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

"The science fiction method is dissection and reconstruction. You look at the world around you, and take it apart into its components. Then you take some of those components, throw them away, and plug in different ones, start it up and see what happens."
- Frederik Pohl

Spectroscopic Robot Converter  
  Accepted the return of soft x-ray radiation, and translated it into Fraunhofer spectra.  

When searching for precious metals and minerals amongst the tiny planetoids orbiting in Saturn's rings, you need all the modern conveniences. Including a way to translate the return from an X gun into easily-identified patterns.

As the pencil of soft X rays, under the guidance of his skilled hand, probed into the twenty-foot planetoid, its reflections trembled ghostily in the milk-luminous chart. But not as complicated X ray patterns. A spectroscopic robot converter weighed each incoming quantum, and mechanically translated it into dark line, or Fraunhofer, spectra.

...the atoms absorbed the X beams, used what they could by the immutable laws of matter, and regurgitated the remainder. This atomic excreta, returned to the source, was different for each different atom. The Fraunhofer converter, like a movie screen, molded visible design from invisible radiation. One skilled in spectroscopy could read these designs like the pages of a book.

From Diamond Planetoid, by Gordon A. Giles.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1937
Additional resources -

Joseph von Fraunhofer invented the spectroscope in 1814; the dark lines that are seen in the spectrum of light from the sun bear his name. The Fraunhofer lines weren't explained until the 1850's - as atomic absorption lines. Fraunhofer was a brilliant optician who learned how to make the world's highest quality optical glass from Benedictine monks. Unfortunately, he died at a young age (39), poisoned as many glass makers were by the heavy metal vapors used in glass manufacture.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Diamond Planetoid
  More Ideas and Technology by Gordon A. Giles
  Tech news articles related to Diamond Planetoid
  Tech news articles related to works by Gordon A. Giles

Articles related to Space Tech
Spaceships Should Last So Long
Space Station Shutters
MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
Study Reveals Effect Of Space Travel On The Brain

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

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

Spaceships Should Last So Long
'THE SPACE VESSEL was traveling swiftly… For over five thousand years they had Voyaged on and on.’

Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'

Amazing Indoor Robotic Drones Mimic Dolphins and Whales
'They circled the vast audiences, dancing, twittering, chirping...'

Space Station Shutters
'The sun-quilt was a patchwork of colors and materials on the inward side, but silvered on the outward side...'

Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body
'Jim, I saw them reduce four of my doctors and nurses into those little cubes!'

MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
'Fats Jordan was hanging in the center of the Big Glass Balloon, hugging his guitar to his massive black belly above his purple shorts..'

Tianjin Solar Vehicle From Hanergy (2022) Looking Like Heinlein's (1940)
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Study Reveals Effect Of Space Travel On The Brain
'... the brain is no longer subjected to the accustomed pull, and it expands slightly in all directions.'

Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
'... the huge air-freighter Jupiter.'

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.