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The Genesis Machine
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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 continuous field.

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 know."

"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 us."

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 pioneering research.

"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 with gravity."

"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 said slowly.

"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 way—until now."

"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?

 
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