The Einstein Seesaw

Miles Breuer | published Apr, 1932

added Jun 6, 2024
cover Image
First Date of Publication
Apr, 1932
Original Source
Astounding Stories
Original Source Type
Magazine - Pulp
Short Story
Original Language
Kasman Review
Not in ISFDB
Summary: A very visual, pulpy story about accessing the higher dimension for a hackneyed adventure…

Story Tag Line: “The reaction is reversible, you see. The field swings the space-segment, or the swinging of the space-segment creates the field.”

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  • Vijay Fafat
    Published on

    This is another of the hyperspace stories by Miles Breuer. This time, a mathematical physicist discovers that matter can be tossed around in and out of space(-time) [see his papers, “A Preliminary Report of Experimental Work in the Physical Manipulation of Tensors” and “The Parallel Transformations of Equations for Matter, Energy, and Tensors”]; if done fast enough, this catapulting sets up a see-saw action, causing sections of 3-D space to swing “up and down” in the fourth dimension, in accordance with Einstein’s GR equation. As the professor’s lovely (obviously) daughter explains:

    “My father is Professor Bloomsbury at the University of Chicago. He has been experimenting in mathematical physics, and I have been assisting him. He has succeeded in proving experimentally the concept of tensors. A tensor is a mathematical expression for the fact that space is smooth and flat, in three dimensions, only at an infinite distance from matter; in the neighborhood of a particle of matter, there is a pucker or a wrinkle in space. My father has found that by suddenly removing a portion of matter from out of space, the pucker flattens out. If the matter is heavy enough and its removal sudden enough, there is a violent disturbance of space. By planning all the steps carefully my father has succeeded in swinging a section of space on a pivot through an angle of 180 degrees, and causing two portions of space to change places through hyperspace, or as you might express it popularly, through the fourth dimension.”

    By chance, an unscrupulous but brilliant engineer gets hold of the professor’s work [the professor’s table accidentally swings into his room, carrying with it many of the physicist’s papers and books like “‘Theory of Parallels,’ Lobatchevsky; ‘Transformation of Complex Functions,’ Riemann; ‘Tensors and Geodesics,’ Gauss,‘Tensors,’ by Christoffel; ‘Absolute Differential Calculus,’ by Ricci and Levi Civita. And Schrödinger and Eddington and D’Abro.”]. He builds a suitable catapult and uses his access to hyperspace to steal safe deposits across the city.

    A reporter from “The Enquirer” and the daughter bump into the thief by chance, get marooned in hyperspace as a punishment and after a bit of misadventure, are able to return to our space-time, getting rid of the thief by accident as well. A pretty hokum story.