Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it."
- Robert Heinlein

Micro-Cosmos (Microcosm)  
  The universe in miniature.  

Of course, the word "microcosm" long predated the story, but this is an early use of the 'miniature universe" idea.

The big, deep basement of the old mansion had been thrown into one great room. Along its walls was arranged a tangle of high-powered electrical apparatus, motor-generators and condensers and transformers, linked by bewildering wiring.

But at the center of the room rested an object that dwarfed all else. It was a steel sphere thirty feet in diameter, supported by a set of giant gimbals. The upper part of the house directly over it had been partially cut away to make foom for it.

Felton observed that in the steel wall of the sphere at one point was a round glass window, and beside the window were the eye-pieces of telescope-like instruments that were set in the wall. Into the sphere at two points ran wiring from the massed apparatus.

He turned inquiringly to the astrophysicist. “What in the world is that?” Doctor Robine’s eyes were brilliant, but he only answered evenly, “It is an instrument with which I am going to create a microcosm.”

“A microcosm?”

“Yes, an exact but infinitely smaller replica of the great cosmos in which we live. Atom for atom it will be identical with our cosmos, but the atoms of the microcosm will be infinitely smaller and so the tiny cosmos they make up will be infinitely smaller — so small, in fact, that that steel sphere will contain the whole microcosm.”

Gregg Felton, jaw dropping, said slowly, “A tiny replica of the whole cosmos, inside that sphere ?” Then he burst, “Why, it’s crazy! How on earth can you reproduce the cosmos, atom for atom, on an infinitely reduced scale like that?”

Robine asked in return, “You’ve seen a draftsman using a pantograph, haven’t you? You know what it is, an instrument with two pencils — you trace a map or picture with one pencil, and the other pencil automatically produces an exact but much smaller copy of the map.”

“Yes, but there’s no pantograph by which you can produce an exact miniature of the cosmos.”

“There is, Gregg. You’re scientist enough to know that every atom of mat- ter in the cosmos vibrates and emits vibrations of force, though some are so weak as to be hardly discernible. The vibrations of the different atoms differ, too.

“Well, I have set up apparatus here to catch, amplify and transmit the whole range of cosmic atomic vibrations! Millikan has shown that such vibration can be built up into matter, and that is what my three-dimensional pantograph does, builds them up into atoms exactly like those which emitted them, only infinitely smaller.

From The Cosmic Pantograph, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1935
Additional resources -

"...when I turn on the thing, it will create inside that sphere a micro-cosmos that will be an exact reproduction of our cosmos in every atom."

“I still can hardly believe — ” Felton muttered, and then he heard the switch click.

The next moment the interior of the sphere was no longer dark and empty, but held a countless number of groups of tiny points of light, infinitesimal little galaxies of suns exactly reproducing the mighty galaxies of the greater cosmos!

They floated in the darkness of the sphere’s interior, those galaxies, like diminutive clouds of sparks. These little galaxies were mostly spiral in shape, like those of the cosmos, and though they were so tiny as to be hardly visible, there were vast numbers of them, separated from each other by proportionately immense distances.

Compare to the miniature universe in Hamilton's classic 1937 story Fessenden's Worlds, and to Theodore Sturgeon's famous 1941 short story Microcosmic God.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Cosmic Pantograph
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to The Cosmic Pantograph
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

Micro-Cosmos (Microcosm)-related news articles:
  - Seriously, Was Our Universe Created In A Lab?

Articles related to Engineering
The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
Plasma Window Technology, Pressure Cushions and Deflector Doors
Giant Telescope Lenses Made In Space

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 Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Your Martian Dream Home, Made By Fungi
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.'

100X Improvement In DNA Information Storage
'A record that wouldn't get lost and couldn't be destroyed.'

NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Star Trek Voyager Emergency Medical Hologram

Should We Train AIs To Imagine A Future Of Horrific Disasters
'LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'

Mouth Haptics Invented By Frederik Pohl In 1965, CMU Now Has Prototype
'What he got was indeed a kiss. It was disconcerting. No kissing lips were visible.'

Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
'I am the Guardian of Forever.'

3D Printed Robotic Tentacles
'... articulate ropes of steel dangling'

Update: Musk Doubles Down On Optimus Prime Humanoid Robot
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.