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"This is a predictive tool I've used: There are goals we've sought for ten thousand years, and we'll go on seeking them. Instant transport and travel, immortality (or at least longevity and miracle cures.), instant learning …"
- Larry Niven

Shadow Square Wire  
  Very fine, very light, very strong wire.  

The Ringworld needed light and dark cycles to provide the inhabitants with day and night. So, shadow squares were placed in orbit closer to the sun; the squares were connected to each other with a very fine wire.

The makers of Ringworld never intended that the inhabitants would ever encounter shadow square wire. But there it was.

"Don't touch it," Louis called... a girl had lost some fingers trying to pick up shadow square wire.

Close up, it still looked like black smoke... You could see the black thread, if your eye was within an inch of it; but then your eye would water and the thread would disappear. The thread was that close to being invisibly thin.

From Ringworld, by Larry Niven.
Published by Ballantine in 1970
Additional resources -

See also shadow squares.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Ringworld
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