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Author Topic: What devices can we construct using hard science at a victorian level of tech?  (Read 3765 times)
hardlec
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Solutions do not need Problems


« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2010, 04:16:07 pm »

The technology of the Victorian era was limited mainly by it's imagination, or lack thereof.

As a person used to 21st century comforts, I want the Internet, a cell phone and such.  Knowing what I know I can extrapolate backwards. 

Lasers, fiber optics, computers and their component electronics are possible because I am able to look backwards. 

One rather interesting project I heard of was:

A space station has suffered a disaster, and the population lives on with steampunk tech.

I believe it was Arthur C. Clark who said:
When science says something is possible, it usually is right
When Science says something is impossible, it usually is wrong.
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Whatever happens we have got
The Maxim gun and they have not;
Technology is no substitute for Valor
Both are true.
19th Century Space Pilot
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« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2010, 12:41:32 am »

Well, one can imagine if Terra suffered a massive EMP, and everyone had to rebuild with steampunk tech...

I do think that, if a wealthy individual or group had gathered tinkerers together and funded them... we might have had a shot.
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mindofsteam
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« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2010, 06:29:16 pm »

the only way for such an event to occur would be if several nukes went up in low orbit
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Khem Caigan
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Aut Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam


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« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2010, 07:07:07 pm »

The only way for such an event to occur would be if several nukes went up in low orbit
Or a solar flare - the one we had
back in '89 took out the grid in
North America and Canada for
quite awhile. It could have been
much worse.
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"Let us create vessels and sails fashioned for the heavenly Æther, for there
will be plenty of people who do not shrink from the vastness of space."
~ Johannes Kepler, letter to Galileo Galilei, 1609.
hardlec
Snr. Officer
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Solutions do not need Problems


« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2010, 11:25:43 pm »

There are several ways to create a massive EMP.  One would be to create a huge Van de Graf generator and an equally huge leyden jar. 

Of course, if the world insists on using gasolene fueled ICEs, before long they will go to nuclear war for oil, and we will revert to steam technology. 

But rather than dwell on negatives:

Chemical batteries and fuel cells should be within the potential of the Victorian Era.  Likewise, gas turbines would be more efficient than steam turbines in some applications, and would make powered flight w/o an ICE possible.

Now:  About Babbage...
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H. MacHinery
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United States United States


« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2010, 11:42:52 pm »

The only way for such an event to occur would be if several nukes went up in low orbit
Or a solar flare - the one we had
back in '89 took out the grid in
North America and Canada for
quite awhile. It could have been
much worse.

That wasn't an EMP - it was a slower,.milder surge.  The problem was that the very large conductor that was the Northeast US power grid did get an induced current that blew out one of the older stations, which led to a cascading failure of the backups.

EMPs blow out circuits in small devices.  The solar flares are not a hazard to small devices.
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Khem Caigan
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Aut Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam


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« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2010, 05:23:32 am »

That wasn't an EMP - it was a slower, milder surge.  The problem was that the very large conductor that was the Northeast US power grid did get an induced current that blew out one of the older stations, which led to a cascading failure of the backups.

EMPs blow out circuits in small devices.  The solar flares are not a hazard to small devices.

It is not about the speed of the surge, so
much as the number of Volts per Meter.
A large coronal mass ejection can induce
more voltage, over a larger area, and
for a longer period of time, than a
man-made nuclear explosion.

As I said, we were lucky.

Here is a link to a collection of articles
about a solar storm that occured back
in 1882 :

November 17, 1882 :
The Transit of Venus Storm

@ SolarStorms.org
http://tinyurl.com/yh9b68z
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H. MacHinery
Zeppelin Captain
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United States United States


« Reply #57 on: January 11, 2010, 05:53:41 am »

That wasn't an EMP - it was a slower, milder surge.  The problem was that the very large conductor that was the Northeast US power grid did get an induced current that blew out one of the older stations, which led to a cascading failure of the backups.

EMPs blow out circuits in small devices.  The solar flares are not a hazard to small devices.

It is not about the speed of the surge, so
much as the number of Volts per Meter.
A large coronal mass ejection can induce
more voltage, over a larger area, and
for a longer period of time, than a
man-made nuclear explosion.

As I said, we were lucky.

