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

"Cyberpunk worked when the Internet was in its hand-wound crystal radio phase, when you had to be a sort of hobbyist to do e-mail, and it all had a very steep learning curve. Those days are over."
- William Gibson

Illyrion  
  Super-heavy and super-stable elements with atomic numbers greater than 296.  

"Mouse, what does Illyrion mean to you?"

He considered. "An Illyrion battery makes my syrynx play. I know they use it to keep this moon's core hot. Doesn't it have something to do with the faster-than-light drive?"

Mouse, there is noticeably less Illyrion in your syrynx battery, by a factor of twenty or twenty-five, than there is, let's say, radium in the fluorescent paint on the numerals of a radium dial watch. How long does a battery last?"

"They're supposed to go to fifty years. Expensive as hell."

"The Illyrion needed to keep this moon's core molten is measured in grams. The amount needed to propel a starship is on the same order. To quantify the amount mined and free in the Universe, eight or nine thousand kilograms will suffice...

"Katin, what is Illyrion?"

"Psychophysics 74 and 75. I went to the library. The best definition is the one given by Professor Plovnievsky in his paper presented at Oxford in 2238 before the theoretical physics society. I quote: 'Basically, gentlemen, Illyrion is something else.' One wonders if it was a happy accident from lack of facility with the language, or a profound understanding of English subtlety. The dictionary definition, I believe, reads something like, ' ...general name for the group of trans three-hundred elements with psychomorphic properties, heterotropic with many of the common elements as well as the imaginary series that exist between 107 and 255 on the periodic chart.'

"You know that as you mount the chart of atomic numbers past 98, the elements become less and less stable, till we get to jokes like Einsteinum, Californium, Fermium with half lives of hundredths of a secondó and mounting further, hundredths of thousandths of a second. The higher we go, the unstable. For this reason, the whole series between 100 and 298 were labeledó mislabeledó the imaginary elements. They're quite real. They just don't stay around very long. At 296 or thereabouts, however, the stability begins to go up again. At three hundred we're back to a half-life measurable in tenths of a second, and five or six above that and we've started a whole new series of elements with respectable half-lives back in the millions of years. These elements have immense nuclei, and are very rare. But as far back as 1950, hyperons had been discovered, elementary particles bigger than protons and neutrons. These are the particles that carry the binding energies holding together these super nuclei, as ordinary mesons hold together the nucleus in more familiar elements. This group of super-heavy, super-stable elements go under the general heading of Illyrion. And to quote again the eminent Plovnievsky, 'Basically, gentlemen, Illyrion is something else.'

From Nova, by Samuel R. Delany.
Published by Doubleday in 1968
Additional resources -

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Nova
  More Ideas and Technology by Samuel R. Delany
  Tech news articles related to Nova
  Tech news articles related to works by Samuel R. Delany

Articles related to Material
New Material Absorbs and Stores Solar Energy
3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
3D Printing Of Metallic Glass
Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink

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

Implantable Covid-Detecting Microchip Developed By DARPA
'Employees... were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'

SpaceX Requests Starlink For Starship
'... sweating, heat-blistered engineers at every interplanetary radiograph station on three planets.'

SF Writers Predicted John Deere Autonomous Tractors
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'

DARPA Funding AI Fighter Pilots
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

StoryFile To Help William Shatner Become Landru
"I am Landru. I am he! All that he was, I am."

Telehealth Drones To The Rescue
'A shadow passed over him, and he looked up.'

Capture Asteroids In A Bag
'... just as a small boy catches a swift ball in his cap.'

Sony Pocket Air Conditioner Is Phil Dick's Idea!
'... he went to the hall closet to get his pith helmet and his mandatory cooling-unit.'

Is It Possible To GROW Planes And Vehicles?
'These are your rudimentary seed packages...'

Guard Dog Robot Security Check
'We still use people at the main gates, but here it's an automated sentry.'

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.