Tuesday, April 19, 2016

An American History Ch. 3: The D.E.M.A.N.D. Program

The following is from a work-in-progress called An American History.  It's a novel.
The classified De-Moleculization And Neutrino Decelerator (D.E.M.A.N.D.) program began in the early 1960s as a joint venture between the United States government, Hughes Aircraft, and a handful of physics professors from the newly-created California State University, Fullerton.  The purpose of the program had something to do with making a new kind of weapon--one that would do the work of an atomic bomb, minus all the mess.

The researchers were experimenting with the idea of collapsing the distance between atoms and molecules, shrinking matter into superdense balls, which could be disposed of by being shot into space, or buried, or dropped into the ocean.  This weapon could do all the destructive work of a powerful nuclear bomb, with none of the unpleasant untidiness of a big explosion.  The American public had responded with ambivalence to the stockpiling of atomic weaponry, and the scientists at the DEMAND program were hard at work to make these new, clean weapons of mass reduction.

Ultimately, the program was abandoned because, in trying to collapse matter, the scientists opened a door they could not close.  The best they could do was hide it somewhere no one would possibly go looking in the second half of the 20th century--a library.


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