(b) During the First Ringworld Expedition in 2851, the air pressure at the Lying Bastard's crash site on the Ringworld, near Fist-of-God mountain, was equivalent to a mile above sea level on Earth. After flying all night, the air pressure indicated they had descended two miles. Presumably the difference was due to the Ringworld floor being raised by the impact which created Fist-of-God mountain.
Reference: "Flatlander", Ringworld chs. 10-11
Robot booster rockets with huge wings, powered by air compressed nearly to degenerate matter, were used to launch spaceships from Earth in 2645. This avoided use of destructive fusion drives.
In Known Space, the term "car" usually refers to an aircar. On Plateau, by 2325 ducted fans were used for lift. By 2647, and possibly as early as circa 2450, cars in Human Space used lift units to fly. Presumably lift is provided by antigravity, although this is undocumented. See also maroon dart.
Reference:A Gift from Earth, "Grendel", Ringworld chs. 19, 22
The airlock of the Lying Bastard was one of only two openings in the ship, with a hullmetal door. [Spoiler alert: Ringworld] There were problems exiting and entering the airlock after the ship crashed on the Ringworld upside down. Opening the airlock automatically shut off the cabin gravity inside the chamber.
Reference:Ringworld ch. 24
Alice in Wonderland
A classic English fantasy by Louis Carroll, published on Earth in 1865. See also Cheshire Cat
The biochemistry of flora and fauna from different worlds is seldom entirely compatible. Where it is dissimilar, it may be poisonous and/or entirely non-nutritious. Where it is similar but not identical, it may cause an allergic reaction. During the First Ringworld Expedition in 2851, Speaker-To-Animals took allergy pills when eating Ringworld animals.
Reference:Ringworld ch. 12
A surgical operation in which a synthetic material replaces a body part or tissue. Development of artificial organ technology, prior to circa 2329, helped reduce the organ bank problem, and led to revolution on Plateau.
Reference:A Gift from Earth, "The Ethics of Madness"
The suns of the Human colonies of Wunderland and the Serpent Stream asteroid belt. Alpha Centauri is a triple star system, the closest stars to Sol System at 4.37 light years. The three stars are designated Alpha Centauri A, B, and C (hereafter ɑC A, ɑC B, and ɑC C). ɑC A is a G2 star (similar to Sol) of 1.1 solar masses. ɑC B is a dimmer, orange K0-1 V star of 0.907 solar mass, in a highly elliptical orbit, varying between 11.2 AU and 35.6 AU. ɑC C is a dim, distant red dwarf; an M5.5 Ve star of 0.123 solar mass orbiting at 0.21 light years. According to an unofficial source, Wunderland orbits ɑC A at 1.32 AU. The Serpent Stream asteroids are unevenly distributed, bunched together in a crescent-shaped swarm, in a highly elliptical orbit around ɑC A. Their orbital resonance is determined by the orbit of ɑC B Information on the orbits of Wunderland and the Serpent Swarm is from the Ringworld Roleplaying Game— Explorer Book p. 44..
Home to an unnamed species encountered by the Kzinti Empire prior to 2366. According to the Kzinti, they had a "funny religion" and believed they could travel in time. When the Kzinti landed to take them as slaves, they had all vanished. The Kzinti believed they had disintegrated themselves, although no disintegrators were found.
"Free" parks on Earth where no laws are enforced. The parks are monitored by copseyes, small airborne sensor probes carrying sonic stunners used on anyone displaying violence toward another person. Otherwise, people in such parks are allowed to do what they will. Anarchy parks were documented circa 2135, and still existed in 2830.
An experimental Human safe ramscoop starship, the fourth colony ship to We Made It, propelled by a photon drive (also called light-pressure drive) at a cruising speed of 0.8 lightspeed. It was launched from Sol System in 2355, and in 2366 made the first known Human contact with the Kzinti when it was attacked by the Tracker. It had a broad, wide ring encircling a cylindrical axis, like a mechanical pencil floating inside a platinum bracelet "halo". The habitat ring was spun for spin-induced gravity. It carried a crew of 12, including Sue Bhang, Dr. Jim Davis, Ann Harrison, Steve Weaver, and Abel.
