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

"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Sub-Atlantic Tube  
  A tunnel under the ocean; the shortest distance between the two points.  

The first successful underwater tunnel was the Thames tunnel, completed in 1843, between between Rotherhithe and Wapping in London. It was 35 feet wide and 1,300 feet long.

The Chunnel between Britain and France, a 31 mile tunnel, is probably the closest thing to what Gernsbeck described. It was completed in 1994.

"We had the honor of being the first passengers to arrive by means of the new Subatlantic Tube," said James...

"...the tube runs in a straight line between New York and Brest, France. If it were to run straight along the bottom of the ocean the distance between the two points would be from 3600 to 3700 miles due to the curvature of the earth. For this reason the tube was pushed straight through the earth, thereby making the distance only 3470 miles..."


(Sub-Atlantic Tunnel from 'Ralph 124c 41 +' by Hugo Gernsback)

"...the greatest trouble ... our engineers experienced near the middle of the tube; this point is 450 miles nearer the center of the earth and the heat became very marked. It was necessary to install large liquid-air plants at several points in the tube to reduce the heat... "There are no wheels to the tube car and it is propelled by magnetism only. At each three hundred feet is stationed a powerful tubular electromagnet, about thirty feet long, through which the tube car passes... "As the car is held suspended entirely by magnetism, there is practically no friction whatever, as there are no wheels or rails."

From Ralph 124c 41 +, by Hugo Gernsback.
Published by Modern Electrics in 1911
Additional resources -

The car itself has the features of a Dewar flask (used in Thermos bottles); there is vacuum between two solid walls, which tends to keep heat transfer to a minimum. However, it does not appear that Gernsback figured out the best feature of this kind of arrangement; you could actually do this without any motive power at all, since the tube car would "fall" into the tunnel, dropping 450 miles, and then gradually "bounce" back up to the surface. There would be some loss due to air friction, but otherwise you would get the trip for free, from an energy standpoint.

For a discussion of this option, as well as the brachistochrone problem (a straight line tunnel isn't the most efficient), see gravity-assisted subway from Larry Niven's 1976 novel A World Out Of Time.

Compare to the single vehicle tunnel from Foundation (1951) by Isaac Asimov, the pneumatic tube station from Exiles of the Moon (1931) by Schachner and Zagat, the submarine tube from An Express of the Future (1895) by Jules Verne, the vacutubes from Double Star (1956) by Robert Heinlein and the public tubes from The Houses of Iszm (1954) by Jack Vance.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ralph 124c 41 +
  More Ideas and Technology by Hugo Gernsback
  Tech news articles related to Ralph 124c 41 +
  Tech news articles related to works by Hugo Gernsback

Articles related to Transportation
Aéroplume Blimp For One Reflects 150 Years
Shift Moonwalkers Help You Walk Faster? How About Tractor Treads!
CopterPack Is Robert Heinlein's 1954 Copter Harness
Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas

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

San Francisco Wants ED-209, Or Maybe Robocop
'The Enforcement Droid series 209 is a self-sufficient law enforcement robot...'

Seoul Self-Driving 42dot Bus Unveiled
'Buses without drivers moved close to the curb and stopped at intervals.'

T. Gondii And The Leaders Of The Pack
'... infected males were more than 46 times more likely to become pack leaders than uninfected males.'

'Parastronaut' First Astronaut With Disability From ESA (Updated!)
'He had left Earth to get away from its gravitational field...'

MIT Self-Assembling Reprogrammable Materials
'Faster the cubes moved; faster the circle revolved; the pyramids raised themselves, stood bolt upright on their square bases...'

Mem, The All Your Memories, Super Note-Taking App
'Life experience is linearly additive, but the correlation of memory impressions is an unlimited expansion.'

Porcine Fat Cells For 3D-Printed Whole Pork Products
'I grabbed two Syntho-Steaks out of the freezer...'

LANIUS Loitering Drone Munition Scouts And Maps
'... micro-missiles proceeding at walking pace.'

Copilot Software AI Training Sued By Involuntary Contributors
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

Thin Film Dome Protects Cities From Nuclear Blasts
'What fabric can take that kind of a load? Synthetic spider silk.'

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.