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"The trouble with too much genre SF is that it's so obviously the product of the conscious mind."
- William Gibson

Violet Shrink Ray  
  A miniaturization ray.  

Or, a shrinking violet ray?

"... It began with his work on atomic structure. He discovered that certain frequencies of the X-ray—so powerful that they are almost akin to the cosmic ray—have the power of altering electronic orbits. Every atom, you know, is a sort of solar system, with electrons revolving about a proton.

“And these rays would cause the electrons to fall into incredibly smaller orbits, causing vast reduction in the size of the atoms, and in the size of any object which the atoms formed. They would cause anything, living or dead, to shrink to inconceivably microscopic dimensions—or restore it to its former size, depending upon the exact wave-length used.

“And time passes far more swiftly for the tiny objects—probably because the electrons move faster in their smaller orbits. That is what suggested to Dr. Whiting that he would be able to watch the entire life of a planet, in the laboratory. And so, at first, we experimented merely with solitary specimens or colonies of animals.

“But on the Pygmy Planet, we have watched the life of a world—the whole panorama of evolution—”

“It seems too wonderful!” Larry muttered. “Could Dr. Whiting actually decrease his size and become a dwarf?”

“No trick at all,” Agnes assured him. “All you have to do is stand in the violet beam, to shrink. And move over in the red one, when you want to grow. I have been several times with Dr. Whiting to the Pygmy Planet.”

From The Pygmy Planet, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1932
Additional resources -

Compare to the miniaturization process from Fantastic Voyage (novel) (1966) by Isaac Asimov.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Pygmy Planet
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to The Pygmy Planet
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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