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

" I think that computers today allow us one last opportunity to provide something like a level playingfield in America."
- William Gibson

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
Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
Drones Guided By The Mind Alone
3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology

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

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...'

Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
'...a shirt that displayed email on its sleeve.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...'

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.