Several years ago, when Ray Palmer was a student at Ivy University, he began to work on compressing matter. He got his first big break when he saw a meteor land. He believed it to be a fragment of a white dwarf star. In his lab he was able to make a lens from the star fragment. He soon discovered that by focusing ultraviolet rays through it, it he could shrink inanimate objects. However, when shrunk these objects would be unstable eventually exploding. His next break regarding his research came on a nature hike with some kids and his friend Jean Loring. While in a cave they trapped in a cave-in. After an hour of trying to escape, he deciding to use the reducing lens on himself he had luckily taken with him. He made his way out and freed the others quickly as he wanted to go back to normal size before he exploded. But he didn't because of the chemicals in the water in the cave that got onto the reducing lens. He eventually made a special reducing suit made out of the dwarf star as well.
In Gotham City, late 1976, the 'Raven' used a small fragment of a white-dwarf for his spacecraft that he invented. He used the gravity field of the white-dwarf to power his technology, allowing him to steal certain objects, such as the Washington Monument. He used a gravity shield to protect himself from the powerful gravitational force. Superman was able to sucesfully get his hands on the 'white-dwarf fragment' and toss it into the sun.
About two years later, on a rescue mission to a water-planet to save Zan, Superman comes up with a plan to take their time-ship into the future of this planet, long after the sun has collapsed into a 'White-Dwarf Star'. Doing this will give him back the powers he lost under the collapsing red sun. As they arrive in the future, Zan realizes that he has superpowers too. Superman informs him that people born under yellow-suns gain super-powers under hotter 'blue' and 'white' stars. He then relays a story of how it happened to his pal Jimmy Olsen.