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"The point sticks in your head: physics rules. Virtue does not triumph unless the physics allows it."
- Larry Niven

Frictionless Cups  
  Cups with a special surface to which liquid does not adhere.  

"Maybe I'll have to go to the Belt after all," he said lightly. Thinking: Or talk Robinson into sending for the files. The eggs were ready. He served them into the cups all backpackers carried at their belts...

...

They poured the remnants of eggs out of their frictionless cups and filled them with coffee powder and boiling water...

From Protector, by Larry Niven.
Published by Del Rey in 1973
Additional resources -

Niven used this idea with Jerry Pournelle in the following year's blockbuster The Mote in God's Eye:

The bathroom - the toilet was different. Just as he had sketched it. Wrong; there wasn't any water in it. And no flush. What the hell, there was only one way to test a toilet. When he looked, the bowl was sparkling clean. He poured a glass of water into it and watched it run away without leaving a drop. The bowl was a frictionless surface. Have to mention this to Bury, he thought. There were bases on airless moons, and worlds where water, or energy for recycling it, was scarce.

Compare with the frictionless coating from Clifford Simak's classic 1963 novel Way Station and the water repellent surface from Frank Herbert's Dune.

Thanks to Winchell Chung of Project Rho for contributing this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Protector
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Protector
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Frictionless Cups-related news articles:
  - LiquiGlide Will Be Everywhere

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