This is a short story that was collected in the book Gold.


Robert L. Forward is a physicist at Hughes Research Laboratory, Malibu. He is demonstrating the workings of a machine to the narrator. The machine he is describing is like a large doughnut shaped structure that contains particles under a suitable magnetic field. The particles are moving at ultra-fast speeds inside the machine.

He says that anything that would pass through this doughnut would get it's parity swapped which means what is left for an object would become it's right and vice-versa. He further asserts that this will create an infinite supply of energy by converting matter into antimatter. He then proposes to pass through the doughnut himself to test the machine saying a human body is the perfect sample for experimental verification.

To this, the narrator cautioned him not to do so for otherwise his entire body from organ level to the molecular level would change it's left-handedness to right-handedness and vice-versa which will definitely be fatal.

But Robert retorts saying that he can only test it on himself as no one else would risk their life. Then he actually does pass through the doughnut. When he looked for any parity changes in his body, he found none. But after a while he gloomily says that he is now changed from 'Robert L. Forward' to 'Robert L. Backward'.