Here is a link to a collection of articles
about a solar storm that occured back
in 1882 :

November 17, 1882 :
The Transit of Venus Storm

@ SolarStorms.org
http://tinyurl.com/yh9b68z


But aren't the solar flare surges only significantly "dense" enough to induce current in very large networks?  EMP, from what I recall, will burn out even small devices (backpack radio, etc), while the solar flare surges are only a concern to the power grid or other extremely long long conductors.

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Khem Caigan
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Aut Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam


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« Reply #58 on: January 11, 2010, 06:14:04 am »

But aren't the solar flare surges only significantly "dense" enough to induce current in very large networks?  EMP, from what I recall, will burn out even small devices (backpack radio, etc), while the solar flare surges are only a concern to the power grid or other extremely long long conductors.
If a coronal ejection were to induce a
current of, say, 80 kilovolts per meter,
any circuit boards not heavily shielded
would be toast. And large area networks
such as the power grid ( and anything
that was plugged into them ) would be
just so much melty goodness.

And the pulse width could be a matter
of hours instead of the seconds and
tens of seconds delivered by a device.
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H. MacHinery
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


« Reply #59 on: January 11, 2010, 06:37:18 am »

But aren't the solar flare surges only significantly "dense" enough to induce current in very large networks?  EMP, from what I recall, will burn out even small devices (backpack radio, etc), while the solar flare surges are only a concern to the power grid or other extremely long long conductors.
If a coronal ejection were to induce a
current of, say, 80 kilovolts per meter,
any circuit boards not heavily shielded
would be toast. And large area networks
such as the power grid ( and anything
that was plugged into them ) would be
just so much melty goodness.

And the pulse width could be a matter
of hours instead of the seconds and
tens of seconds delivered by a device.

So, have we seen any power levels like that?
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pakled
Zeppelin Captain
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Minions Local 305, at your thervice!


« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2010, 07:25:48 am »

Hmm...someone did do a series about that (Dies the Fire, by Stirling) where all high-energy forms of technology died (including gunpowder and, alas, steam power)...which sent mankind back a few centuries earlier..
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Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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I am, therefore I think.


« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2010, 01:56:52 pm »

I can readily conceive problems such as EMPs or solar flares knocking out electrical grids and devices. I cannot easily picture any event which would prevent gunpowder from igniting, or cause wood not to burn, short of something stripping off the atmosphere and thereby denying oxygen necessary for combustion.
Were that to happen, I would venture to opine that our level of technology would be the least of our worries.
 Wink

~T
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Yet well thy soul hath brooked the turning tide, with that innate, untaught philosophy,Which, be it wisdom, coldness, or deep pride, is gall and wormwood to an enemy.
Khem Caigan
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Aut Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam


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« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2010, 01:58:36 am »

So, have we seen any power levels like that?

Not here on Earth, or we wouldn't be having
this conversation Wink

But we did see an event in space back in
November of 2003 that would have done the
job nicely :

" The November 4, 2003 flare was the most
powerful ever recorded. X-rays from the
flare overwhelmed the detectors on the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's GOES-12 satellite, so
scientists had to estimate how strong it
was.

They settled on a preliminary X-28 rating,
equivalent to billions of one-megaton
nuclear bombs...."After looking at our
data, we realized it was more likely an
X-40 flare," said David Brodrick of the
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organization (CSIRO) Australia
Telescope National Facility, Narrabri,
Australia.

"This is 70 percent more powerful than
the original estimate. It was a staggering
amount of energy – if it were possible
to store for later use, it would have
provided the energy in approximately
ten thousand trillion barrels of oil,
enough to supply the world for 340,000
years at current consumption."

~ from :

NASA's Telescope for Students Reveals
Record Solar Explosion Even More Powerful

by Bill Steigerwald
@ NASA.gov
http://tinyurl.com/y9nkefk

" A titanic flare erupted from the Sun's
right limb on November 4, 2003.

Fortunately, it was directed away from
Earth. "

~ from :

The Sun Really Rocks!
by Kelly Beatty
@ SkyandTelescope.com
http://tinyurl.com/y8n2g7d
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hardlec
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Solutions do not need Problems


« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2010, 02:35:35 am »

the solar flare may say why, but not what.

in the old soviet union, they made avionics with tubes that competed for a while with US transister-based technology. 

If I "NEED" something, I will find a way to get it.

I'm curious about the fluidic-based "chip" or logic circut. 
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