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"I think we're still on that topic, still trying to figure out what computers are, how they change us, why we use them."
- Neal Stephenson

Indirect Cold Light  
  Apparently source-less lighting, highly efficient, with no waste heat.  

I recall from history that at your time, during the Steel Age you thought yourselves quite accomplished when you succeeded in heating a wire in vacuum or some inert gas, and thus securing a light having an efficiency of three or five per cent. We use cold light with an efficiency of ninety to ninety- five per cent. We are using but one lamp at present in this room and it consumes a little less than three watts yet it is as effective as ninety or a hundred watt lamp of the old style.

"There is nothing mysterious about it, however, much as it differs from the old method. We use a tiny short-wave radio transmitter sealed in a tube of fused quartz. Here," he opened a compartment in the wail and took out a spare tube. "You will notice that point inside the tubeó it is tipped with a radio-active material which emits a stream of electrons. The grid and plate are connected electrostatically for the feedback. The rate of oscillation is varied until it is of the frequency of white light and the movable adjustment is welded in place with a ray welder focussed through the quartz tube. We have other lamps on board that are adjusted to emit colored light ; and the searchlights we are using at the moment are infra-red. These rays are invisible but penetrate the mists well, and the reflected beams are picked up on the television plates around the shell of the vessel, being interpreted as white light on the screens before the control table. We are thus able to see where we are going and to view the ground, while to anyone without apparatus we are invisible. We have an adjustable light in another room if you care to examine it"

With the help of the captain, Addison managed to navigate into another room where the officer touched a button on the door casing and the room was flooded with white light. With a dial on the switch plate, connected through the walls with the mounting of the lamp, the officer rotated the bulb, changing the light through the entire spectrum of colors as he varied the wave length. The colors were brilliant, not at all like the results from the old method of shining a white light through a prism, for there was something vital about the colors emitted. And Addison marveled.

From The Silent Destroyer, by Henri Dahl Juve.
Published by Air Wonder Stories in 1929
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