An account in 2880 indicates both Humans and Kzinti using antigravity for flying vehicles "Flying on ringworld-floor-repulsors was not like using antigravity, Louis noted" (Ringworld Engineers ch. 8, p. 72). Since both Louis and Chmeee were apparently familiar with piloting vehicles using this tech, this strongly suggests those were in common use in both Human Space and the Kzinti Empire. Note Humans obtained artificial gravity technology from the Kzinti, and by circa 2450 artificial gravity technology was coming into widespread use in Human Space., and Hindmost referred to the technology as a "negative gravity generator" Speaking to Chmeee, Hindmost says "You may fly as if using a negative gravity generator..." (Ringworld Engineers ch. 7, p. 64).. Presumably lift belt motors and aircars' lift units use this technology to fly. Just when antigravity came into use in Human Space is not clear; an account from 2641 is the first to mention lift belts. Antigravity may have been in use as early as circa 2450, when artificial gravity technology was coming into widespread use During the Second Man-Kzin War, "The gravity generator will be coming into extensive use in Human Space" ("Canon for the Man-Kzin Wars", Scatterbrain pb p. 294)..
Reference:Ringworld Engineers ch. 7, 8
Normal matter is composed of normal subatomic particles: protons, electrons and neutrons. Contrariwise, antimatter is composed of antiparticles: antiprotons, positrons (anti-electrons) and antineutrons. When matter and antimatter are brought into contact, the result is a nuclear explosion in which most of the matter is converted to energy, with the remainder emitted as hard radiation (such as gamma rays). Thus the explosion is much more powerful than a nuclear bomb, in which only a few percent of the radioactive mass is converted to energy. Antimatter does not form naturally in quantity in our Milky Way galaxy, although particles can be created artificially. [Spoiler alert: "Flatlander"] A large quantity of antimatter can even destroy a General Products hull, which otherwise is virtually indestructible.
Reference: "Flatlander", "Ghost", Ringworld’s Children
[Spoiler alert: "Flatlander"] A planet from outside the galaxy made of antimatter, orbiting the Fast Protosun. It is a cold, highly radioactive world whose crust has been scoured away. Despite its extreme velocity, 0.8 lightspeed, it has almost no cratering. Helium II lifeforms were spotted on the side of the planet away from its direction of travel. This planet was surveyed in 2645 by Gregory Pelton and Beowulf Shaeffer after Pelton asked the Outsiders about the location of the most unusual planet in Known Space. It was said the planet and the Fast Protosun would pass out of Known Space only ten years later.
On the Ringworld, the direction opposing the spin of the Ring. By analogy with directions on a normal planet, where the day/night terminator moves from east to west, antispinward is west.
(also called "Arch of Heaven" or "Great Arch") When standing on the Ringworld floor, the rest of the Ringworld appears as a great Arch stretching overhead, from one end of the sky to the other. Many primitive Ringworld cultures believe the world is actually arch-shaped, and refer to their world as the Arch. Seeker vowed to walk to the base of the Arch, and by 2851 had been on that quest for hundreds of years.
See alsoaltar of the Arch, "The View from the Ringworld Floor" in Appendix: The Ringworld
As seen from the Ringworld floor, the reflected light from the Ringworld's Arch shining above, like moonlight on Earth but much brighter.
Reference:Ringworld chs. 15, 18
On Earth, following reform of the Fertility Laws after a scandal circa 2650, a person with an unused birthright could fight in the arena for additional birthrights. The winner received second and third birthrights; the loser lost his first birthright, and his life. Such battles appeared on entertainment shows.
Acronym for Amalgamated Regional Militia. The elite police force of the UN. They have authority to investigate only certain types of criminal activities, but in those areas their authority is absolute. They investigate organlegging and dangerous technologies, but the most important function of the ARM is enforcement of Earth's Fertility Laws (see Fertility Board). The authority of ARM agents is not limited to just Earth and its possessions; they have police authority throughout Human Space. During the Man-Kzin Wars, the function of the ARM was greatly expanded to include a military branch, including armies, warships, a space navy, and military bases. ARM military ships also played a part in the Ringworld Fringe War in 2893.
