Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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

"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Spinnerettes  
  A device that will unspool a nanowire filament and then pull it back in.  

This item is described as "a small flat box the size of a pocket calculator." At the time of the novel's publication, that meant a box about three inches by six inches by one inch thick.

Morgan had now produced the metal box that had allowed him to perform his miracle. Its only features were a few buttons, and a small read-out panel. "...The reason you can't see this sample is that it's only a few microns thick. Much thinner than a spider's web."

"...What is it?"

"The result of two hundred years of solid-state physics. For whatever good that does, it is a continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal - though it's not actually pure carbon. There are several trace elements in carefully controlled amounts. It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories, where there's no gravity to interfere with the growth process..."

"...But it's tricky to handle, even dangerous. We've had to design special dispensers to spool and unspool it. We call them 'spinnerettes.' This is a power-operated one, made for demonstration purposes. The motor can lift a couple of hundred kilos, and I'm always finding new uses for it."

Technovelgy from The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Ballantine in 1978
Additional resources -

In the novel, the thread is made out of a very strong and light material. It is practically invisible, and is very dangerous to handle. The thread is attached to steel rings at one end, and its spool at the other.

A spinneret (note the slightly different spelling) are "any of various tubular structures from which spiders and certain insect larvae, such as silkworms, secrete the silk threads from which they form webs or cocoons." Spinnerets are also used in the production of most manufactured fibers; they are similar in principle to a bathroom shower head. Most synthetic and cellulosic manufactured fibers are created by extrusion; a thick, viscous liquid (about the consistency of cold honey) is forced through the tiny holes of a spinneret to form continuous filaments of semi-solid polymer.

Read more about manufacturing fiber formation technology.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Fountains of Paradise
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to The Fountains of Paradise
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Articles related to Engineering
Climate Engineering In California Could Make Europe's Heat Waves Worse
Textiles That Harvest Energy And Store It
Coin-Sized Nuclear Battery Good For 100 Years
The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror 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 Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Chaffeur Robot Musashi Will Drive Your Regular Car
'What would you do,' Eric asked the robot cabdriver, 'if your wife had turned to stone, your best friend were a toad, and you had lost your job?'

Space Exporers! Now, You Can Drink Your Own Urine
'those suits they wear -- call them 'stillsuits' -- that reclaim the body's own water...'

SpaceX EVA Spacesuit Tested By Polaris Dawn Crew
'Now, except for weight and heat, the same conditions prevail in this chamber as in space.'

Automatic Bot Traffic Is 38 Percent Of HTTP Requests
'there were so many worms and counterworms loose in the data-net...'

Shanghai Guidelines For Humanoid Robots
'Now, look, let's start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics...'

Desktop TARS Robot From Interstellar
What's YOUR sarcasm setting?

Robots Can Now Have Smiling Faces With Human Skin
'I am a cybernetic organism...'

Virtual Rat Predicts Actual Rat Neural Activity
'..the synthetic intellects at the Place of Knowledge had far outstripped the minds of men.'

GoSun EV Solar Charger Drapes Onto Your Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens.'

Rizon 4 Ironing Robot
'But after washing and drying clothes had to be smooth - free from fine lines and wrinkles ...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.