Your rating: None
Average: 3 (1 vote)


Elise. Esile. If you put our names together, it would make a palindrome.Our parents must have been true visionaries because our names could not be more apt for us.We are identical twins,and when we say identical, we mean even we can't tell each other apart sometimes.Occasionally, it feels like "we" are actually an "I".Elise is Esile. Esile is Elise.It's like we are two halves of the same whole. Thats only explanation we can think of for the Bond we have .Aunt says that we "use telepathy" but that's not true.It runs deeper than simple telepathy.Without communicating physically or mentally , we immediately know what the other is doing, thinking or feeling. In essence, we are always and never alone.
Aunt was actually our nanny until she became our guardian when our parents 'disappeared' during The Accident.Rule number one with Aunt: Never let anyone know about the Bond.
We can't remember our parents . Elise has tried. Esile has tried . Aunt says it's the trauma from The Accident that makes us unable to remember anything before it,but we think otherwise.The picture doesn't trigger any memories or even feelings for us.They are strangers to us, the man in the white labcoat with spectacles that magnify his eyes twofold and the woman who looks like she ironed and starched herself before posing for a picture. We have tried asking Aunt what exactly happened on the night of The Accident, but she just tearfully told us that our parents were really very good people, which is a very annoying way to dodge a question, in our opinion.However , we were only eight , and in no position to challenge a middle aged woman with a temper that was even shorter than us.
Now that we are ten, we have realised that people find it disturbing when we behave in a certain way ('completely synchronised' is the exact phrase). At school, we were put into separate classes ,but it was not a very efficient arrangement; Esile might have a Maths lesson, and naturally, Elise would know about every aspect of it but still have to take it.Having this forbidden information frightened the teachers and led to Aunt being called down to the principal's office because we were under suspicion of peeking at the teachers'  lesson plans (which is a rather asinine conclusion to jump to).When Aunt came out after a long talk with the principal, she looked grim. Elise gulped. Esile swallowed nervously. 
"How is she going to punish us , I wonder?" we thought . Breaking rule number one would warrant at least a month's worth of grounding.She didn't understand that we were fundamentally incomplete on our own, and that we were perpetually connected by the Bond, whether she wanted it or not .  But instead of punishing us as soon as we reached home , she collapsed onto the sofa , shaking with tears. When she gets like this, its best to leave her alone , so we slowly backed away, thankful for Aunt's tears. Suddenly she grabbed Esile's arm (or was it Elise's?)and pulled her close . Of course Elise (or was it Esile ? ) was not about to leave her sister with an emotionally unstable person , so we were both present , both physically and mentally when Aunt told us the truth about The Accident .
 "I'm so sorry for lying to you all this time , my girls ," said Aunt," but your parents—"
Huh? That's kind of strange.We can't remember anything she said after that.It feels like we just woke up from a weird dream.
Huh? This feels familiar somehow.Extremely familiar.Like we have both physically experienced it.A true sense of déjà vu .
Why is Elise in a hospital bed?
Why is Esile in a hospital bed? 
Why are we in a hospital?
We leap out of our beds as one , a slight headache, but none the worse for wear . A quick scroll through each other's memories affirm that we don't have a clue of what exactly is happening.We are in a room so white it hurts to look at the walls for too long .We edge closer to the glaringly white door.Suddenly, there's a shout.We simultaneously freeze ,look at each other, then glance back at the door.A conversation with raised voices was taking place near our room, and both parties are now agitated enough that their voices easily float in.
 "Do you realise what you are doing, Steve?This is human experimentation! It's WRONG! Why didn't you just give up when you failed five years ago?"
"You don't understand . I didn't fail. The entanglement was a success"
"SUCCESS MY FOOT!You failed in my eyes the moment you crossed ethical boundaries just so you could be more famous than the average scientist "
"Do you not realise what this means to the future of science?To the whole new possibilities that could be opened up if the research is continued?"
"I don't care.I quit"
We flinch as the stomping footsteps grow louder and louder , sighing in relief as it fades away.We strain our ears to eavesdrop on another bit of the conversation , but this time, the hushed tones are too soft for our ears.
We just catch a "You can count on me sir" before the door is pushed open unexpectedly.We jump.Standing over us is Aunt.Or is it?Her eyes look like Aunt's.Her mouth too.But what is it about her...? As the door closes we catch a glimpse of a man with eyes that look enlarged hurrying away.
"Hello girls!How are you? You suffered a pretty bad fall you know,"
We glance at each another and agreed in a split second to ask The Question.For her answer, there are only two possibilities:Yes or No.But only one correct answer.
"Are you really our Aunt?"
She smiles widely.A little too widely. 
"Yes,Of course I am!"
Wrong answer.
About the Author: 
The Author loves ice cream and science .
Share this fiction

Quantum Theories: A to Z

O is for ...
Objective reality

Niels Bohr, one of the founding fathers of quantum physics, said there is no such thing as objective reality. All we can talk about, he said, is the results of measurements we make.

