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

"Beyond a thousand years from now humans are not quite recognizably human, and I have trouble finding characters."
- Larry Niven

Reaction-Motors  
  A spacecraft engine that works by firing matter out at high speed.  

This idea makes use of conventional physics.

For three days Captain Grant had kept his great space-liner… ahead of the questing disintegrator rays of the Black Hawk only by burning his full battery of reaction-motors at their maximum power.
From Twelve Hours To Live, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Here's what the drive looked like in operation:

…Grant saw a vague pink glow come into being in the jet, star-sprinkled sky behind…

The glow, he knew, was a fluorescent, electronic discharge in the radioactive gases jetting from the rockets of the racing ship...

The idea behind a reaction-motor is Newton's Third Law of Motion, which decrees that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For a spacecraft to move forward, you must throw matter out the other end.

Compare to the reactionless drive idea, which encompasses the various hyperdrives that allow a ship to move from one point to another in space, without traversing the space in between. See the inertialess drive from 'Doc' Smith's 1934 novel Triplanetary.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Twelve Hours To Live
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to Twelve Hours To Live
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

Articles related to Space Tech
NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Our World Formed In A Bubble?

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

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'

Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'

NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.'

LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.'

Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.

Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.

Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.

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.