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

"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today -- but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all."
- Isaac Asimov

Tractor Beam  
  A force field used to pull objects.  

Read an early example of this specialized kind of force field. This is the first instance of the term "tractor beam."

"We'll carry off the pieces of that ship, too, QuinceŚwe may be able to get a lot of pointers from it," and Brandon swung mighty tractor beams upon the severed halves of the Jovian vessel, then extended a couple of smaller rays to meet the two little figures racing across the smooth green meadow toward the Sirius.
From Space Hounds of IPC, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

The same device is used in Triplanetary:

As they entered their retreat they felt their weight begin to increase. more and more force was applied to the helpless liner until it was moving at normal acceleration.

"What do you make of that, Costigan?" asked the captain. "Tractor beams?"

"Apparently. They've got something like that. They're taking us somewhere fast. I'll go get a couple of Standishes, and another suit of armor - we'd better dig in," - and soon the small room became a veritable fortress...

Although Smith certainly won the naming convention, Edmond Hamilton wrote about essentially the same thing three years earlier in Crashing Suns - the attractive ray.

Other examples of force fields in sf include the barrier force field fence from Robert Heinlein's 1940 novella Coventry and the force-field penknife from Isaac Asimov's 1951 novel Foundation (probably the basis for George Lucas' light saber from Star Wars).

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Space Hounds of IPC
  More Ideas and Technology by E.E. 'Doc' Smith
  Tech news articles related to Space Hounds of IPC
  Tech news articles related to works by E.E. 'Doc' Smith

Tractor Beam-related news articles:
  - Gravity Tractor Research By British Scientists
  - Tractor Beam Works Over Longer Distances
  - Physicists Build Repulsor / Tractor Beam
  - Tractor Beams? They're Working On It

Articles related to Space Tech
Amazing Kepler Space Telescope Decommissioned By NASA
Exploring Oceans Across The Solar System
Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures

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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Amazing Kepler Space Telescope Decommissioned By NASA
'Thus it came about that the search for a planetiferous sun... was not unduly prolonged...'

ODYSSEUS Solar-Powered Stratospheric Plane Flies Forever
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...'

Augmented and-or Virtual Reality Shoes From Google
'The auto-treadmill's bumps and gullies matched whatever terrain the goggles showed me...'

Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'

Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'

FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'

Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'

Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."

Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'

Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.