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

"A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content."
- Theodore Sturgeon

Ships Propelled By Light Pressure  
  Space ships that use light pressure from a distant source for propulsion  

Very impressive prediction by Hamilton; this anticipates the work of engineers like Dr. Robert Forward, who published his ideas on this topic in the early 1960's.

When the comet had entered the solar system, a hundred of the comet people set out in four great cones, or spaceships, to establish themselves upon earth and carry out their plan. These cones were driven through space by light pressure, the possibilities of which force they had long utilized.


(Light cones for light propulsion)

Even on earth, we know that this force exists and understand a few of its manifestations; though only a few. We know that it is the pressure of the sun's light that causes a comet's tail to swing always away from the sun. It drove their cones through space at will and they use the principle of it in their destroying white ray. In that ray, light-pressure could be used of such power as to disintegrate the molecules of any object, or it could be used merely to strike a powerful blow...

From The Comet Doom, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1929
Additional resources -

Probably the first person to suggest that light pressure could push a spacecraft was Jules Verne; see light pressure propulsion.

See also the laser cannons from Larry Niven's 1966 novel Neutron Star. Compare to the Beam-Powered Propulsion from The Prince of Space (1931) by Jack Williamson.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Comet Doom
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to The Comet Doom
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

Ships Propelled By Light Pressure-related news articles:
  - Are Observed Radio Bursts An Alien Propulsion Technology?

Articles related to Space Tech
Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction

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 Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

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.