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"I think we're still on that topic, still trying to figure out what computers are, how they change us, why we use them."
- Neal Stephenson

Short-Wave Surgical Knife  
  A means of performing an internal cut without breaking the skin.  

The perfect companion device to the X-ray.

"The entire scheme has its origin in Valenski's research on the short-wave surgical knife. Possibly you are familiar with that device. It severs flesh and seals the capillaries as it goes through..."

"...Valenski tried to develop an adjustable focus sufficient in length, accuracy, and sensitivity to permit interior surgery without surface penetration. Such an instrument seemed the natural adjunct to a three-dimensional X-ray apparatus..."

"...After some years Valenski achieved his aim with a device that projected two converging ultra-short-wave beams. Each was innocuous in itself, but when the two were projected simultaneously and out of phase they cut at their mutual focal point, which had a diameter as fine as point two millimeters.

From Boomerang, by Eric Frank Russell.
Published by King-Size Publications in 1953
Additional resources -

I'm not aware of any device that purports to make internal cuts without breaking the skin. Lasers have been in use in medical research and practice since the 1970's, but they are used externally (as in LASIK eye surgery).

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Boomerang
  More Ideas and Technology by Eric Frank Russell
  Tech news articles related to Boomerang
  Tech news articles related to works by Eric Frank Russell

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