"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
At this point in the novel, the Thessians struck with a beam of pure silvery light that tore a hundred feet of pure cosmium off the nose of our hero's ship? What is this incredible weapon?
The term "super-photon" is in common use in physics today, but I can't find an earlier reference to this term than Campbell's. The idea of that light can be treated as packets or discrete quanta of energy dates from Einstein's treatment of the photoelectric effect in 1905; I'm not sure when the word "photon" was created.
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