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

"One can see the free software movement as a precusor for a "free hardware" or "free wetware" movement--one that will provide free libraries of designs for biological or nanotechnological products that replicators can be programmed to churn out."
- Charles Stross

Slow Glass (Scenedow)  
  A window made of Bose-Einstein Condensate that slows light to a snail's pace.  

A man and his wife go looking for a good deal on a woodlands "scenedow" for their apartment.

The most important effect, in the eyes of the average individual, was that light took a long time to pass through a sheet of slow glass. A new piece was always jet black because nothing had yet come through, but one could stand the glass beside, say, a woodland lake until the scene emerged, perhaps a year later. If the glass was then removed and installed in a dismal city flat, the flat would—for that year—appear to overlook the woodland lake.
From Light of Other Days, by Bob Shaw.
Published by Analog in 1968
Additional resources -

A piece of exposed slow glass was called a "scenedow:"

Apart from its stupendous novelty value, the commercial success of slow glass was founded on the fact that having a scenedow was the exact emotional equivalent of owning land. The meanest cave dweller could look out on misty parks—and who was to say they weren't his? A man who really owns tailored gardens and estates doesn't spend his time proving his ownership by crawling on his ground, feeling, smelling, tasting it. All he receives from the land are light patterns, and with scenedows those patterns could be taken into coal mines, submarines, prison cells.
This story anticipates the successful creation of Bose-Einstein condensates in 1995. A dilute vapor consisting of approximately 2000 rubidium-87 atoms was cooled to one twenty-billionth Kelvin (not degrees Kelvin - see minor note comments).

Bose-Einstein condensates are created when atoms are cooled to absolute zero; the atoms collapse into the lowest quantum state, producing a superfluid. Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein worked out the details in the 1920's. The unusual optical properties of BECs were predicted at that time.

Bose-Einstein condensates have optical densities such that the speed of light passing through the mass is extremely low - walking speed as opposed to its usual 186,000 miles per second.

This idea was used prior to Shaw's story; see the slow glass rod from The Exhalted, a 1940 short story by L. Sprague de Camp.

If you're interested in making light do tricks, check out NYC Heliostats and Star Wars Orbital Mirrors.

See the "Slow Glass-related news items" below for real-world applications.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 7 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Light of Other Days
  More Ideas and Technology by Bob Shaw
  Tech news articles related to Light of Other Days
  Tech news articles related to works by Bob Shaw

Slow Glass (Scenedow)-related news articles:
  - Light Captured In A Crystal
  - Slow Light 'Scenedow' Close At Hand
  - eBayaday Sells A View On eBay

Articles related to Material
Crystalized Light Created At Princeton
New Material Is One Molecule Thick
Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black
Shatterproof Phone Screens Coming Soon

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

MIT's Robotic Cheetah Runs Free - And Frolics In The Grass
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail...'

Flying Robot Has An Arm
Drones with arms.

Strati 3D Printed Car
'You rode in it - you know how good it is.'

Tracking Spinning Space Junk
'Loose nuts and bolts... had been accumulating in Earth orbit'

Baidu Kuaisou Dune Poison Snooper Chopsticks
'Unobtrusive inspections with... snoopers... Will it be chaumas - poison in the food?'

Crystalized Light Created At Princeton
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

The Amazing Gravity-Assisted Journey Of Rosetta
'...We used the [moon's] attraction to give us additional starting speed'

AirDog Auto-Follow Drone Captures Your Awesomeness
'Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me...'

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.