A Displacer is a space teleportation device. They were used to transport matter - lifeforms, cargo, and ordnance - from one point in real or hyperspace to another for practically any purpose.
Displacer units are available in a range of sizes and capabilities.
Generally, the capability of a unit increased with its size or mass.
The volume - and its contents - to be Displaced was encapsulated within a containment field. The field was moved through hyperspace, where it took the form of a singularity. The singularity could be intercepted and it contents separated and redirected; this was not a widely known Culture capability even within the Culture in c. 29th century CE.
The arrival of a Displaced volume appeared initially as a tiny point of blinking light, which rapidly expanded into a grey or silvery sphere that subsequently disappeared to leave the volume behind. The intensity of sound caused by the departure and arrival of a volume depended on the speed of the Displacement.
The power needed for a Displacement increased as distance and mass increased.
The uncertainty principle applied to Displacement singularities in hyperspace, creating a non-zero probability of catastrophic Displacement failure, invariably leading to the death of a Displaced lifeform.
The catastrophic failure rate of Culture Displacements was put as 1 in 80 million in the 19th century CE, 1 in 83 million in the 21st century CE, and 1 in 61 million in the 22nd century CE. Some Culture machine sapients regarded Displacers as too dangerous to move sapients.
The probability of a catastrophic failure increased as the rate of Displacements increased.
A snap-Displacement was a dangerous manoeuvre where a Displacer unit moving at very high superluminal speeds - relative to the target - executed a Displacement with extremely limited time-on-target, perhaps as little as less than a millisecond.
A typical snap-Displace could only handle a small volume. The Culture Emergency Displacement required a pan-human to scrunch into a fetal posture. Injury and damage would result if the targeting was not perfectly accurate.
- ↑ The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 12
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Look to Windward, chapter 14
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Excession, chapter 7.2
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 The Player of Games, chapter 2
- ↑ Surface Detail, chapter 16
- ↑ Excession, chapter 4.5
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Surface Detail, chapter 12
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Surface Detail, chapter 9
- ↑ Excession, chapter 1.2
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Excession, chapter 10.12
- ↑ Excession, chapter 5.4
- ↑ Look to Windward, chapter 15
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Look to Windward, chapter 16
- ↑ Surface Detail, chapter 26
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 16
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Surface Detail, chapter 17
- ↑ The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 22