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

"For the sciences, the way to change science's perception of things is to wait until all the old farts have died off."
- Larry Niven

Fenton Silencer  
  A device to cancel noise over a broad area.  

In this amusing story from Tales from the White Hart, one of the patrons of the pub tells the story of young Robert Fenton, who was stronger on practice than on theory - unfortunately.

"Doubtless some of you will already see what I am driving at, and will appreciate the basic principle of the Fenton silencer...

It consisted of a microphone, a special amplifier and a pair of loud speakers. Any sound that happened to be about was picked up by the mike, amplified and inverted so it was exactly out of phase with the original noise. Then it was pumped out of the speakers, the original wave and the new one cancelled out, and the net result was silence.

Of course, there was rather more to it than that. [But]... it's a simple application of negative feedback.

From Tales from the White Hart, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Ballantine Books in 1957
Additional resources -

This is from Silence Please, the first story in this book of short stories, first published in 1957.

This story offers good engineering detail on noise cancellation; however, I think that Robert Heinlein's hush corner beats the Fenton Silencer by a nose, having been published in Double Star in 1956. Also, see the isolation barrage from Wandl, The Invader (1939) by Ray Cummings and the sound nullifier from Prima Donna 1980 by Bernard Brown. Don't miss the more thorough-going sound-killing air fluid from The Noise Killer (1930) by AM McNeill.

Thanks to Paul, who wrote in about this story in a comment on another technovelgy item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Tales from the White Hart
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to Tales from the White Hart
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Fenton Silencer-related news articles:
  - Speechjammer To End Your 1st Amendment Rights

Articles related to Engineering
Low-Cost Gel Pulls Water From Atmosphere Like Star Wars Vaporator
SpaceX Rocket Quick Reaction Force
Vortex Rings Of Light
Envisioning Starship Earth Travel - In 1930 By Max Valier

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

Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
'It could maintain a steady six miles per hour...'

AI Robots Excel At Trash Sorting And Recycling
'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'

Could Increased Space Rocketry Damage The Ozone Layer?
'...without burning a single hydrocarbon molecule to injure the diseased atmosphere any further.'

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.'

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...'

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.'

Prototype 3D Printer Could Print Arteries In Seconds
'...in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.'

China Wants 'Hard Kill' Capability To Counter Starlink Satellites
'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'

Low-Cost Gel Pulls Water From Atmosphere Like Star Wars Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down...'

Pixy Flying Selfie Drone From Snap
'It hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'

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.