Morelli sat forward and cleared a space for his arms. "We've been running experiments
on induced annihilations on a large scale for about a year now. The building you
came past after you landed houses the equipment."
"The whole building?" Aub asked.
"Yes, it's pretty big machinery. As I said, we're working on large-scale annihilations
here, not just small lab tests. Anyhow, the setup is essentially as I described
earlier: we project a article matter beam into a reaction chamber where the
annihilations are induced according to the principles we talked about. Our main
work at present is trying to understand the physics better. I won't go into
too many details right now—you'll see it all for yourselves before you go."
He grinned. "You can see how hung up we are about security here."
"What kinds of things are coming out of this?" Clifford asked.
"This is where I think it will get interesting," Morelli replied. "You see,
since we've been running larger-scale tests, we've discovered a remarkable thing:
we can generate a gravity field artificially." He paused, looking from one to
the other invitingly.
Aub stared incredulously, then swung sharply to face Clifford. "Brad!" he
exclaimed. "That's fantastic! It's what you'd expect from your theory—a part
of it that we didn't even think there was a way to test." He gestured toward
the professor. "And he's already tested it!"
"The beam is induced to annihilate inside a fairly small volume of the chamber,"
Morelli confirmed. "When we wind it up to a high intensity, we detect a well-defined
field around the annihilation volume. It's exactly as if there were a concentrated
mass present there. In other words, the process simulates the gravitational
effect of mass."
Clifford and Aub were stunned to recognize the connection with their own work.
Clifford had already concluded from theoretical considerations that what appeared
to be the annihilation of a particle was really a rotation in k-space—shifting
the particle fully into the unobservable hi- order domain of k-space. This event
would generate a k-wave pulse which, projected into normal lo-order space, would
be detected as gravitation. Lots of annihilations would add up to a apparently
Aub had already produced conclusive evidence of such k-rotations, and his
example had shown the sustaine rotation—in effect, the continual annihilation
and re-creation—of a single, isolated particle, which was far too tiny an event
for there to have been any hope of detecting its supposed gravity pulse.
Now Morelli, pursuing a totally independent track, had discovered a way to
force annihilations in enormous numbers. And sure enough, as the theory predicted,
he had found that an apparently smooth gravitational field was produced in the
process. Their meeting couldn't have been mere coincidence; Zimmermann must
have known exactly what he was doing.
"It's the theoretical aspects that have been holding us up," Morelli told
them. "When we first stumbled on the way to make this work, we were trying to
do something else entirely. Since then we've refined the process, but we're
not sure what's behind it. We know how to make it work, but we don't know why
it works." He threw out his hands and shrugged. "It's been largely trial and
error, a few inspired guesses, and more than a fair share of luck." He glanced
from Clifford to Aub and stated what was by that time clear. "So when Heinrich
told me about what you two have been doing, naturally I was interested—to put
it mildly. He saw the connection, which was why he contacted me. The rest you
"Zimmermann saw the connection," Clifford said. "And yet nobody from the government
has ever followed it up. They're getting all excited about the paper I wrote—and
especially where it talks about annihilations. Also, they must have details
on record of he work you did on inducing annihilations before you came here
to ISF. Yet they never put the two together? . . . It seems crazy."
"They don't have the records that talk about the gravitational simulation,
though, remember," Morelli pointed out. "That only turned up in the work we're
doing here. So they'd have nothing to suggest that the connection between matter
annihilation and gravity pulses that your paper predicted might actually have
been demonstrated. . . . But I don't have to tell you the way those balls of
fire zip around. . . ." He waved a hand. "Anyhow, to change the subject back
again, I seem to have been doing most of the talking. I'm supposed to be interviewing
you about possible positions here, so why don't I let you tell me more about
yourselves? After that, I'll take you to meet Peter Hughes, who wants to talk
to you both individually. He's Director of the Sudbury Institute, and nobody
gets hired without talking to Peter. Then I've fixed lunch for the three of
For the next half hour, Clifford and Aub described their work in detail. As
the spoke, Morelli became more excited. From his comments there seemed little
doubt what the outcome of the interview would be. By the end of the discussion,
he was speculating on a whole new branch of science that might grow from their
"I suppose you could say it analogous to what happened before in Europe around
the early part of the nineteenth century, when Faraday and others worked out
the connection between magnetism and electricity. Before then, the only kind
of magnetism that anyone knew about was the kind that occurred naturally—in
rocks like lodestone. Well, in a way, we're doing the same thing again, only
"They couldn't manufacture magnetism, or control it." Aub supplied. "It was
just . . . 'there.'"
"Exactly." Morelli nodded vigorously. "It was just there—inseparably tied
up with a chunk of matter. If you wanted magnetism, you went out and dug it
up. There was no other way. But . . . when people started experimenting with
electrical currents and coils of wire, they found they could make magnetic fields
artificially, make them bigger, smaller, turn them on and off at will. . . ."
He threw his arms out wide. "And out of those beginnings came the whole of electrical
engineering, and later, electronics."
This was the first time Clifford's mind had been opened to the longer-term
possibilities. "And you think this could develop in the same kind of way?" he
"Yes, I think it could." Morelli's enthusiasm and optimism were unbounded.
"Like I said, the analogy is pretty close. Gravity has always just 'been there'—inseparably
tied to a chunk of mass, hadn't it? We've only known of it in the naturally
occurring form: if you want gravity, go find a big mass. There was no other
"But now we can make our own artificially," Aub completed.
"That's right. We can make our own, and we can control it—without bulky lumps
of mass, in a lab, in a way that's relatively easy to handle. To me, that adds
up to a whole range of possible engineering applications one day. How does that
grab you guys? Interested?