Reference: "Death by Ecstasy", "The Defenseless Dead", "ARM", The Patchwork Girl, "The Woman in Del Rey Crater", Protector, "Madness Has Its Place", "Neutron Star", "The Borderland of Sol", "Procrustes", "Ghost", The Ringworld Engineers, Ringworld's Children
In 2367, at the beginning of the First Man-Kzin War, the Kzinti had already been using gravity generators for centuries or perhaps millennia. By the Second War, circa 2450, they were coming into extensive use in Human space"Canon for the Man-Kzin Wars", Scatterbrain pb p. 294. Applications include antigravity, the gravity polarizer, sleeping plates, and rooms with gravity levels individually set, both on spaceships (see cabin gravity) Aboard the starship Lying Bastard, "Louis and Teela had developed a taste for the kzin's cabin: for the slightly higher gravity..." (Ringworld ch. 8, p. 103). and planets "...the Camelot Hotel [on Jinx], which has gravity generators in most of the rooms" ("The Borderland of Sol", Tales of Known Space p. 155)..
Reference: "The Warriors", "Madness Has Its Place", "The Borderland of Sol", Ringworld, Ringworld Engineers ch. 7
The mark of a Human male Wunderlander aristocrat. The beard is allowed to grow on one side of the face, with the other side shaved clean. On the chin the bearded/shaved sides are reversed, so that below the half-beard is a clean-shaved half of a chin, and below the side of the face shaved clean is half of a two-tuft goatee. Dr. Richard Schultz-Mann wore a carefully maintained asymmetric beard, and in 2641 Sigumund Ausfaller wore one as part of a disguise.
Reference: "Neutron Star", "A Relic of the Empire", "Flatlander"
Human male Flatlander, born in 2490. He worked in the Bureau of Alien Affairs branch of the ARM, although Carlos Wu perhaps jokingly characterized this as the "Extremely Foreign Relations Bureau". Siggy dressed and acted like a gentleman. In 2641 he was middle-aged and once wore an asymmetric beard as part of a disguise. That year he thwarted a plan by Beowulf Shaeffer to steal a heavily armed starship, the Skydiver.
Reference: "Neutron Star", "The Borderland of Sol", "Procrustes", "Ghost"
In use by 2126, a full-sized autodoc is a machine like a giant coffin into which a patient climbs for sophisticated, automated medical care. In 2353, at the time the most complex unit ever built was aboard a safe ramscoop starship. It could create its own biochemicals, plastiskin and artificial organs. It could in theory cure anything and keep someone young and healthy indefinitely; it could also perform manicures, haircuts, and massage. By 2355 surgery was normally done by autodocs instead of Human doctors, and on the starship Angel's Pencil, a huge autodoc covered the back wall of the infirmary. Aboard the starship Lying Bastard in 2850-51 was a Puppeteer autodoc, shaped as a Puppeteer coffin. Smaller, more limited machines also existed; see desk doc.
Reference: "ARM", "The Ethics of Madness", "The Warriors", "Flatlander", "Grendel", Ringworld ch. 24
A sophisticated system for producing a variety of food and drink from basic chemicals. The user dials a selection from the menu of choices. Usually found as part of a starship's life support system, where recycled sewage is used for raw materials. The autokitchen slot on the starship Long Shot produced sandwiches in 2645 and 2850. The food slot on the Puppeteerflycycles used by the First Ringworld Expedition in 2851 dispensed food bricks. The autokitchen was in use by 2353, sometimes called simply "kitchen".
Reference: "The Ethics of Madness", "A Relic of the Empire", Ringworld chs. 5, 11-12
Although navigating in hyperspace requires a mass pointer and a living pilot, apparently a starship on a well-surveyed route can be steered on a pre-set course by an autopilot. They also steer ships in normal space; during his 2641 flyby survey of neutron star BVS-1, Beowulf Shaeffer referred to his ship being steered by "my faithful metal watchdog."