Etisoppo the Entangler

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One day, a super villain named Etisoppo the Entangler came to FSHA and decided to instigate havoc amongst the freshman and senior classes. Because the freshman and senior hallways were connected when the building was built, a secret force entangled the two hallways. Few knew about this mysterious force, and one day the school decided to separate the two hallways by a classroom, room number 27.5. After the room was put in, all the lockers from room 27.5 to the freshman religion room were known as the freshman lockers, and all the lockers from room 27.5 to the math dungeon were known as the senior lockers.
At the beginning of the year both hallways were neither messy nor clean, just average hallways with a few books and backpacks lying about. But each year as the days, weeks, and months passed, the hallways began a great transformation. As senioritis set in, the senior hallway always grew messier and messier. While the seniors became less tidy, the freshman began to adapt to high school life becoming more and more organized. Because the senior class was threatened with a grade wide detention, they cleaned their hallway, half unwillingly, until it was spotless. Unfortunately, this was the day Etisoppo appeared and decided to turn the freshman and seniors lives upside down. He measured the amount of mess in both the freshman and senior hallways. In the freshman hallway, he found that, for once it was one piece of paper messier than the senior hallway. When he measured this, it made all the trash and messiness from the senior hallway transfer to the freshman hallway, cleaning up the senior hallway so it was spotless. When the freshmen and seniors came out of their first block that day, they immediately panicked looking around at their surroundings.
The freshman couldn’t find their homework or their schedules through all the clutter, and the seniors couldn’t find their homework or anything they had left out before Etisoppo came. For days on end, every time a senior would leave something in the hallway, it would immediately go to the freshman hallway making it messier, and every time a freshman would try to clean up it would clean the senior hallway even more. Everything was chaotic. The two grades couldn’t handle it and neither could the staff. The teachers were giving out so many detentions to the freshman for their messy hallway that they ran out of detention slips. As the weeks went by, the super villain Etisoppo grew more and more satisfied with the confusion he had caused. After a month of his tampering with the freshman and senior hallways, the school decided to pick the smartest senior, freshman, and teacher, and bring them together to try and solve the dilemma. The three worked together trying to think of every possible way to solve the crisis.
After what seemed like days passed, they came to a conclusion. The selected senior figured out that the two hallways were entangled due to the original construction of the school building. Based on this, the teacher decided that whatever was causing the craziness had to have used physics to mess everything up. They called Mr. Buxman in and explained to him what happened. After listening to the story, Mr. Buxman concluded he needed to create a machine to re-entangle the two hallways and keep them entangled so nothing could untangle them again.
Weeks passed and the machine was finally complete. The day came when Mr. Buxman would use the machine, and the whole school crowded around waiting for him to flip the switch. Along with the entire school, Etisoppo was watching close by with a mischievous look on his face. As Mr. Buxman clicked the switch, a bright light shone though out the two hallways and everyone gasped with amazement. Lights shot in every direction and the machine started to smoke. Etisoppo grinned at what he thought was his sly trick but what he didn’t know was that Mr. Buxman already knew about the super villain, and had seen him tampering with his machine the day before. All of a sudden the hallways went black and a faint cry was heard as Etisoppo was sucked in to room 27.5. Mr. Buxman had used the super villain as a catalyst to re-entangle the two hallways. Because Etisoppo was the one to untangle them, Mr. Buxman concluded that he would be the one to change it back. As the hallways slowly lit back up again, and the students reentered the building, they found that the room that had once been 27.5 was gone, and in its place was an extra locker with the number 275 that was locked. The locker would remain locked forever after that day. Some students say they can still hear the buzz of entanglement when it’s quiet enough, but others swear it’s just a silly story from long ago.

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Quantum Theories

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!

S is for ... Superposition

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.

X is for ... X-ray

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.

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.

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.

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.

G is for ... Gravity

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.

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.

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.

R is for ... Randomness

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

I is for ... Information

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

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.

U is for ... Universe

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

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

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 ... Qubit

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.

T is for ... Tunnelling

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.

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.

P is for ... 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.

K is for ... Kaon

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

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.

R is for ... Radioactivity

The atoms of a radioactive substance break apart, emitting particles. It is impossible to predict when the next particle will be emitted as it happens at random. All we can do is give the probability that any particular atom will have decayed by a given time.

D is for ... Decoherence

Unless it is carefully isolated, a quantum system will “leak” information into its surroundings. This can destroy delicate states such as superposition and entanglement.

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.

W is for ... Wavefunction

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.

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.

C is for ... Cryptography

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

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.

D is for ... Dice

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.

R is for ... 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!

T is for ... Teleportation

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.

E is for ... Entanglement

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.

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.

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 ... Light

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!

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.

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.

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.

I is for ... Interferometer

Some of the strangest characteristics of quantum theory can be demonstrated by firing a photon into an interferometer: the device’s output is a pattern that can only be explained by the photon passing simultaneously through two widely-separated slits.

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.

A is for ... Atom

This is the basic building block of matter that creates the world of chemical elements – although it is made up of more fundamental particles.

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.

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 ... Gluon

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