I have always wondered if the equations of quantum field theory were actually ever used in the production of some invention or device other than needed to make predictions about the Standard Model of ...
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1answer
84 views

How much had the rise of drones 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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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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162 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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95 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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144 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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1answer
731 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
636 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 ...
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4k views

When was the cogwheel gear invented?

Can someone tell me what year was the cogwheel gear invented? I tried searching it up but the answers were too complicated.