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Author Topic: Steampunk Energies  (Read 2017 times)
von Corax
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« on: March 03, 2019, 07:51:46 pm »

I'm trying to come up with a list of power sources, forces and energies that would be at home in a Steampunk setting. So far, I have:

  • Steam (of course)
  • Æther
  • Phlogiston
  • Thaumic energy
  • Orgone energy (if you’re into that sort of thing)

You will notice I am including mystical and mythical energies in this list.

Does anyone have any other ideas?
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2019, 11:16:13 pm »

magnetism
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Felscor
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2019, 01:03:02 am »

Coal, petroleum, hydro?
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von Corax
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2019, 01:06:19 am »

... hydro?
Electricity is an obvious one which I missed. Any more?
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2019, 02:08:12 am »

In the Antipodes we make use of all these energy sources  below. The main  energy  source though is hydro electric.

Wind
Coal
Gas
Tidal / wave
Solar
Thermal [ we are one big volcanic field in N. Z.]
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 02:51:57 am by Hurricane Annie » Logged
chicar
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 02:16:49 am »

In the french comics serie Les Sentinelles, set during WWI, the main character is a radium powered supersoldier.

Steampunk is mostly a esthetic genre so anything goes energy wise, as long than you keep the esthetic steamy.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 01:39:00 pm by chicar » Logged

The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2019, 05:30:55 am »

Unobtanium? (My geologist spouse's favourite non-mineral...)
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2019, 11:43:16 am »

Unobtanium? (My geologist spouse's favourite non-mineral...)

  What is that when it's at home? It has a very sinister sounding name
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2019, 12:51:55 pm »

Broadcast electrical energy.
 Brought to us by the Tesla Electric and Wireless Thermography Co.
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chicar
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2019, 01:41:15 pm »

Solar Energy:
https://landartgenerator.org/blagi/archives/2004
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Kensington Locke
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2019, 06:39:26 pm »

Some of these are fuel, some of these are energy, some are technology.
Rebuilding the list and adding a few more:

Steam
Aetheric
Phlogiston
Thaumic
Orgone (what the heck is that?)
Magnetic
Coal
Wind
Gas
Tidal
Solar
Geothermal
Pneumatic
Kinetic
electric
Cosmic
Nuclear
Atomic
Flywheel
Inductive Coupling (broadcast energy)


Tried to find a few more "real terms" that  might be used to describe SP technologies, which is where I thought this was going.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2019, 09:11:19 pm »

In the real world steam ere, other than water power, it was stuff you could burn, or electricity generated by chemical batteries or dynamos powered by water power or stuff you can burn.

Stuff you can burn included wood, coal, and coke (refined cole). This was used to heat boilers to produce steam to turn piston steam engines and, eventually, turbines.

Batteries were initially metal electrode plates in acid similar to most modern car batteries, and later were refined to dry cells, which are internally just like modern flashlight batteries. The film "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" includes a typiction of acid batteries used to power machinery; the prop batteries were open topped and had stirring mechanisms; I don't know if cells of that type were ever in common use for practical applications. Images of early batteries can be found on the internet; try an image search for "telegraph dry cells" and "telegraph acid batteries". Dry cells are safer and more practical for portable applications.

Aether and phlogiston are from 19th century theories of physics and chemistry which were discredited by experimental results and the emergence of newer theories. No real mechanisms ever operated on aether or phlogiston.

Thaumic energy is magic energy from occultism.

I, myself, am partial to real forms of energy that existed in the real world. I know how they work, and they lend verisimilitude to fiction.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2019, 10:29:28 pm »

The thing with the 19th. C. is that it was a period of highly accelerated scientific development. You had a mix a match between pseudo-scientific knowledge and real knowledge that was really well developed by the latter 19th. C. aided greatly by the development of chemistry. Electromagnetism was really well developed (eg Maxwell's Equations), so anything electromagnetic, including transmission of radio waves (e.g. predicted by Jules Verne) is fair game. That pretty much means any radio wave theory and light save for quantum theory of particles (eg photons).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clerk_Maxwell
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell's_equations

Quote
The equations are named after the physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell, who between 1861 and 1862 published an early form of the equations that included the Lorentz force law. He also first used the equations to propose that light is an electromagnetic phenomenon.

The equations have two major variants. The microscopic Maxwell equations have universal applicability, but are unwieldy for common calculations. They relate the electric and magnetic fields to total charge and total current, including the complicated charges and currents in materials at the atomic scale. The "macroscopic" Maxwell equations define two new auxiliary fields that describe the large-scale behaviour of matter without having to consider atomic scale charges and quantum phenomena like spins. However, their use requires experimentally determined parameters for a phenomenological description of the electromagnetic response of materials.

Similarly the theory for gas physics was also very advanced. The Navier Stokes equations that describe the conservation of mass, momentum and energy for fluids were not fully developed yet, but they were being assembled bit by bit with experiments.

The development of Entropy as a measure of disorder in statistical systems was critical for the design of locomotive engines. The ideal behavior of engines was postulated by Sadi Carnot in his seminal book "Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire" in 1824!! so technically that predates the Victorian Era.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Léonard_Sadi_Carnot


And physicists were experimenting with Comprtessible Gas Theory (eg supersonic flows) well before the turn of the century

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Mach

Schlieren Photography of a bullet in supersonic flight, by Ernst Mach, 1888
The photo shows a leading bow shock wave, and a trailing shock wave

So the thing is the 19th C. was shockingly advanced in a very haphazard way, paving the way for physicists like Albert Einstein who wrote his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905 ( "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" ) all based on 19th Century work, like Lorents' Transformations. Most people were still riding horse and carriages to work!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein

I'll tell you one area where they somewhat behind: the study of the atmosphere and high altitude effects. It was not until the 1920-30s that scientists had a good idea of the structure of the atmosphere and the high altitude effects on the human body (or animals for that matter)... we had airplanes much earlier than we understood how high to fly them without artificially supporting the pilot's respiration. Within a decade of the 1930's, scientist like VonBraun working for Nazi Germany in WWII were already designing hypersonic planes...