W is for ...
Wave-particle duality

It is possible to describe an atom, an electron, or a photon as either a wave or a particle. In reality, they are both: a wave and a particle.

B is for ...
Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

At extremely low temperatures, quantum rules mean that atoms can come together and behave as if they are one giant super-atom.

A is for ...
Alice and Bob

In quantum experiments, these are the names traditionally given to the people transmitting and receiving information. In quantum cryptography, an eavesdropper called Eve tries to intercept the information.

Z is for ...
Zero-point energy

Even at absolute zero, the lowest temperature possible, nothing has zero energy. In these conditions, particles and fields are in their lowest energy state, with an energy proportional to Planck’s constant.

E is for ...

When two quantum objects interact, the information they contain becomes shared. This can result in a kind of link between them, where an action performed on one will affect the outcome of an action performed on the other. This “entanglement” applies even if the two particles are half a universe apart.

H is for ...
Hawking Radiation

In 1975, Stephen Hawking showed that the principles of quantum mechanics would mean that a black hole emits a slow stream of particles and would eventually evaporate.

J is for ...
Josephson Junction

This is a narrow constriction in a ring of superconductor. Current can only move around the ring because of quantum laws; the apparatus provides a neat way to investigate the properties of quantum mechanics and is a technology to build qubits for quantum computers.

M is for ...

Our most successful theories of cosmology suggest that our universe is one of many universes that bubble off from one another. It’s not clear whether it will ever be possible to detect these other universes.

G is for ...

These elementary particles hold together the quarks that lie at the heart of matter.

S is for ...
Schrödinger’s Cat

A hypothetical experiment in which a cat kept in a closed box can be alive and dead at the same time – as long as nobody lifts the lid to take a look.

K is for ...

These are particles that carry a quantum property called strangeness. Some fundamental particles have the property known as charm!

R is for ...

Unpredictability lies at the heart of quantum mechanics. It bothered Einstein, but it also bothers the Dalai Lama.

M is for ...

Quantum physics is the study of nature at the very small. Mathematics is one language used to formalise or describe quantum phenomena.

B is for ...
Bell's Theorem

In 1964, John Bell came up with a way of testing whether quantum theory was a true reflection of reality. In 1982, the results came in – and the world has never been the same since!

K is for ...

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a way to create secure cryptographic keys, allowing for more secure communication.

C is for ...

The rules of the quantum world mean that we can process information much faster than is possible using the computers we use now. This column from Quanta Magazine ​delves into the fundamental physics behind quantum computing.

U is for ...
Uncertainty Principle

One of the most famous ideas in science, this declares that it is impossible to know all the physical attributes of a quantum particle or system simultaneously.

Y is for ...
Young's Double Slit Experiment

In 1801, Thomas Young proved light was a wave, and overthrew Newton’s idea that light was a “corpuscle”.

C is for ...

The most precise clocks we have are atomic clocks which are powered by quantum mechanics. Besides keeping time, they can also let your smartphone know where you are.

P is for ...
Planck's Constant

This is one of the universal constants of nature, and relates the energy of a single quantum of radiation to its frequency. It is central to quantum theory and appears in many important formulae, including the Schrödinger Equation.

A is for ...

This is the basic building block of matter that creates the world of chemical elements – although it is made up of more fundamental particles.

P is for ...

Quantum mechanics is a probabilistic theory: it does not give definite answers, but only the probability that an experiment will come up with a particular answer. This was the source of Einstein’s objection that God “does not play dice” with the universe.

Q is for ...

One quantum bit of information is known as a qubit (pronounced Q-bit). The ability of quantum particles to exist in many different states at once means a single quantum object can represent multiple qubits at once, opening up the possibility of extremely fast information processing.

C is for ...

People have been hiding information in messages for millennia, but the quantum world provides a whole new way to do it.

T is for ...

