Two Sided

Your rating: None
No votes yet

Avery tied her long black hair in a swift motion, as she readied himself, steeling herself for the impact. The sun shined on her, the harsh wasteland’s cold wind cutting into her. She pressed the button, waiting. It took exactly 3 seconds as she calculated. The powerful explosion’s immense sound split everything around into pieces, including Avery herself, when- 

“What the hell are you doing?” a stern voice echoed through the room as the lights flickered on in the laboratory, revealing a short, ginger man. Avery dramatically rolled her eyes, removing her stimulation glasses to take in her real surroundings once again.

“Professor Erreur, did you have to come to bother me again?” She grumbled, “But it doesn’t matter. I figured out what you wanted. I finalized the blueprint and ran the stimulation for the sound explosives.”

“Good job Avery,” He said heartily, “I’m sure your invention would bring us closer to victory in this God damned war.” Avery beamed with the unusual compliment, as Erreur continued to pace around the room. “Well. On another note, I saw how he’s been doing.” Avery’s blue eyes seemed to darken. 

“Do you mean Insanis? I… I think you should see for yourself.” Avery muttered, grimacing as she began to press a colorful array of buttons on the table in front of her. Immediately, the tiles under Erreur and Avery began to float into the air, as a hatch opened on the wall to her left, exposing a bottomless hallway. The two began to descend into the abyss, as motion-sensored lights began to flicker on, casting a green glow. They soon arrived in front of a plain white door, which slid open soundlessly. Avery paused in the doorway. “Professor… I’m going to be honest with you…” she cautioned, “I don’t think what he is doing is the right thing.” 

“We will see.” He mumbled grimly.

Past the white door was what appeared to be a simple experiment room, with clean shelves. Yet, despite the obvious normalcy of the room, one odd thing stood out. A dead body lay on one of the tables, and a tall white-haired man stood over it. His haunting black eyes turned to them, his face contorted into laughter. 

“I… I did it.” He croaked, “I finally did it!” He broke off into a high-pitched laughter. Avery flinched, yet Erreur looked at the man gravely. 

“Are you sure about this?” Erreur coaxed. 

“The fool’s been on an impossible task to bring back the dead.” She said bitterly. “I’m not sure what faith you have in him, but I think that this will only bring trouble.

Insanis paused, as he turned to them, large tears spilling out of his dead black eyes. “And you, you are an ignorant child who will never understand,” he said angrily, “You will never understand the feeling of creation, the feeling of having control in this world. But it doesn't even matter now.” He spun around laughing. “Don’t you see? I have manipulated this world… I can do as I will now!” He grabbed a small device “I just proved Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle wrong with this tiny device. I can now measure and control the properties of quantum!” 

“Are you actually insane?” Avery yelled, “Even in the advanced world we live in now, nobody can manipulate quantums… I don’t think there is anyone that actually truly understands what quantum physics is!” 

Insanis scoffed. “Who said it was easy? Nobody said this was going to be easy…” He stepped closer to Avery, as she flinched, stepping away from him. “Let me show you the ingenuity of this entire thing. You do know Schrödinger’s cat analogy, don’t you? How is the cat considered to be both alive and dead? Well…. If the cat is dead, there will be another live cat in another universe. The universe splits when it is faced with quantum choices! All I need to do is harness the alternate version of him…” He looked at the body. “This could let us win the entire war. All we need to do is to make it work.” He pressed the button of the remote he was holding and aimed it at the corpse. 

“No…” Avery gasped as her face whitened. She could feel the presence of an invisible force, as something appeared to inhale the body. She leaped at him, trying to get him to stop. “You can’t do this Insanis, there are some things that you should never do!” To her surprise, someone held her back. She turned to look. Erreur looked back at her with an amused smile on his face. 

“Let him be, Avery, what he is doing now could help us win the war.” He said gently. “Think about it, if we all outlive the enemy by restoring our past troops, that would ensure that we would get a victory no matter what!” 

“War? Is that what you can only think of?” Avery’s voice trembled. “That’s not your biggest problem right now…” She strained against Erreur. The two watched the unfolding events in front of them, eyes wide, as the truth began to fall upon them. 

“There are some things that should never be tampered with.” she declared softly, tears slowly falling down her face. 

And then nothing more could be heard from the void of darkness. 



Avery snatched the machine out of Insanis’s hand, and switched it off, slamming it into pieces onto the floor. 

“Avery!” cried both Erreur and Insanis. “What have you done?” Breathing heavily, Avery glared at the two of them flexing her arms. 

“Did you not see what was happening? I know you two are blind to power, but something like that will lead to the destruction of everybody. I just know it.” She picked up the pieces and began walking away. “Maybe this would have killed us all in another dimension, but not here. I’m going to live my life.” Turning away, she disappeared into the dark. 

Share this fiction

Quantum Theories: A to Z

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.

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.

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.

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!

I is for ...

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

K is for ...

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

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 ...

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.

K is for ...

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

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.

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.

T is for ...
Time travel

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

I is for ...

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

U is for ...

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

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.

R is for ...

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

G is for ...

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

S is for ...

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

Copyright © 2024 Centre for Quantum Technologies. All rights reserved.