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Author Topic: What devices can we construct using hard science at a victorian level of tech?  (Read 3766 times)
Khem Caigan
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« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2010, 11:50:56 pm »

... a Babbage engine could never be made as small as an electronic computer.

Mechanical computers can be made just as
small ( if not as fast ) as their electronic
counterparts - see, for example :
http://tinyurl.com/cn8rwd
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Atterton
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« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2010, 12:17:59 am »

Yes but the Victorians didn´t have lasers, electron tunneling microscopes or other such things for making nanotechnology.
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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2010, 01:05:43 am »

Yes but the Victorians didn´t have lasers, electron tunneling microscopes or other such things for making nanotechnology.

Such instruments are not essential
to nanotechnology  :

"Ancient Islamic potters invented
nanotechnology eleven centuries
before our solid state physicists"
~ Full article available here.
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2010, 01:11:05 am »

I think though that they´d be rather essential for making nano-sized mechanics.
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H. MacHinery
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« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2010, 01:15:02 am »

Yes but the Victorians didn´t have lasers, electron tunneling microscopes or other such things for making nanotechnology.

Such instruments are not essential
to nanotechnology  :

"Ancient Islamic potters invented
nanotechnology eleven centuries
before our solid state physicists"
~ Full article available here.


I think that there is a great deal of distance between nano-materials and nano-machines.

The nano-sized particles are not intentionally arranged - they have a natural pattern like a crystal matrix.  A nano-machine needs a non-regular placement of its parts that requires manipulation, so I think that Victorian Science would still be unable to produce nano-computers.
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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2010, 01:27:46 am »

I think though that they´d be rather essential for making nano-sized mechanics.

Christiaan Huygens had already argued
for the wave nature of light back in the
1600s, several centuries before Louis De
Broglie. There was nothing to stop some
innovative Victorian from getting the jump
on Ruska and Knoll and building a field ion
microscope, for example.
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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2010, 01:41:32 am »

A nano-machine needs a non-regular placement of its parts that requires manipulation, so I think that Victorian Science would still be unable to produce nano-computers.

Or they might employ some features of
the amorphous semiconductor materials
developed by Stan Ovshinsky in the 50s.

And while we're brainstorming, let's not
forget that Bram Stoker first postulated
the photonic computer in his novel, The
Jewel of Seven Stars
.
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Arvis
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« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2010, 02:19:25 am »

We can make one of these.

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Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2010, 02:36:20 am »

ROFL @ Arvis!
 Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
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pakled
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« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2010, 05:20:47 am »

Well, you have to differentiate technical science vs materials science. The thing that makes a laser (ruby, or chromium oxide for the sticklers for accuracy...Wink is a fairly even amount of distribution of 'contaiminants' to make the 'jump' in energy states that makes lasers work.
For exampled, aluminum, when first discovered, was a @#$% to refine into anything like a pure metal. In fact, it was more valuable than platinum at one point, and I do believe they put an aluminum  top on the Washington Monument (made the old-fashioned way), before people discovered you could just stick some electrodes into bauxite and go...Wink

I'd recommend a book written for an old BBC series (Connections) for how things showed up when, and why. In it, Burke (I think that's the guy) demonstrates that it was the invention of a carburetor that allowed for a practical gas engine.

 Another take (fictional) is Turtledove's Agent of Byzantium, which has interesting cases for things being discovered 'early'.

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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2010, 02:25:17 pm »

Well, you have to differentiate technical science vs materials science.

And then there are the manifold
inventions that come into existence
purely through serendipity, such
as the invention of the PCR by
Kary Mullis while tripping on LSD.
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2010, 05:35:40 am »

Well, you have to differentiate technical science vs materials science.

And then there are the manifold
inventions that come into existence
purely through serendipity, such
as the invention of the PCR by
Kary Mullis while tripping on LSD.



