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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Tiny Nuclear Generator  
  A complete nuclear-based generator of power no bigger than a walnut.  

What happens when a user of superior technology encounters the less sophisticated? Trader Hober Mallow shows his personal force-shield to a tech-man from further out in the provinces.

"Where's the power?"

Mallow's finger fell upon the largest knob, dull in its leaden case.

The tech-man looked up, and his face was congested with blood. "Sir, I am a tech-man, senior grade. I have twenty years behind me as supervisor and I studied under the great Bler at the University of Trantor. If you have the infernal charlatanry to tell me that a small container the size of a - of a walnut, blast it, holds a nuclear generator, I'll have you before the Protector in three seconds."

From Foundation and Empire, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1952
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