Limitless

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July 21, 2041 
My nose is bleeding and the headaches are getting worse. It’s interesting how fragile the mind is. The body can handle living multiple lives in one day, living multiple moments instantaneously, but the mind... the mind cannot handle the information it’s being submerged in. It works overtime to comprehend each sense as it’s overwhelmed with multiple scents, sights, sounds... Each one distinct, yet somehow all connected.
As the days go by, I can feel the headaches coming on faster with my increasing activities. But I must push the limits to understand what the mind is capable of. What a human body can handle. Still, with each throb of my head and each drop of blood that flows from my body, I have to admit that I cannot stop. It has become an addiction.
Impossible, they said. Quantum superposition only exists on a subatomic level. They were wrong. With the correct manipulation of gravity, what once rooted us into a single spot can allow us to explore many, many more.
Perhaps the deconstruction of my body is risky, especially since I have adjusted my machine to allow myself an additional presence, but it is a step into uncharted territory and must be explored.
Imagine how much more we could accomplish if our most brilliant minds had the ability to work through multiple tasks in one day. How many more lives could be saved if doctors could be in two places at once?
There’s a restriction I have found to be both a hindrance and a help. My two selves cannot exist in the same place at the same time. When they near each other, they become drawn together as if there was some sort of magnetic pull. It’s a surreal feeling to witness yourself disappear within yourself, but I will admit that it makes my research interesting.
I am nearly ready for my superiors to see the extent of my research and witness the capabilities of the machine I have created. I’ve no doubt they will assign every able body to my work. It will be years before my work will be ready for the public to witness, but I know it will be a moment in history we won’t likely forget.
I save my work and shutdown the computer in my lab. The last few months have kept me working later than usual. By now, my wife has gotten used to it, though I can’t say she’s happy about it.
I glance at the several other screens at my workstation. I can see myself entering into the building through the front and side doors. Such a strange feeling to see the motions on a screen as well as in my mind.
A guard nods to me from the front entrance as I flash him my badge. They have grown used to my comings and goings this late. They hardly bat an eye when they see me. I don’t know if they bother to look at my badge anymore.
From the side entrance, I scan my badge at the door to allow me access inside. No one is posted on this side of the building, but the security systems make sure that only workers can get in and out. I prefer it that way. The less workers I have to see, the better. At least until I am ready to reveal my findings to my peers.
Quickly, I switch the camera to the hallway where my other two selves are about to converge. No one is in the hall which is a good thing, because it’s quite a sight when I come back together.
I step into the elevator from the hall.
Again, I step into the elevator from the hall.
My body begins to tingle as my very cells are pulled back into each other. Now, where there were once two, there is only one. I ride the elevator up to my lab and step out, meeting myself at the door. Another tingling sensation and my two selves converge again. Now what was three is back to one. This has been my routine for the last several months. I am so close to finalizing my research. Just a few more trials, I’m sure of it. 
I grab my coat, sling it over my arm and head out the door. My shoes click on the ground echoing throughout the corridor.
“Doctor Lawrence,” says a familiar voice behind me.
I stiffen. It’s not possible.
Slowly, I turn around and come face to face with... me. Yet not me. I cannot sense his memories, nor see through his eyes. How could I have miscalculated so entirely?
“You have not made an error,” he says cutting through my thoughts. “I am neither from your machine nor your world.”
My mind is reeling. “But how-”
He raises a hand and I fall silent.
“Things used to be so simple,” he sighs, “until I created- until we created...” He shakes his head. “The QS machine works, but it was stolen shortly after I went public with my discoveries. My world is run by murderers and dictators. After all, how can you stop one person, when one becomes three? We must destroy our work. It’s the only way.” 
Panic clenches my insides. “I can stop,” I tell him. The lie feels sour on my tongue. But he was careless, I won’t be.
“No,” he says with a shake of his head, “you can’t.”
An explosion rocks the building. I know without a doubt it came from my lab. Years of research gone in a matter of seconds. 
I watch as he turns and walks back down the hall, towards the billowing smoke.
“Where are you going?” I call after him, dazed.
He turns to look at me. “To make sure that no other world has to suffer what mine did.” Then, he’s gone.
I stare at the empty spot where my other self once stood. I feel a new obsession beginning to take root.

About the Author: 
Heidi Schwartz lives in Missouri with her husband and daughter. She is enjoys reading, writing, baking, woodworking, and a variety of other crafty activities. In warmer months, you can catch her outside on her bicycle, towing a trailer holding her little one (and a large stuffed bear).
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Quantum Theories: A to Z

W is for ...
Wavefunction

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G is for ...
Gravity

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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 ...
Multiverse

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.

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.

N is for ...
Nonlocality

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.

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Atom

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B is for ...
Bell's Theorem

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R is for ...
Randomness

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Reality

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!

K is for ...
Key

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Clocks

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Probability

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.

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Gluon

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

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Planck's Constant

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O is for ...
Objective reality

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T is for ...
Teleportation

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X is for ...
X-ray

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Schrödinger Equation

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S is for ...
Schrödinger’s Cat

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C is for ...
Cryptography

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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.

D is for ...
Decoherence

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S is for ...
Sensors

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

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I is for ...
Information

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

A is for ...
Act of observation

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

Z is for ...
Zero-point energy

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A is for ...
Alice and Bob

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U is for ...
Universe

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H is for ...
Hawking Radiation

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C is for ...
Computing

The rules of the quantum world mean that we can process information much faster than is possible using the computers we use now.

U is for ...
Uncertainty Principle

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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.

S is for ...
Superposition

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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”.

M is for ...
Maths

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T is for ...
Tunnelling

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F is for ...
Free Will

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Q is for ...
Quantum biology

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K is for ...
Kaon

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L is for ...
Light

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D is for ...
Dice

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E is for ...
Entanglement

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I is for ...
Interferometer

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V is for ...
Virtual particles

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Q is for ...
Qubit

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T is for ...
Time

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W is for ...
Wave-particle duality

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