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

"I received a nice letter the other day from the Dalai Lama. He had read 'The Nine Billion Names of God'. It is about a computer at a Tibetan monastery."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Mass Detector (Gravitator)  
  A device that finds substantial masses, particularly in the path of a space craft.  

As if in answer, a loud clangor came from the Orford mass detector, on the wall back of them. Dubold shut off the rockets, while Mansell leaped to the telescope. Dubold narrowed the detector beam to a tiny spear of electron stream, and turned to the screen. The feed-back of that narrowed beam would detect a tiny mass a thousand miles out in space through the disturbance of its flowing electrons and locate it in space as accurately as if sighted by a gun. At the intersection of the cross-bar lines a tiny shadow showed like a blot of ink in its intensity. Yet Mansell could see nothing..

Mansell changed the course of the ship slightly and the clangor ceased. Dubold shifted the needle beam a bit and located the mass again. A light- ning calculation by Mansell told them that the mass was at least fifteen hun- dred miles ahead. Its detection informed them that the mass was large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Yet Mansell could see nothing.

Mansell and Dubold looked at each other doubtfully, but Shafton was not watching them. Instead, he had his eyes glued to the gravitator as if he could not believe what he saw.

"Strange, I could see nothing," Mansell admitted to Dubold, in an under- tone. "Must be a phenomenon of space, something we don't understand. However, we are out of its path..."

fE looked toward Shafton as he spoke. A flicker of alarm crossed his sharp-cut features as his attention riveted upon the young spaceman's face. For Shafton's eyes were staring aghast into the gravitator's dial.

"The gravitator!" Shafton cried. "It has swung over to 10-x."

"Impossible," the commander snapped,"why—why, it is unthinkable. There must be something wrong." Suddenly he switched the floor magnets off. So sensitive were the spacemen's sensations to gravitational pulls out there in almost weightless space, a slight but decided tug toward the prow could be felt. Again the commander scanned the surrounding space.

From Roamer of the Stars, by Clyde Wilson.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1938
Additional resources -

Compare to the gravity detector from The Cometeers (1936), by Jack Williamson

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Roamer of the Stars
  More Ideas and Technology by Clyde Wilson
  Tech news articles related to Roamer of the Stars
  Tech news articles related to works by Clyde Wilson

Articles related to Space Tech
Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
Astronaut Gets Younger 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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

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.