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"[Science fiction is] an integration of the mood and attitude of science (the objective universe) with the fears and hopes that spring from the unconscious."
- Gregory Benford

Polarization Apparatus  
  A device that caused a space ship to repel the Earth and send a space ship on its way.  

"So that's your space ship, eh?" said Grim, surveying the tarnished, pitted spheroid with something of awe.

"Yes," said Hilary lovingly as he unlocked the outer port side. A hasty glance around inside showed that nothing had been touched. Everything was orderly, methodical, just as he had left it.

Grim and Wat examined with interest the banked controls, the polarization apparatus that set up repulsion waves and literally kicked the ship out into space away from the planet against which it had been set...

He set the polarization controls so that the mere pulling of a switch would send the flier careening off into space. He surveyed the apple-pie order of the interior with vast satisfaction...

The polarization switch made contact, and the Vagabond left the Earth with a swift rush. It maneuvered with the ease of an Earth flier...

From Slaves of Mercury, by Nat Schachner.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1932
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