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"And out of their work we got the whole science of electrical engineering --
and later on electronics."
"And you think this could go the same way?" Clifford followed what
Morelli was saying but this was the first time that his mind had been fully
opened to the long-range possibilities. Morelli's enthusiasm for his work was
irrepressible, his optimism, unbounded -- which almost certainly explained how
the project at Sudbury had advanced as far as it had without any firm
theoretical understanding on the part of the re searchers. It provided a
stimulating contrast to the environment that Clifford had so recently left. He
became aware suddenly of his keen desire to become part of ISF and of
Morelli's team. It wasn't just the work that attracted him; he knew that here
was something to which he could belong.
"Yes, I think it easily could," Morelli told them. "Like I said, the analogy
is pretty close. Gravity has always just been there -- inseparably tied up
with a chunk of mass, hasn't it? We've only known it in its naturally
occurring form; if you want gravity, go find a big mass. There's no other
way...or there hasn't been up until now."
"But now you can make your own artificially," Aub completed.
"That's right. We can make our own and we can control it...and we don't need
big bulky lumps of mass to do it either. We can do it in a lab and in a way
that's relatively easy to handle," Morelli said. "To me that adds up to all
the beginnings of a whole range of solid, down-to-earth engineering
applications. How does that grab you guys? Interested?"
"Interested!" Aub turned to Clifford and back while he sought suitable words.
"Just show me where I start."
"I can't add anything to that," Clifford said. Morelli grinned and held up a
restraining hand.
"I wish it was that easy too, but let's wait and see how your interview goes.
Peter's the guy you have to convince now, not me." He glanced at the
clock on the wall opposite the desk. "In fact, we'll have to make a move in a
minute or two. But before we go, I'll just tell you a bit about our latest
experiments here -- just to whet your appetites some more." The sudden change
in his tone hinted that he had saved the best until last. The other two became
instantly attentive.
"We'd already guessed, of course, that the process of particle annihilation
inside the reaction chamber somehow induces a curvature in
Einsteinian space-time around the volume in which the process takes place. In
other words, it mimics the effect normally produced by a large mass, which is
not news to you any more. From what I know now about Brad's theoretical work,
I can see now how it does it -- qualitatively at least, that is."
"What you're really doing is amplifying by a factor of a few billion what
happens naturally anyway," Aub supplied.
"That's a good way of putting it," Morelli agreed. "If I've understood what
you've been telling me, the gravity field around an ordinary mass results from
the tiny fraction of particles inside it that are annihilating spontaneously
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at any instant. Okay?"
"That's right," Clifford confirmed. "Only a very small proportion of the mass
contributes anything to the field...is gravitationally active if you like.
Most of it is purely passive; it takes up space and has bulk but contributes
nothing to the field. As we said earlier, that's the part that really departs
from classical ideas -- gravity turns out to be a dynamic effect, not static."
Morelli nodded and then turned his head toward Aub, who was obviously about to
add something. He took up the point. "In fact, your experiments are a good
demonstration of just that. What you've effectively done is scrap the passive
mass entirely. The particles that annihilate inside your reaction chamber can
be thought of as a mass that's 100 percent gravitationally active. Every one
of them is involved in the process, unlike in ordinary mass."
"You're just doing what Nature does anyway, only on a much more concentrated
scale," Clifford commented. "You're concentrating inside a few cubic
centimeters the same number of annihilations every second that would normally
take place in...oh, I don't know..." he shrugged and turned up his hands, "a
whole mountain or something."
"And we get a smooth, detectable resultant field," Morelli concluded.
"Yeah, that's what I meant when I said I can see better why it works now. It
also explains more specifically why we can increase the strength of the field
by increasing the beam density or by focusing into a smaller volume -- they
both give you more annihilations per cubic centimeter per second, which brings
me back to what I was about to tell you." Clifford and Aub waited expectantly.
Morelli went on. "Recently we've been pushing the limits to find out how far
we could take it...how far we could bend Einsteinian geodesics. The result has
been pretty sensational -- something we sure didn't bargain for. You see,
fellas, what we've managed to do is generate a field so strong that nothing
can get out of the annihilation volume at all -- not even light! We have to
push the volume right down to microscopic dimensions to do it, but it sure
works okay. The space-time curvature at that level is so great that everything
gets bent right back in to the middle. What do you say to that?"
For a few seconds that seemed a lot longer, the two young scientists stared at
him in mute astonishment as their minds struggled to take in his meaning. Here
was something that had been widely talked about for decades, it was true, but
all the same, to be told quite matter-of-factly that it had actually become a
reality and was just part of a day's work at Sudbury...
"A black hole!" Clifford's jaw sagged. "You mean you've produced an artificial
black hole here...?"
"Jeez," Aub exhaled slowly. "Man, have I been wasting my time...
Morelli smiled, unable to conceal his amusement.
"Thought you'd be impressed," he said. "We may not be theoretical hotshots
here, but we haven't exactly been standing still all the same." He looked from [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


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