A slipspace bubble is a pocket of alternate spacetime enclosed within an envelope of slipstream space. Because slipspace is a hyperdimensional spacetime, the contents of the bubble can be manipulated both spatially and temporally relative to the "normal space" of the outside universe. The science and technology required to create of slipspace bubbles is highly complex and thus out of reach for most civilizations below Tier 1; only the Forerunners and to some extent, the prehistoric humans and San'Shyuum, are known to have built such artifacts.
The basic concept of a slipspace bubble is similar to the "bubbles" occupied by starships when traveling in slipspace. As direct contact with the raw slipstream is harmful to normal-space-based matter, any entities or objects contained in slipspace must use a carefully-tuned quantum field to maintain a survivable volume of "normal" spacetime around them. However, given sophisticated enough technology, the surrounding eleven-dimensional spacetime of slipstream space allows one to alter the temporal and spatial properties of the volume contained within while keeping the bubble completely stable.
In a slipspace bubble, the passage of time can be manipulated both ways in relation to the surrounding universe. In an accelerating chronological field, enormous spans of time may transpire within the bubble, while only moments elapse in realspace. Conversely, in a decelerating field, time elapses faster; for example, observers in the bubble may experience only days in what amounts to several months in normal space. Similar to the effects of time dilation, this does not affect the observers' perception of time locally; i.e. individuals in either form of spacetime do not experience the passage of time in a different pace than the other. There is, however, an inevitable and clearly perceptible delay in communications between the interior and exterior of the bubble. Because of the bubbles' transdimensional nature, merely initiating such communications requires special technology.
A timelock, or stasis field, is a decelerating field taken to its logical extreme: no time passes for the occupant while eons may transpire in normal space. Such a field occupies a fractal-dimensioned slipspace and protects its contents from all damage inflicted from outside the field; any incoming energy is reflected by the fractal dimensions and scattered in the field's surroundings as thermal energy and high-energy radiation.
In addition to the ability to manipulate time, slipspace bubbles allow the compression of immense masses and volumes into a comparatively tiny space. This was demonstrated by Shield World 006, a megastructure 300 million kilometers in diameter, encased in a slipspace bubble of compressed dimensionality only 23 centimeters in diameter in normal space.
The Forerunners were known to have developed a plethora of uses for slipspace bubbles.
- The shield world Sarcophagus, a full-sized Dyson sphere massing 1.37 solar masses, existed in a compressed slipspace bubble of both time and space, only 23 centimeters in diameter on the outside. Before being transitioned into normal space, there was a noticeable time differential between the interior and exterior of the bubble: several days passed for the human survivors in the sphere, while over two months elapsed in the surrounding universe. The inhabitants later had the shield world returned to its slipspace bubble as a form of protection against the Created conflict.
- The shield world's interior was home to a series of concentric bubbles, in some of which time elapsed in a different pace than the rest of the sphere. Lucy-B091 fell into a bubble containing a hangar facility, experiencing only hours whereas days passed to the other human survivors in the sphere's primary timeline.
- The Huragok based on Trevelyan were capable of creating rudimentary temporal-manipulated slipspace bubbles. The ONI researchers in the facility used these bubbles to grow crops of the Sangheili grain irukan at a much more rapid rate than normally possible as part of a stratagem to create a bioweapon to be unleashed against the Sangheili.
- When Sarcophagus is returned to its bubble in 2558, the shield world takes with it the three planets that had fallen into its orbit when Sarcophagus was returned to real space in 2553.
- The original twelve Halo installations were capable of locking portions of the ring, or the entirety thereof, into pockets of time-suspended slipspace fractal stasis, also rendering the sections invulnerable to damage. However, this also consumed enormous amounts of energy.
- Slipspace field pods were Forerunner stasis chambers in which time was slowed to a standstill for the occupant, freezing them in time and thus protecting them from harm.
- Forerunner family Durances, used to contain the extracted final impressions of a deceased individual, were traditionally placed into time-locked stasis.
- The time bolt was a time-locked stasis field system created by the prehistoric San'Shyuum allied with humanity's interstellar empire. This stasis chamber was used to contain the stasis capsule of the Precursor intelligence known as the Primordial.
- A "reverse timelock" was used on Installation 07 by the IsoDidact to detain and execute the Primordial. When activated, the field forced the being to experience a billion years in moments and led to its complete disintegration due to entropy.
- The Ur-Didact's second Cryptum, locked in the core of Requiem, was encased in a protective slipspace stasis bubble which shielded the Didact from the Halo Array's firing.
List of appearances
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx (First appearance)
- Halo: Cryptum
- Halo: Glasslands
- Halo: Primordium
- Halo: The Thursday War
- Halo: Silentium (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Legacy of Onyx
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 381
- Halo: The Thursday War, page 84
- Halo: The Thursday War, page 205
- Halo: Cryptum, page 121
- Dr. Halsey's personal journal, December 25, 2524
- Halo: Silentium, page 167
- Halo: Glasslands, page 311
- Halo: Glasslands, page 365
- Halo: Silentium, page 366
- Halo: Primordium, pages 331-332
- Halo: Glasslands, page 230
- Halo: Legacy of Onyx, page 317
- Halo: Glasslands, page 306
- Halo: Glasslands, page 280
- Halo: Legacy of Onyx, page 403
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, pages 335-337
- Halo: Cryptum, page 47-48
- Halo Waypoint - The Halo Bulletin: 9.24.14