why is electricity the base of all technology? Is there something else we have discovered to replace electricity. Technology


For example we could flow tomato paste through wires and the flow would generate energy instead. Why does everything come down to flow of electrons.

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There are four fundamental forces in the Universe, and tomato paste isn’t one of them. Gravity, strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetism are the possible choices. Electricity is by far the most useful.

Weird aren’t hollow so you’re not following anything through them.

What would power the items your sending… Tomato paste through? Where does the energy come from?

Electrons make things move and interact. If you can find something as universal and fundamental and effective as electrons you’ll find a potential replacement. Until then, this is what we get.

Was this a serious question?

Yes, you could make a computer run off water. But I wouldn’t be very useful. It would be massive for a start and you would need to provide it with water inputs. I mostly imagine this to be a big ass calculator but I guess it could be scaled up?

Mechanical computers are a thing you can look up and they are mostly a bunch of gears that build a calculator. They can also be used to predict planetary orbits and eclipses.

Electricty had a lot going for it. Electrons are tiny. Electromagnetism is one of the fundamental forces of the universe. All matter contains electrons.

Electromagnetism is an atomic phenomenon. Whatever contraption you can build to use sauce to make energy is probably going to harness electricity. A dam essentially.

Let’s start with what “technology” is first! It’s a set of tools that perform at minimum one task exceptionally efficiently. Technology at the turn of the last century used heat and steam – or sometimes kinetic energy – to either do more intensely or more quickly what a person can do. For example, a person can carry some heavy barrels from one place to another. But a whole shipment of them is going to take either lots of people or lots of trips. A train however, powered by steam and pressure, is going to move a whole shipment at once more quickly than an individual could. So technology is about optimizing tasks.

The turn of this century saw smartphones, insanely powerful CPUs, and incredible storage capacity relative to size. All of it uses electricity. But why? Well, let’s look at what tasks these things do.

A CPU or microcontroller is a piece of hardware with a bunch of circuits in them. The circuits are built in such a way that they can represent all the forms a logical statement might take. A logical statement is something like “if this, then that”. We use them all the time in real life. If the fridge is empty, go shopping. If you make a mistake writing in pencil, erase it. When you see the traffic light go yellow, slow to a stop. Every task like carrying a shipment or weaving clothes can be explained very carefully and with great detail as a bunch of logical statements.

But the idea of a circuit can be implemented through all sorts of energy. I could make circuits our of hot wheels tracks and drive a toy car along them by hand – making changes to the track as I do like opening and closing electric gates – and then figure out from that where my circuits led me. But I’m a human and that takes time and effort to perform. Electricity on the other hand is super fast. And not only that, it’s small.

So why does everything use electricity? Because we want our tech to do complicated things for us. That means it’s got to do a bunch of simple things in a complex way. The more things it needs to do, the more parts it needs and the faster it needs to do them. Electricity is small and fast. Therefore, everything uses it.

If we ever figure out how to harness something faster than the speed of light or get something to do more at the same speed, everyone will move on from electricity. It’s why quantum entanglement is such a big deal. It’s an aspect of nature that is faster and capable of more complex work than simple electricity is.