Ringworld Engineers question - unboxed spoilers

I’ve read Ringworld, Ringworld Engineers, and tried to read Ringworld Throne. The first two books are my very favorite science fiction novels, and I’ve reread both countless times. My question: I understand that in Engineers, Louis Wu and Chmee were only pretending to look for a transmutation device so they could keep the Hindmost happy and so they could stall for the time they needed to plot an escape. Niven never really explained why there was no transmutation device to be found. Why? The description of such a device is right up Niven’s alley, and I’ve always been disappointed that one was never located.

Perhaps it’s explained in Ringworld Throne, but that book was so boring and confusing I may very well have skipped it over. Can anyone explain?

As it turns out, I am in the process of sporadically re-reading this book, so I’ll give this a shot.

I believe Louis and Chmee determined there was never any transmutator because they did not find any corroborating evidence of a transmutator. Louis made some reference to Prill having lied/misled them by telling them what they wanted to hear.

This is just off the top of my head (I’m at work now). When I get home I’ll try to provide more details.

Jeez, it’s been a while… I think the protectors used a slaver device, lost long before civilization fell on the ringworld. But I’m probably wrong on this one.

bytheway is right. There’s no mention of a transmutation device in “Ringworld Throne” nor AFAIK anywhere else in Known Space. I’ve no idea whether the Pak collected Slaver artefacts but it’s a good guess that if they’d turned one up they would have used a lot of them - since Man has proved smart enough to copy some Slaver technology, the Pak would have managed it no sweat.

The nearest parallel that I can think of is the eponymous Soft Weapon, but that could only manage total conversion of matter to energy (among other useful things), not matter to matter.