The arrow of time is “irreversible”—time goes forward. On microscopic quantum scales, this seems less certain. A recent experiment shows that the forward pointing of the arrow of time remains a fundamental rule for quantum measurements.

W is for ...

The mathematics of quantum theory associates each quantum object with a wavefunction that appears in the Schrödinger equation and gives the probability of finding it in any given state.

T is for ...

Quantum tricks allow a particle to be transported from one location to another without passing through the intervening space – or that’s how it appears. The reality is that the process is more like faxing, where the information held by one particle is written onto a distant particle.

V is for ...
Virtual particles

Quantum theory’s uncertainty principle says that since not even empty space can have zero energy, the universe is fizzing with particle-antiparticle pairs that pop in and out of existence. These “virtual” particles are the source of Hawking radiation.

T is for ...

This happens when quantum objects “borrow” energy in order to bypass an obstacle such as a gap in an electrical circuit. It is possible thanks to the uncertainty principle, and enables quantum particles to do things other particles can’t.

M is for ...
Many Worlds Theory

Some researchers think the best way to explain the strange characteristics of the quantum world is to allow that each quantum event creates a new universe.

D is for ...

Albert Einstein decided quantum theory couldn’t be right because its reliance on probability means everything is a result of chance. “God doesn’t play dice with the world,” he said.

X is for ...

In 1923 Arthur Compton shone X-rays onto a block of graphite and found that they bounced off with their energy reduced exactly as would be expected if they were composed of particles colliding with electrons in the graphite. This was the first indication of radiation’s particle-like nature.

A is for ...
Act of observation

Some people believe this changes everything in the quantum world, even bringing things into existence.

E is for ...

As the world makes more advances in quantum science and technologies, it is time to think about how it will impact lives and how society should respond. This mini-documentary by the Quantum Daily is a good starting point to think about these ethical issues. 


D is for ...

Unless it is carefully isolated, a quantum system will “leak” information into its surroundings. This can destroy delicate states such as superposition and entanglement.

I is for ...

Many researchers working in quantum theory believe that information is the most fundamental building block of reality.

S is for ...
Schrödinger Equation

This is the central equation of quantum theory, and describes how any quantum system will behave, and how its observable qualities are likely to manifest in an experiment.

F is for ...
Free Will

Ideas at the heart of quantum theory, to do with randomness and the character of the molecules that make up the physical matter of our brains, lead some researchers to suggest humans can’t have free will.

T is for ...
Time travel

Is time travel really possible? This article looks at what relativity and quantum mechanics has to say.

S is for ...

The feature of a quantum system whereby it exists in several separate quantum states at the same time.

L is for ...
Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

At CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, this machine is smashing apart particles in order to discover their constituent parts and the quantum laws that govern their behaviour.

Q is for ...
Quantum biology

A new and growing field that explores whether many biological processes depend on uniquely quantum processes to work. Under particular scrutiny at the moment are photosynthesis, smell and the navigation of migratory birds.

Q is for ...
Quantum States

Quantum states, which represent the state of affairs of a quantum system, change by a different set of rules than classical states.

H is for ...
Hidden Variables

One school of thought says that the strangeness of quantum theory can be put down to a lack of information; if we could find the “hidden variables” the mysteries would all go away.

R is for ...

Since the predictions of quantum theory have been right in every experiment ever done, many researchers think it is the best guide we have to the nature of reality. Unfortunately, that still leaves room for plenty of ideas about what reality really is!

S is for ...

Researchers are harnessing the intricacies of quantum mechanics to develop powerful quantum sensors. These sensors could open up a wide range of applications.

I is for ...

Some of the strangest characteristics of quantum theory can be demonstrated by firing a photon into an interferometer

N is for ...

When two quantum particles are entangled, it can also be said they are “nonlocal”: their physical proximity does not affect the way their quantum states are linked.

U is for ...

To many researchers, the universe behaves like a gigantic quantum computer that is busy processing all the information it contains.

G is for ...

Our best theory of gravity no longer belongs to Isaac Newton. It’s Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. There’s just one problem: it is incompatible with quantum theory. The effort to tie the two together provides the greatest challenge to physics in the 21st century.

L is for ...

We used to believe light was a wave, then we discovered it had the properties of a particle that we call a photon. Now we know it, like all elementary quantum objects, is both a wave and a particle!

Copyright © 2023 Centre for Quantum Technologies. All rights reserved.