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The Holtzman Effect or HE is a series of four interrelated principles and forces. They were named after Ibrahim Vaughn Holtzman who discovered them.
Each effect is named for the number of dimensions it has:
- Point-source nodes the "seeds" for each of the other effects; they have no physical existence but do occupy definite locations. It has been discovered since the suspensor-nullification effect, but was understood only much later by Holtzman.
- Holtzman Waves were the one-dimensional incarnations of the HE. The only known method for interstellar communications or communicating with a ship in transit
- Planar Effect are the two-dimensional incarnations and have been used as the Defensive Shield.
- Suspensor-nullification effect is the three-dimensional incarnation. It was actually the first manifestation of the HE to be discovered millennia before Holtzman understood and defined its principles and the rest of its related effects. It's used in interstellar travel.
Each effect, when discontinued by its maintenance power or overloaded by an enormous amount of electrical energy grounded into the effect, will collapse to its point-source status.
The suspensor-nullification effect was discovered in 13004 BG by scientists in the First Empire and one Verifax Marktoo is credited. Initially it was a jealously guarded Imperial secret of House Ceres, until it leaked and Ceres with their most powerful allies began the most significant program of exploration and exploitation of the history of the empire. However the sudden expansion resulted a problem of communications. The First Empire ended in rebellion in 11105 BG.
In 7562 BG Holtzman discovered the Holtzman Wave and in 7556 BG he passed on information necessary for its use to six planetary systems but his research was interrupted when he entered cometary orbit. In his return 5694 BG Holtzman discovered the curious existence of the point-source node. On his third pass he published the theory of the Planar Effect in 3832 BG which led to the development of the Defensive Shield.
During a century the Defensive Shield attained the peak of its popularity and when the Superconductor Plague brought the Machine Death and the Little Dark Ages, Shields became more precious than ever. With thei use, social fabric was preserved and the Dark Ages lasted only 2000 years.
- Dune Encyclopedia, entry HOLTZMAN EFFECT