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"it slowly dawned on me that the landscape of science is maybe what interests people a great deal in science fiction."
- Gregory Benford

Hypertracer  
  A device that allows a pursuer to follow a spaceship through hyperspace.  

"What is it?"

"A hypertracer."

"That's not enough. I'm not a foundation man. What is it?"

"It's a device to allow the ship to be traced through hyperspace."

"In other words we can be followed anywhere."

"Yes sir."

From Second Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1953
Additional resources -

Compare to the tracer-bird from Changeling (1980) by Roger Zelazny.

Also, recall the homing beacon from the original Star Wars movie.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Second Foundation
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Second Foundation
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

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