Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"The primary attraction [of writing sf] is the sheer pleasure of creating something from whole cloth."
- Dan Simmons

Miniature Universe  
  A microcosmic universe created in the laboratory.  

In this short story, Arnold Fessenden is an eccentric scientist who shows a friend his greatest discovery.

It consisted of two twelve-foot metal disks with grid-like surfaces, one on the floor and one on the ceiling directly over the other. They were connected by cables to the electrical machinery, and their grid-like surfaces shone faintly with wan blue light or force.

Between the two disks, floating unsupported in the air, hung a cloud of tiny sparks of light. It looked like a swarm of minute golden bees, countless in number, and the swarm was lenticular in shape. Mounted near this weird thing were several instruments that looked a little like telescopes, though unfamiliar in design. They seemed to be trained on that thick little cloud of shining sparks...

"Fessenden's eyes had been following my stupefied change of expression. He said calmly, "Yes, Bradley, it is true. That is a tiny, self-sustaining universe, with its own suns, nebulae and worlds. Everything in it, down to the atoms which compose it, is infinitely smaller in scale than our own. But it is a real universe, like our own."

From Fessenden's Worlds, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Weird Tales in 1937
Additional resources -

The two disks neutralize gravity between them. It turns out (conveniently!) that time proceeds much more quickly in the miniature universe; a year of their time was just a moment of ours.

Fessenden conducted a series of experiments in which he altered the conditions - and destinies - of tiny inhabited worlds to see what would happen, often destroying entire civilizations in the process.

For a similar story, see the much more famous Microcosmic God, a 1941 story by Theodore Sturgeon.

Another point of interest in the story is the name of the main character, Arnold Fessenden. Hamilton probably took it from Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian-born inventor who was the first to figure out how to transmit natural sound like speech and music by radio (as opposed to Morse code signals). On the evening of December 24, 1906 (Christmas Eve), Fessenden used the alternator-transmitter to send out a short program from Brant Rock, which included his playing the song O Holy Night on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Fessenden's Worlds
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to Fessenden's Worlds
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

Miniature Universe-related news articles:
  - Universe Kits Now Available From Jonathon Keats
  - 'Bubble Galaxy' NGC 3521

Articles related to Engineering
Smellicopter Combines Live Moth Antenna With Mechanical Drone
DARPA's Virtual Caves Explored By Virtual Robots
Samsung Gets Transparent Smartphone Patent
Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'

TCL CSOT 17-Inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display
'..a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour.'

Reachy Humanoid VR Teleoperation App
"I went to the control room where the three other men were manipulating their mechanical men...'

Unitree A1 Robot ala Black Mirror and Snow Crash
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power...'

DALL-E Makes Creative Images From Text
Okay, sf fans. If you could have some art created from a science fiction sentence, what sentence would you pick?

BladeBUG Robots Clean Massive Wind Turbine Blades
'There were the cleaners, with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length...'

Looms To Manually Weave Lunar Rover Wheels
It's fascinating to me how the Apollo program forced people to think outside their usual boxes.

IceBot Antarctic (Planetary?) Robotic Explorers Made Of Ice
'Some will combine in place to form more complicated structures, like excavators or centipedes.'

Glad 2020 Is Over
Maybe you missed one of these?

PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces
'the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.