Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Converting resources into technology

  1. Jan 25, 2006 #1
    Given the know how and tools to do so, what basic resources would be required to create the following technologies:

    Radio communication.
    Monitor.
    Computer chip.
    Freezer.
    Telephone.
    Infrared or Night Vision.
    Electricity.

    Please answer the ones you can and if I have more, I'll post them here. Thanks people. :cool:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2006 #2
    Didn't think anyone would know.
     
  4. Feb 14, 2006 #3

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Electricity is not a technology...

    The rest... you're talking about hundreds of "basic resources". If you're talking about the actaul infrastructure to build them, then you're talking about thousands probably.
     
  5. Feb 14, 2006 #4
    resources??? What do you mean?
     
  6. Feb 15, 2006 #5
    What I meant by electricity is what would you need to produce it?

    As for the rest, Im going to say metal, plastic and glass.

    What I mean by resources is what I just said.

    So if I had those 3 things plus electricity, I could build any one of those things.
     
  7. Feb 15, 2006 #6

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You really think a microchip is made out of "metal, plastic, and glass"?
     
  8. Feb 15, 2006 #7
    A resource is dont resticted to raw materials to make something...
     
  9. Feb 17, 2006 #8
    Exactly!!! Now can someone answer my questions please? :confused:
     
  10. Feb 17, 2006 #9

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Uhm... to list all the things that go into almost any modern day appliance or technology would probably take an hour simply to list everything and probably months to find all the information needed to compile that list.

    When you say somethings made out of "plastic" or "metal", it's like saying that you eat "fruit". Well theres many many different kinds of fruits. I could be eating an orange, a plum, an apple, a cherry, etc etc. The list goes on and on. If you say somethings made out of "metal"... well just look at the periodic table. There's a place to start; copper, aluminum, gold, silver. Then think of alloys, different metals mixed with eachother! Then of course, theres metals that are treated with different chemicals that are just tremendous cocktails of other chemicals, etc etc.

    Take this remote control i have in my hand....

    it has plastic... theres probably a fair number of materials that went into actually making the plastic. Let's see, heres some batteries. Now since batteries don't just grow wild, we would need to break that down. How many substances went into the battery acid? How many substances went into each of those substances that went into the battery acid? Of course theres different types of metals and alloys in there, probably dozens. This spring inside the battery compartment may be the only thing made out of any pure metal. Once i open up this remote control, i'm going to be staring at the combined form of hundreds of different resources. It's really nothing you'll ever be able to find out unless you do it yourself and take the months of research to find out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2006
  11. Feb 18, 2006 #10
    Ok thanks. Now I know that if we were ever in a distant apocalyptic future, we would not be able to re-create many of the things we used in the past due to pure lack of information alone.. But I wont stop there. I'll just have to make up ways to recreate those things.
     
  12. Mar 4, 2006 #11
    Actually, there's quite a lot of information out there. You just have to know how to use it and have the ability and resources/materiels. Consider what you would need to build a simple Voltaic pile, insulators such as glass or ceramics, acid, clean water, metals such as copper or gold. Where and how are you going to get them? If you have to get them totally from scratch then that means you'll have to have a source for ore, sand/clay, chemicals etc and the tools to work them. You'll have to build the tools to build the tools. Reminds me of an old scifi story "Spacehounds of The IPC" I think. Guy crashes his spaceship and has to rebuild from scratch. only took him a year or two. Really have to suspend the disbelief for that one.

    If you're really interested in old tech and methods check out the Foxfire books, anything on the history of the Industrial Revolution. Sprague De Camps "Ancient Engineers" is good as well.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Converting resources into technology
  1. New technologies? (Replies: 8)

  2. IDL resources (Replies: 1)

  3. Technology Index (Replies: 7)

  4. Limits on technology (Replies: 16)

Loading...