Many researchers working in quantum theory believe that information is the most fundamental building block of reality.
Tuesday for Days.
“Things used to be so simple” I grumbled as I got myself out of bed on Tuesday morning. My leg was aching from the injury. I thought about the accident as I limped to the bathroom to take a pee. It was always troubling, I mused, as I leaned against the wall for support. I always found the details of the accident a little bit difficult to remember.
I knew it happened on a Tuesday. I was at work, like any other day, cleaning around the building like I did every day. I was mostly ignored at work, the lone janitor in a facility full of brilliant scientists. I had to get top secret clearance when I got that job, something not a lot of people of my status quo need. It paid me well though and I was mostly left alone. I would often see the scientists rushing past me throughout the day, looking worried and important. I imagined myself to be one of them, even though I was a high school dropout and cleaned their cafeteria. I wasn’t allowed to go into the lab or whatever they called it. I did overhear conversations between them sometimes. They’d talk in hushed tones about the Large Hadron Collider or something. Some days they would seem confident and sure of themselves like male lions strutting around. Other days they would be pale and worried, their brows furrowed as they rushed through coffee and lunch. I had no idea what they did, but I liked to pretend sometimes that I was just like them. I’d push my broom around daydreaming of experiments and physics, something I knew nothing about.
Every day, I started my day cleaning in the cafeteria. Most of the Scientists ate breakfast at work. They looked haggard and exhausted. I suspected some of them spent the night in the facility. They all avoided my gaze as I silently pushed the broom around the room.
On the day of my accident, I had quietly asked Simon, the only Scientist that acknowledged me at all, what it was they did deep in the earth. “Basically, we use a machine called a Large Hadron Collider to make proton beams collide in order to study them.” I stared at him blankly. “Basically, we test the prediction of different theories of particle physics.”
I had no idea what he was talking about but pretended I did. I nodded sagely. “Oh, I see. And how do you know if it’s working?”
Simon laughed, “Let’s just say that if something wasn’t working, we would likely cause a black hole or a tear in the fabric of time. How would you like to repeat today over and over again, old man?” He laughed and nudged my shoulder. I laughed also but felt my insides shudder.
I thought about his words as I buttered my morning toast. “What would happen if we did have a breakdown in time? Would we just repeat everything over and over? Would we all die? Would we even know what had happened? I contemplated this as I ate my breakfast. I couldn’t wait till payday on Friday. I longed for an egg on my toast but since last week was rent week, the grocery list had been meager.
My accident had happened later that day. I had been down near the top security entrance that the scientists used to enter the tunnel where the LHC was housed. Suddenly there was a loud bang and time seemed to stop. I fell to my knees, clutching my ears as a high squeal followed. I saw a bolt of light and then everything went dark. I must have blacked out because I woke up a while later and it was time to go home. I went home, my leg aching as I walked.
What had happened? I wondered to myself as I prepared beans on toast for dinner. I sat alone in my empty apartment musing over my meagre meal. I’d have to remember to buy some meat the next time I did groceries. It seemed like a long time since I had eaten any, but the grocery bill from Saturday that sat on my table had chicken legs on it so it must have only been a couple of days. I liked beans on toast. The lady who had raised me was British and beans were a common staple for her diet. She preferred them for breakfast of course, as most Brits do. I liked them any time, but I made a note to remind myself to have them for breakfast tomorrow. I loved the way they tasted with a nice tea with milk.
I went to bed early that night, my leg throbbing. I hoped I would feel better in the morning. That night, I dreamt of protons colliding and black holes opening.
I woke at 5 am the next morning, my leg pulsing and my eyes bleary and unfocused. I groaned quietly as I stared at the ceiling. I lay there for a few more minutes letting the pain subside. My eyes finally focused.
“Things used to be so simple.” I mused as I got out of bed. I looked at my phone. It was Tuesday. My leg ached as I limped to the bathroom to take a piss. I thought of my accident as I always did when I got up and my leg hurt.
I buttered my toast and ate it a short while later and headed to work. No one in the cafeteria paid any mind to me as I cleaned. Everything seemed foggy today, I felt like I was swimming as I worked.
That fall must have done more damage than I realized I mused as I saw Simon approaching me. We chatted for a moment before I asked him, “What is it you do deep in the earth?”
“Basically, we use a machine called the Large Hadron Collider to make proton beams collide….”