A discussion of topics as varied as satellites that transmit data at extreme speed using lasers, to more political topics such as probable future geopolitical scenarios involving China and the United States as two opposing superpowers and the ramifications of a worldwide energy crisis with solar power positioned as a likely candidate to relieve the world's energy needs. It features an American and a Chinese man, both chemists, in a space elevator laboratory discovering how to make more efficient solar panels but being disrupted by their respective countries' political friction mirroring a Cold War. With only weeks to go before their program is shutdown, the two chemists discover what they are looking for by accident (similar to the discovery of penicillin), but by this time tensions between the US and China over the possession of Central Asian oil fields has almost reached the point of war. Each side attempts to coerce their representative to release the formula for the new solar panels to their side only: The Americans tell their representative to bribe the Chinese chemist into hiding the discovery from the Chinese, while the Chinese abduct the wife of the Chinese chemist, hoping that will convince him only to reveal the new discovery to them. In the end, the Chinese and American chemists both decide that the future of the world is more important than their respective countries' political aspirations. They instead use a laser signal to leak the new discovery to the media and every scientific institution in the entire world. The Chinese chemist also makes a point of thanking his government for looking after his wife while he is away, thus ensuring that no harm will come to her without the prospect of public scrutiny. While afterword the Chinese and American scientist both begin to comment on what the world will be like in the year 2107. The new discovery is then celebrated all over the world.