Then there is the famous Chemist Friedrich August Kekule who solved the puzzle of the structure of carbon rings (ie 6 carbon atoms sharing a cloud of electrons) in benzene. It is said that he divined this in a daydream or vision, but those in the know say it was whilst tripping on either heroin or cocaine.

yhs
prof marvel
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« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2010, 06:16:54 am »


Mechanical computers can be made just as
small ( if not as fast ) as their electronic
counterparts

Probably still faster than my laptop with only dial-up interweb... Cheesy

~T
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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2010, 10:18:44 am »

Probably still faster than my laptop with only dial-up interweb... Cheesy

Och! We were initially on dial-up out
here in the Catskill Park - rather like
drawing concrete through a straw.
We tried Wild Blue, fired them, and
now we're on HughesNet.
The dish is able to communicate with
their satellites during most of the
rain- and snow-storms we get here
in the mountains. Smiley
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 10:44:11 am by Khem Caigan » Logged
H. MacHinery
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« Reply #39 on: January 06, 2010, 11:32:52 pm »

A nano-machine needs a non-regular placement of its parts that requires manipulation, so I think that Victorian Science would still be unable to produce nano-computers.

Or they might employ some features of
the amorphous semiconductor materials
developed by Stan Ovshinsky in the 50s.

And while we're brainstorming, let's not
forget that Bram Stoker first postulated
the photonic computer in his novel, The
Jewel of Seven Stars
.


Still, those are different from mechanical computers.
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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2010, 12:28:00 am »

Still, those are different from mechanical computers.
With regard to Ovshinsky's work, I was
thinking that one might employ thermo-
mechanical deformations owing to phase
changes in the substrate(s).
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H. MacHinery
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« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2010, 12:52:31 am »

Still, those are different from mechanical computers.
With regard to Ovshinsky's work, I was
thinking that one might employ thermo-
mechanical deformations owing to phase
changes in the substrate(s).

That might be viable, but would the regions of deformation be small enough to allow true miniaturization?  And you'd still need some form of slider or rotator to get the mechanical motion converted to perform calculations.
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akumabito
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« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2010, 10:26:41 pm »


Mechanical computers can be made just as
small ( if not as fast ) as their electronic
counterparts

Probably still faster than my laptop with only dial-up interweb... Cheesy

~T

Not sure about wind-up internet though..
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Voltin
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« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2010, 01:44:41 am »

How about a good old fashion Air loom device?
Let's influence the minds of the people. I think this could bring down ships by controlling the minds of the pilots in them  Grin

Ever heard of HAARP?

http://www.theairloom.org/about.html
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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2010, 04:09:51 am »

Let's influence the minds of the people.

" Within the last two decades a potential has
emerged which was improbable but which is
now marginally feasible. This potential is the
technical capability to influence directly the
major portion of the approximately six billion
brains of the human species through classical
sensory modalities by generating neural
information within a physical medium within
which all members of the species are immersed. "

~ from :

On the Possibility of Directly Accessing
Every Human Brain by Electromagnetic
Induction of Fundamental Algorithms

by Professor Michael A. Persinger
Laurentian University, Ontario
in :
Perceptual and Motor Skills 80, June 1995,
pages 791-799. ( . PDF )
http://tinyurl.com/dm8uxt

The article above is referred to by John Horgan on
page 100 of Rational Mysticism : Dispatches
from the Border Between Science and Spirituality
.
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Prof Marvel
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learn from history, or be doomed to repeat it


« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2010, 05:16:57 am »

Let's influence the minds of the people.
" Within the last two decades a potential has
emerged which was improbable but which is
now marginally feasible. This potential is the
technical capability to influence directly the
major portion of the approximately six billion
brains of the human species through classical
sensory modalities by generating neural
information within a physical medium within
which all members of the species are immersed. "


Every year in the use via the SuperBowl
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Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2010, 01:56:13 pm »

1995? So "they" have had this to play with for fifteen years? Shocked

Well, that explains a lot.

~T
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SteamJam
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« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2010, 09:47:28 pm »

hydrogen burn steam boilers. Don't know if anyones tried it.
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« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2010, 10:31:45 pm »

Quote
Ever heard of HAARP?
Well, that's one way of ensuring everyone goes Steampunk... considering that it makes EMPs without all the radioactive fallout.
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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2010, 11:55:35 am »

...you'd still need some form of slider or rotator to get the mechanical motion converted to perform calculations.

Something like this, perhaps :

" Researchers from the Colorado School
of Mines have constructed microfluidic
gates that use the relative flow resistance
of liquid to carry out the basic logic
operations NOT, AND, OR, XOR, NOR and NAND.
The researchers have also combined a pair
of gates into a half adder, which carries
out half the operation of addition. "

~ from :

Fluid Chip does Binary Logic
By Kimberly Patch,
October 6/13, 2004.
@ TechnologyResearchNews.com
http://tinyurl.com/66835
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