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

"No one has ever produced a statement of fact that was technically true. The most accurate statements of science we have today are accurate to only 15 decimal places."
- Bart Kosko

Slow Glass (Scenedow)  
  A window made of Bose-Einstein Condensate that slows light to a snail's pace.  

A man and his wife go looking for a good deal on a woodlands "scenedow" for their apartment.

The most important effect, in the eyes of the average individual, was that light took a long time to pass through a sheet of slow glass. A new piece was always jet black because nothing had yet come through, but one could stand the glass beside, say, a woodland lake until the scene emerged, perhaps a year later. If the glass was then removed and installed in a dismal city flat, the flat would—for that year—appear to overlook the woodland lake.
From Light of Other Days, by Bob Shaw.
Published by Analog in 1968
Additional resources -

A piece of exposed slow glass was called a "scenedow:"

Apart from its stupendous novelty value, the commercial success of slow glass was founded on the fact that having a scenedow was the exact emotional equivalent of owning land. The meanest cave dweller could look out on misty parks—and who was to say they weren't his? A man who really owns tailored gardens and estates doesn't spend his time proving his ownership by crawling on his ground, feeling, smelling, tasting it. All he receives from the land are light patterns, and with scenedows those patterns could be taken into coal mines, submarines, prison cells.
This story anticipates the successful creation of Bose-Einstein condensates in 1995. A dilute vapor consisting of approximately 2000 rubidium-87 atoms was cooled to one twenty-billionth Kelvin (not degrees Kelvin - see minor note comments).

Bose-Einstein condensates are created when atoms are cooled to absolute zero; the atoms collapse into the lowest quantum state, producing a superfluid. Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein worked out the details in the 1920's. The unusual optical properties of BECs were predicted at that time.

Bose-Einstein condensates have optical densities such that the speed of light passing through the mass is extremely low - walking speed as opposed to its usual 186,000 miles per second.

This idea was used prior to Shaw's story; see the slow glass rod from The Exhalted, a 1940 short story by L. Sprague de Camp.

If you're interested in making light do tricks, check out NYC Heliostats and Star Wars Orbital Mirrors.

See the "Slow Glass-related news items" below for real-world applications.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 7 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Light of Other Days
  More Ideas and Technology by Bob Shaw
  Tech news articles related to Light of Other Days
  Tech news articles related to works by Bob Shaw

Slow Glass (Scenedow)-related news articles:
  - Light Captured In A Crystal
  - Slow Light 'Scenedow' Close At Hand
  - eBayaday Sells A View On eBay

Articles related to Material
'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material

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

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

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.