The speed of science is incredible, it's always two steps ahead of everything that you see around you.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 10:40:36 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged

von Corax
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Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 03:42:42 pm »

In the real world steam ere, other than water power, it was stuff you could burn, or electricity generated by chemical batteries or dynamos powered by water power or stuff you can burn.

Stuff you can burn included wood, coal, and coke (refined cole). This was used to heat boilers to produce steam to turn piston steam engines and, eventually, turbines.

Batteries were initially metal electrode plates in acid similar to most modern car batteries, and later were refined to dry cells, which are internally just like modern flashlight batteries. The film "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" includes a typiction of acid batteries used to power machinery; the prop batteries were open topped and had stirring mechanisms; I don't know if cells of that type were ever in common use for practical applications. Images of early batteries can be found on the internet; try an image search for "telegraph dry cells" and "telegraph acid batteries". Dry cells are safer and more practical for portable applications.

Aether and phlogiston are from 19th century theories of physics and chemistry which were discredited by experimental results and the emergence of newer theories. No real mechanisms ever operated on aether or phlogiston.

Thaumic energy is magic energy from occultism.

I, myself, am partial to real forms of energy that existed in the real world. I know how they work, and they lend verisimilitude to fiction.

I am actually looking for the more fantastical ideas. I am quite familiar with the state of Phlogiston Theory.
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chicar
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2019, 04:53:53 pm »




Orgone (what the heck is that?)


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgone
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RJBowman
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2019, 05:02:43 am »

There is Vril, a form of energy from Bulwer-Litton's novel "The Coming Race". This was a mystic force harnessed by subterranean people. It actually made its way into real world occultist lore.
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2019, 06:22:50 pm »

Cavorite, from 'First Men in the Moon' by H.G.Wells
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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2019, 06:45:04 pm »

If you are looking for mystic or occult energies, here's one:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_magnetism

Franz Mesmer, who popularized hypnotism in the west, claimed that the practice was based on an invisible magnetic force or fluid that contained in animals' bodies. A whole school of quack medicine was based on this theory, and was prevalent from the late 18th to early 20th century.
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newjack
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2019, 11:30:57 pm »






OK... you got to electricity, which i wanted to add, but i'd like to further build on that by saying
- direct current (AC is "modern")
- giant humming transformers
- giant clicking relays and frankenstein guillotine power switches
- faraday cages & tesla coils
- tubes, tubes and more tubes
- big lead acid batteries
- oil & paper capacitors

you might also revisit the SOURCE of where electricity was discovered, the torpedo fish


don't forget windmills, watermills, whatever those grinders where a mule etc. harnessed to a pole they walk in circles around are called. mechanical energy is energy... otherwise... what are all those gears for in steampunk? right?

why not use bioluminescence? it occurs in nature

there's no reason that modern, even futuristic tech can't make it into a steampunk story. antigravity would be a feature of the alternate timeline story i'm TRYING to write. new timeline = why does the story have to be limited to pre-1990 tech? why can't their be solar panels in a story?

electricity comes from clean hydrogen burning steam generators in my world, though now, i'm thinking of adding solar.

speaking of generators & solar... solar steam is STEAMPUNK... duh!



solar stirling engines are totally steampunk too


you could also use drinking bird tech...



chemical energy through heat and expansion etc.

solar algae generating fuels

geothermal



« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 11:37:57 pm by newjack » Logged
rovingjack
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« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2019, 07:51:14 am »

I mean if we are going for fictional energies you could do something chemical (green liquid dripped into a blue liquid and the two produce pure energy as evidenced by the slight glow and electricity produced between two carbon rods, and like matter meets antimatter they annialate each other leaving less of each).

suppose you could also do something alchemical as well, maybe breaking something down into the prime material releases energy or perhaps letting prime materials degrade to baser materials makes a steady release of energy or perhaps a sudden one. You could also use beast power an create homonculus the power things. Or distill spirits (either entities or alcohol) and use them to power things.
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madamemarigold
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« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2019, 09:26:18 pm »

Microwave, or any type of the other energies mentioned than the "Green Goo" stuff,
 (Omega Man flash backs here) That's just nasty! Will stick with any of the other variations.  Grin
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newjack
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« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2019, 12:00:15 am »

Quote
I mean if we are going for fictional energies you could do something chemical (green liquid dripped into a blue liquid and the two produce pure energy as evidenced by the slight glow and electricity produced between two carbon rods, and like matter meets antimatter they annialate each other leaving less of each).
i was thinking more along the lines of chemical reactions that create heat or that can be converted to mechanical energy, but you did remind me of bioluminescence. i think i already said that though

without re-reading the entire thread... there's no reason a steampunk story couldn't include cold fusion

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rovingjack
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« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2019, 08:27:04 am »

I mean there are enough people today that think a lightbulb inside and lump of pink salt crystal will radiate healing radiation, or negative ions or some such. Theres not really any reason why you couldn't use ions or crystals as a power supply without elaborating further. Harmonic resonances, too for that matter.
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newjack
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« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2019, 12:37:19 am »

ahhh... so YOU'RE the author of "The Core" then! Huh?

HAHAHAHA!
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newjack
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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2019, 08:42:49 pm »

mirror arrays could = steampunk solar lasers



i'm gonna use that one myself maybe
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