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

"One could imagine a very ascetic sort of life ... where the body is ignored. This is something I've played with in my books, where people hate to be reminded sometimes that they have bodies, they find it very slow and tedious."
- William Gibson

Negative Molecular Motion  
  A state of matter that has a temperature below absolute zero.  

"Okay, we've had more work than we knew what to do with," McEvoy said. "My lab has been involved with temperature stresses on spacecraft components, especially the effects of extreme cold on guidance systems. We've been working in extremely low temperatures, approaching absolute zero, where molecular motion ceases altogether. A theoretical point, of course, because you're never supposed to be quite able to get there. You get into problems of entropy and energy exchange…actual physical stress…that gets worse the closer you get to the theoretical point. Mass-energy conversion, a lot of otherwise-stable constants that don't seem to obtain under these conditions…the very meat of the project, the reason we're doing it."

Ed Benedict nodded. "I don't understand you, but I think I know what you're talking about."

"Fine. Things were going along very well until one of my men devised a radically new refrigerating pump that worked far better than anybody dreamed it could. We got our test material—a block of tungsten supported on an insulated tripod in the refrigerating vault—down closer to absolute zero than we'd ever hoped for. Maybe we hit absolute and dropped below it…I don't even know that for sure."

The phychologist blinked. "I don't follow. From absolute zero, just where can the temperature drop to?"

"A good question," McEvoy said. "I can't answer it. Below absolute zero you might speculate on some kind of negative molecular motion. Maybe that's what we did get. Certainly something changed. The test block simply evaporated. Vanished. The tripod vanished, and so did the temperature-recording device. All we could see in the vault was a small, glowing hole in the center of the room where the block had been. Nothing in it, nothing. Just a pale, blue, glowing area about six inches across that looked to some of us very strangely like a hypercube."

From The Universe Between, by Alan E. Nourse.
Published by Astounding in 1951
Additional resources -

Thanks to Winchell Chung of Project Rho for contributing this item.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Universe Between
  More Ideas and Technology by Alan E. Nourse
  Tech news articles related to The Universe Between
  Tech news articles related to works by Alan E. Nourse

Negative Molecular Motion-related news articles:
  - Below Absolute Zero? Gas Is Negative-Kelvin Material

Articles related to Material
LiquiGlide Will Be Everywhere
Synthetic 'Squid Skin' For Camouflage On The Way
Shape-Shifting Carbon Fiber
'Diamond Nanothreads' Now, Someday Space Elevators?

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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Zap Space Debris With Telescope Laser On ISS
'... their lasers vaporized the smaller satellites...'

Moran Cerf, When Will We Get Neuro Tech For Ourselves?
If brainwave-sensing consumer products tickle your fancy...

Velkess Energy Storage System (It's A Flexible Flywheel!)
'The kinetic man unjacked Lalji’s kink-springs from the winding treadmills...'

Performance Enhancing Drugs - In Gaming?
'A faint smell of rachag stimulant wafted down the table.'

Automated Treadmill Adjusts To Your Pace
'The auto-treadmill's bumps and gullies matched...'

Mr. Anderton, Beware This Long-Range Iris Scanner
Try keeping your eyes shut, Mr. Anderton.

Mini Statues Of You From 3D Images
'...A three-dimensional simulacrum of himself six inches high took form.'

'Forever' Camera Powered By Its Own Images
'What I have in this camera is not a record of what you did just now but what will go on here in the next half hour...'

Robot Chef Makes Thousands Of Dinners
'I got one of those new electronic cameras... and I could construct this one to do it exactly right down to the thousandth of a second.'

Revault Wearable Private Cloud Is Too Vaporous
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.