Quantum Shadow

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Earth: “Dr. Paula, power up the QIES (Quantum Integrator Extensor System) and slowly bring it to full power. When we stabilize our version of quantum foam we can begin a series of experiments with more complex and dense quantum sheets. Once we can control these sheets, we can control the quantum shadows they are linked to. Imagine a quantum transceiver and two-way, instant conversations with a remote galaxy. It’s a lot to think about.” 

“Dr. Paul, it’s working! I see micro sheets stabilized under a microscope.” Doctors Paul and Paula hugged and kissed fondly as they challenged professional demeanor. After years of denied attraction, the spontaneous kiss peeled away their armor and exposed their profound affections. A moment of smoothing unwrinkled lab coats and deep stares followed before regaining decorum.

“You were right, Paula. Grasping the complex relation between Dark Matter, Quarks, and the three Neutrinos with the other particles lead to bonding particles into tight webs.” Paul couldn’t restrain his bubbly reaction or contain his annoying tendency to vocalize his thoughts. “Once the Icarus project created powerful beams of hundreds of trillions of Neutrinos per second, we built QIES. Now we can map to standard surfaces. This web is the diaphragm for the transceiver mic and speaker. That’s huge! Overlaying normal objects with entangled webs will let us control those objects from here. Though it’s a solution looking for a problem to solve, I’m so excited.”

~~~~~~ Three months and several failures later. ~~~~~~

“Baffles are set, starting QIES for experiment #233. Web is stable. Amp is at half power. Ready?”

“Yes, Dr. Paula. As ever, use your sweetest feminine voice to reach out.”

“Hello. Please respond. We hope you have also built a quantum transceiver and can hear us. We ah, hope you speak English and can tell us where you are.”

Bzzzz, scrr “Turn off florescent lights. I ear something, je crois. Hallo.” Screams bellowed from both sides. “Oui, it works. We are FermiLabs, near Chi-ca-go, USA.”

Earth: “What? That’s who we are, in room 1122. How can you mirror us before our quantum connection? Another mystery to solve. I am Dr. Paula.” Her brows knit.

“That’s our room numbah and -I- am Dr. Powula. Perhaps our transceiver can handle video?” It could not. The micro web on both sides split and vanished when attempted. After four weeks and much thought, as they rebuilt the web, both sides enlarged it and reconnected.

“Dr. Powula here, we believe while our crypto decoder allows us to converse, it scrambles the video. If you transmit video at two MHz higher, we can split it around our decoder and see you.” Earth base figured the same. Both entangled sides always knew when and what the other was attempting. 

~~~~~~ Four months and several failures later. ~~~~~~

“Dr. Selt here. We seem to be well entangled. We need to know where you are and why only one Dr. Paula/Powula has an accent, among so many other things.”

Dr. Paul added, “A 4th Neutrino, Sterile, and its tie to Dark Matter was our guide to new inventions and old bonds. We believe our entanglement is recent, but can’t determine when. Fifty years or 500 million years. It’s a lot to think about. Video is finally ready and I can’t wait to see you, Dr. Powula.”

In her sweetest voice, shaped by the crypto translator, Powula said, “Yes, my Bob, your Alice is breathless to see you too.” The displays lit up as both teams in long, white, lab coats tweaked controls on a panel, their backs to the cameras. When they turned, both teams gasped and babbled in shock. 

“Why, you are reptiles — with dinosaur artifacts. How . . .?”

“And you are just hairy simians with small brains. We can not be on the same planet, oui?”

“Dr. Powula here. Where is Dr. Paula?”

After a moment of pained silence, “Dr. Paul here. My Paula and I planned to marry next month after discovering how much joy we felt in our interests in and out of work. Hand in hand and dizzy in love, as we passed a café; it exploded. Both on our backs, she saw a large shard arcing down and covered my body with hers. It nearly sliced her in half and she covered me in her warm, precious blood. She died saving me. You sound much like her.” Powula saw the tears welling in his eyes as she wiped away her own. 

Once they got over the shock of their differences, they concluded that their ancient entanglement broke and reconnected often through time, just like broken hearts.

Dr. Powula spent hours talking with Paul about work and his fiancé. His grief and her empathy created a new bond across unknown distance. It’s a lot to think about. Extreme strangers, different species, fell in love.

About the Author: 
A.L. Paradiso has ~ 175 published stories (5.4 million views) in diverse genres in twenty-one anthologies, two more due. English is his second language followed by several more. He's listed in "Who's Who of Emerging Writers 2021" https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08B4H8DFD/ and lives in upstate NY with 3 cats. Follow him at https://Linktr.ee/A.L.Paradiso
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Quantum Theories: A to Z

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ...

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

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.

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.

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. 


I is for ...

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

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.

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.

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.

U is for ...

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

C is for ...

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

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.

A is for ...
Act of observation

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

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.

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.

K is for ...

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

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!

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.

S is for ...

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

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”.

G is for ...

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

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 ...

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

R is for ...

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I is for ...

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

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