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"At its best, SF is the medium in which our miserable certainty that tomorrow will be different from today in ways we can't predict, can be transmuted to a sense of excitement and anticipation, occasionally evolving into awe."
- John Brunner

Ether Eddy  
  A shimmering region of space marking a break-through into another universe.  

I do not know how long I was unconscious, nor what awesome speed the Phobos attained before the Thorson electro-spring cut off fuel flow. But when sight and thought returned, I saw in the visi-screen, the blackness of space, the wide-spread panoply of stars infinite in distance and number that I had thought never to set my eyes upon again, and the ominous shimmer of the ether eddy, straight ahead...

What is this strange universe, and what became of the thirty years that seem to me less than a month?"

Somehow I knew the answer, must have reasoned it out subconsciously as he spoke. "Science has moved while you were gone, Jay. We know now that the ether eddy is the manifestation Of a fourth dimensional tangency between two spatial hyperspheres.* You remember your high school Einstein, don't you?"

[* The figure in four-dimensional geometry that is analogous to a sphere in three-dimensional i.e., the figure described by a sphere rotated through the fourth dimension, as a circle is rotated through the third dimension to describe a sphere.]

"Of course. I get it. Einstein said space, our space, is unbounded but finite, the three-dimensional surface of a hypersphere within which, and without, nothing exists that is in any way related to anything in our space. What's happened is that we'veó"

"Broken through into another space. Another universe...

From The Cavern of the Shining Pool, by Leo Zagat.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1937
Additional resources -

This idea has been used elsewhere, in different stories. See the Jiffy-scuttler tube from Philip K. Dick's Crack in Space, and the parallel universe idea from HG Wells' 1923 story Men Like Gods.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Cavern of the Shining Pool
  More Ideas and Technology by Leo Zagat
  Tech news articles related to The Cavern of the Shining Pool
  Tech news articles related to works by Leo Zagat

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