In The Name of Science

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Things used to be so simple… until they weren’t anymore. Until my imagination ran away with me, until I, stupidly, had to go and imply things, things I didn’t fully understand. How could anyone fully understand the implications? I sat there, in my desk chair, my world crumbling around me, my mind fragmented in so many directions it was barely functioning, as I watched the live broadcast. 
I suppose I should start from the beginning.
I saw a video online about a year ago that compared the size of Earth to other planets and stars in the Milky Way. By the end of the video the Earth was nothing but a speck in the darkness compared to the red hypergiant in the video. That star, was not even the biggest in the universe. 
My mind dove then. What would happen if a star exploded? What would happen if the Sun exploded, surely the consequences would be extreme. Mostly likely, no more Earth, half, if not all, of the Solar System would cease to exist, would it not? At this point my mind fell into a black hole, stretched so thin The Solar System became an atom. An atom that could cause mass devastation if it were to be split. An atomic bomb is massive… and on the scale of a solar system… catastrophic. Is the Solar System we know of not the same structure as an atom? The Sun would be the nucleus, the planets, electrons.
And here’s where I completely lost it. If the Solar System were akin to an atom would it not then also imply that we are something of an atom to something much larger? Whether that is an inanimate object or a living being we have no way of knowing or do we? There’s a roar in space, what if that roar were a voice, but we, being so small, compared to it, might possibly not be able to comprehend this? 
I wanted answers, so I posted my theory on social media in the name of science, expecting to be ridiculed or ignored.
What ensued was madness. My implications went viral with mass media attention and scientists getting involved. 
Surely, this couldn’t be real. Surely, someone had implied this in history and was disproved or mocked. This wasn’t happening. They ran with my theory, but they ran the wrong way.
I pulled out of my darkness in time to see the explosion on my screen. The sun, bright as a nova, spread across the vast darkness that is the universe engulfing nearby planets.  Sparkling particles spraying out crashing into farther planets knocking them off course, disrupting the order of the Solar System, spreading across the galaxy. Until one piece came flying through the wormhole and caused its collapse smashing into the space station that held the camera billions of people were staring through. 
Are there no lengths to which some people wouldn’t go? They've destroyed billions of lives just like our own, alter egos living without a clue as to what was about to befall them. All wiped out because one stupid girl had one stupid theory and what did this prove anyway? 
The man on the screen was sitting with a panel of scientists excitedly babbling on about the implications and theories proved. 
I couldn’t wrap my mind around anything they were saying. This proved nothing. It didn’t prove that we were a part of anything greater or how small we were in the universe. It didn’t matter that beyond that explosion part of the Milky Way of another universe still existed or that nothing beyond that explosion was affected, how could they even know what's been affected? 
For all we know a future of possibilities has been destroyed. For all we know, we are a part of some great being and the multiverses are other beings, perhaps family, perhaps a beloved. For all we know, we just caused the beginning of the death of another great being. For all we know we are a cancer spreading sickness like an infection through our host, as it is we are killing our planet, planning to move on to the next only to destroy it too. 
For all we know, we know very little. For all we know... we know nothing.

About the Author: 
I have many theories on many things that create a world of stories in which I live. I have lived a thousand lives, yet not one single day in any.
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Quantum Theories: A to Z

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.

R is for ...

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

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.

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.

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.

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 ...

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

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.

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.

T is for ...

The arrow of time is “irreversible”—time goes forward. This doesn’t seem to follow the laws of physics which work the same going forward or backward in time. Some physicists argue that there is a more fundamental quantum source for the arrow of time.

U is for ...

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ...

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.

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.

K is for ...

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

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.

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!

K is for ...

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

S is for ...

Quantum objects can exist in two or more states at once: an electron in superposition, for example, can simultaneously move clockwise and anticlockwise around a ring-shaped conductor.

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.

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.

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.

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!

I is for ...

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

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.

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.

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.

G is for ...

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

I is for ...

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

A is for ...
Act of observation

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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