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"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

Micro-Cosmos (Microcosm)  
  The universe in miniature.  

Of course, the word "microcosm" long predated the story, but this is an early use of the 'miniature universe" idea.

The big, deep basement of the old mansion had been thrown into one great room. Along its walls was arranged a tangle of high-powered electrical apparatus, motor-generators and condensers and transformers, linked by bewildering wiring.

But at the center of the room rested an object that dwarfed all else. It was a steel sphere thirty feet in diameter, supported by a set of giant gimbals. The upper part of the house directly over it had been partially cut away to make foom for it.

Felton observed that in the steel wall of the sphere at one point was a round glass window, and beside the window were the eye-pieces of telescope-like instruments that were set in the wall. Into the sphere at two points ran wiring from the massed apparatus.

He turned inquiringly to the astrophysicist. “What in the world is that?” Doctor Robine’s eyes were brilliant, but he only answered evenly, “It is an instrument with which I am going to create a microcosm.”

“A microcosm?”

“Yes, an exact but infinitely smaller replica of the great cosmos in which we live. Atom for atom it will be identical with our cosmos, but the atoms of the microcosm will be infinitely smaller and so the tiny cosmos they make up will be infinitely smaller — so small, in fact, that that steel sphere will contain the whole microcosm.”

Gregg Felton, jaw dropping, said slowly, “A tiny replica of the whole cosmos, inside that sphere ?” Then he burst, “Why, it’s crazy! How on earth can you reproduce the cosmos, atom for atom, on an infinitely reduced scale like that?”

Robine asked in return, “You’ve seen a draftsman using a pantograph, haven’t you? You know what it is, an instrument with two pencils — you trace a map or picture with one pencil, and the other pencil automatically produces an exact but much smaller copy of the map.”

“Yes, but there’s no pantograph by which you can produce an exact miniature of the cosmos.”

“There is, Gregg. You’re scientist enough to know that every atom of mat- ter in the cosmos vibrates and emits vibrations of force, though some are so weak as to be hardly discernible. The vibrations of the different atoms differ, too.

“Well, I have set up apparatus here to catch, amplify and transmit the whole range of cosmic atomic vibrations! Millikan has shown that such vibration can be built up into matter, and that is what my three-dimensional pantograph does, builds them up into atoms exactly like those which emitted them, only infinitely smaller.

Technovelgy from The Cosmic Pantograph, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1935
Additional resources -

"...when I turn on the thing, it will create inside that sphere a micro-cosmos that will be an exact reproduction of our cosmos in every atom."

“I still can hardly believe — ” Felton muttered, and then he heard the switch click.

The next moment the interior of the sphere was no longer dark and empty, but held a countless number of groups of tiny points of light, infinitesimal little galaxies of suns exactly reproducing the mighty galaxies of the greater cosmos!

They floated in the darkness of the sphere’s interior, those galaxies, like diminutive clouds of sparks. These little galaxies were mostly spiral in shape, like those of the cosmos, and though they were so tiny as to be hardly visible, there were vast numbers of them, separated from each other by proportionately immense distances.

Compare to the miniature universe in Hamilton's classic 1937 story Fessenden's Worlds, and to Theodore Sturgeon's famous 1941 short story Microcosmic God.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Cosmic Pantograph
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to The Cosmic Pantograph
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

Micro-Cosmos (Microcosm)-related news articles:
  - Seriously, Was Our Universe Created In A Lab?

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