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Sure, I grant that these may not be forthcoming and obvious developments to everyone, and that you may need to "fill in the blanks" for many when it comes to atomic energy (a jet engine is not a complex machine, however; it is a precision machine). But my comment is more about how much we underestimate the state of the world that came before us and our historical forebears, and the ability of otherwise open-minded, educated people to adapt to new ideas and work with black box abstractions. These ideas would be for example far from a caveman looking at a nuclear submarine (or Bob Lazar looking at a UFO heh).





There are a lot of nuances here, but overall I think you make a good point.

On the one hand the idea for nuclear fission was still fairly far off in 1912, since even in the 30's many physicists were still skeptical that radioactive energy could be released more rapidly than it normally is in natural substances. On the other hand a couple of major factors leading to it were already known in 1912: the fact that radioactive decay released large amounts of energy and Einstein's discovery of mass-energy equivalence.

As for jet engines the situation is clearer since a pulsejet was already patented in 1906.

I think in 1912 these technologies would seem like semi-plausible science fiction, but not magic.




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