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"Building one space station for everyone was and is insane: we should have built a dozen."
- Larry Niven

Chardion Field  
  Electronic 'envelope' that retained atmosphere on tiny worldlets.  

The field can contain an atmosphere, but doesn't provide gravity.

The Starbrand stood upright on a small field — and this worldlet was so tiny that every edge of the field was a horizon. The sky was a pale bowl of shimmering violet. That strange light was the fluorescence of the Chardion field — the envelope of electronic vibration that contained the artificial atmosphere, that the feeble gravity of Veron was too weak to hold.
Technovelgy from Star of Dreams, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Comet in 1941
Additional resources -

It allows for the tiniest of habitable "planets":

Once, Haldane knew, Veron must have been stark and bare and ugly. A mere half-mile rock, it was too tiny for gravitation to have rounded any harsh jutting pinnacle. But science had cloaked it with the Chardion field, and clothed it with pure loveliness.

Blue water turned hollows into crystal lakes. Terrace-gardens were luminous with blooms. Every sharp cliff was softened with its blanket of blue-flowering crimson Martian moss.

"The Chardion field is tuned to serve as an energy-trip,” Kellon commented. “That keeps up the temperature. Also, the light-absorption makes Veron almost invisible.” Again, warning rang hard in his voice. “Any passing ship would be far within the range of the guns, long before we could be discovered.”

Compare to paragravity from Collision Orbit (1941) also by Williamson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Star of Dreams
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to Star of Dreams
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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