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

"in 1974 I experienced an invasion of my mind by a transcendentally rational mind, as if I had been insane all my life and suddenly I had become sane."
- Philip K. Dick

Fenton Silencer  
  A device to cancel noise over a broad area.  

In this amusing story from Tales from the White Hart, one of the patrons of the pub tells the story of young Robert Fenton, who was stronger on practice than on theory - unfortunately.

"Doubtless some of you will already see what I am driving at, and will appreciate the basic principle of the Fenton silencer...

It consisted of a microphone, a special amplifier and a pair of loud speakers. Any sound that happened to be about was picked up by the mike, amplified and inverted so it was exactly out of phase with the original noise. Then it was pumped out of the speakers, the original wave and the new one cancelled out, and the net result was silence.

Of course, there was rather more to it than that. [But]... it's a simple application of negative feedback.

Technovelgy from Tales from the White Hart, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Ballantine Books in 1957
Additional resources -

This is from Silence Please, the first story in this book of short stories, first published in 1957.

This story offers good engineering detail on noise cancellation; however, I think that Robert Heinlein's hush corner beats the Fenton Silencer by a nose, having been published in Double Star in 1956. Also, see the isolation barrage from Wandl, The Invader (1939) by Ray Cummings and the sound nullifier from Prima Donna 1980 by Bernard Brown. Don't miss the more thorough-going sound-killing air fluid from The Noise Killer (1930) by AM McNeill.

Thanks to Paul, who wrote in about this story in a comment on another technovelgy item.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Tales from the White Hart
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to Tales from the White Hart
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Fenton Silencer-related news articles:
  - Speechjammer To End Your 1st Amendment Rights

Articles related to Engineering
Climate Engineering In California Could Make Europe's Heat Waves Worse
Textiles That Harvest Energy And Store It
Coin-Sized Nuclear Battery Good For 100 Years
The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space

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

Shanghai Guidelines For Humanoid Robots
'Now, look, let's start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics...'

Desktop TARS Robot From Interstellar
What's YOUR sarcasm setting?

Robots Can Now Have Smiling Faces With Human Skin
'I am a cybernetic organism...'

Virtual Rat Predicts Actual Rat Neural Activity
'..the synthetic intellects at the Place of Knowledge had far outstripped the minds of men.'

GoSun EV Solar Charger Drapes Onto Your Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens.'

Rizon 4 Ironing Robot
'But after washing and drying clothes had to be smooth - free from fine lines and wrinkles ...'

Cognify - A Prison Of The Mind We've Seen Before In SF
'So I serve a hundred years in one day...'

Robot With Human Brain Organoid - 'A Thrilling Story Of Mechanistic Progress'
'A human brain snugly encased in a transparent skull-shaped receptacle.'

Goodness Gracious Me! Google Tries Face Recognition Security
'The actuating mechanism that should have operated by the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell...'

With Mycotecture, We'll Just Grow The Space Habitats We Need
'The only real cost was in the plastic balloon that guided the growth of the coral and enclosed the coral's special air-borne food.'

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.