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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Sonic Fold  
  Force field that guides air around an air vehicle.  

The skycycles accelerated steadily and in silence. At a little below the speed of sound, a rushing sound penetrated the sonic fold. It reached a peak at sonic speed, then cut off sharply. The sonic fold found a new shape, and again there was silence...

He tried pushing his hand into the sonic fold. The fold was a force field field, a network of force vectors intended to guide air currents around the space occupied by the flycycle. It was not intended to behave like a glass wall. To Louis's hand it felt like a hard wind, a wind that pushed straight toward him from any direction.

The sonic fold seemed idiot-proof.

...Louis was willing to believe that if he fell out of his seat, which would not be easy, he would be caught by the sonic fold and would be able to climb back up again.

From Ringworld, by Larry Niven.
Published by Ballantine in 1970
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