A Girl and Neptune

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A Girl and Neptune
“I don’t think the brain came in the manner of Darwinian evolution… simple mechanism can’t yield the brain… life force is a primitive element of the universe and it obeys certain laws of action. These laws are not simple and not mechanical.”                           Kurt Gödel
I am here on Triton again, in the dream, with its black columns of smoke spewing from geysers.  She is here. The girl from another planet, off in the direction of Leo. I am standing in front of the house with its subtly crooked windows and its walls drawn in, like the breath of a brooding spirit.
I sit across from her and she stares back with eyes as big as Jupiter, as blue as Neptune.  Her yellow curly hair dangles down like a wild fire burning around her face.  She has the same basic features as me, but obviously not human.  Her unearthly accent vibrates toward me, her voice a sweet liquor pouring into my ears. She had lived a life on earth once.  She remembers death.
She looks at me intently and says,” I’m alive.”
On the table are stacks of papers. They contain articles and mathematics beyond my understanding.  Sara is attempting to read them at each meeting.  We are very limited on what we can discuss in the transactions.  The wave function of our shared dream could collapse at any moment.  She has determined we are somehow quantumly entangled and in the same strange state in the universe, allowed because of the uncertainty principle; conscious at the plank scale. 
Sara:  “ Our conscious fields have become entangled somehow.  You asked about how objective a reality could be in a dream.  According to Freeman Dyson, several quantum fields exist that make up any dimensions for reality.  One of these must be responsible for consciousness.  It must have been continuous and uniform before the Big Bang.  Now it is quantized and discrete, entangled with the biological beings upon the spheres. 
Travis:   “ I read our wave functions are spread out across light years. Perhaps our minds are in a state of linear superposition and the uncertainty principle allows us to stray from the baryonic brain under special circumstances.  I am a little ambivalent how we can sit here in this higher dimension and experience solid objects like this table.”
Sara:  “ Neils Bohr commented about materials at the most fundamental level of matter. It appears to be mere wisps of intangible momentum.  Here we are, products of this stuff, orbiting fiery globes in an abyss, upon strange worlds, while our minds reach across the vacuum of space-time.  We seem to be in the original state of mind before the Big Bang.  The relations between objects and our thoughts are essentially the same, just a different configuration.
Travis:   “ I do believe the neurologist are wrong to say the mind is merely an emergent product of the brain; an insipid reductionist view.
Sara:  “ The scientists on my planet have realized the brain is essentially a biological receiver, tuned to a particular quantum field. The brain’s design is not random and is beamed across the entire cosmos. The codes are translated from pure energy into baryonic matter. “
Travis:    “ The brain itself may have been brought into existence by mechanical laws, but that is only to manifest the mind.”
Sara:    “ Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff showed how a warm Bose-Einstein condensate can maintain quantum coherence in the microtubules and their cytoskeletons in the brain.”
Travis:  “As far as our superposition, maybe Hilbert space could offer an explanation. David Hilbert described a complex vector space showing the various states of systems and their atoms and quantum numbers. Perhaps space pinches off into different layers of reality, all inter-connected.  We would perceive things in this state as the same in any other world. Objects would be given a tangible touch via the electric charge ripples propagating in the fifth dimension.”
Sara:  “ So we would be experiencing superposition of the mind,  at the crux of the non-mechanical realm and the forms of the structure at the quantum level.”
Travis:  “Our superposition of geometrics are separate, and effect space-time like the tensors of general relativity.   It’s mass-energy effects space-time and vice-versa.  Our state will evolve in time and the moment will pass as the system evolves.”
Sara:    “ Schrödinger’s equation describes how the superposition is maintained, and is independent of each successive state. “
Travis:   “ Even though systems evolve and moments pass, observers in the universe see things unfold by their own account as in special relativities , little “t” inertia reference frames.  Kurt Gödel showed how Kantian time, the big “T”, disappears and is only an illusion.”
Sara:  “ A traveler, following a straight  path in a  curving space,  will bring him back to his starting point. The logic is sound.”
Travis:  “ We might be experiencing the E.P.R. effect.
Sara:  “ The Einstein, Poldolsky, and Rosen paper.
Travis:  “ Yes, the non-local action is usually shown in single particles, but could apply to whole systems, maybe biological ones.”
Sara:  “ Now sentient beings, awake in the dream, walk upon molten cores of spheres, in gently curving space, the electromagnetic fields generating quantum effects for its biological beings brains.  Our heaven is governed by mechanical laws, and we must be subjected to life and death among the stars, to live in the dream.“
Travis:  “ The reductionist beware, the mind cannot be reduced to matter. Some physicists deny the underlying quantum reality, in effect denying they exist.  I know I exist.”
Sara:  “Cogito ergo sum- I am alive!
“I want to feel the earth’s life under my feet. I want to know what it is like to walk on something that is alive.”                  J. Ramsey
Travis M. Smith
264 Fairview Avenue
Marion, Ohio 43302

About the Author: 
I am a big fan of quantum physics and this is my first time at trying my hand at writing a fictional story. The original story is a lot longer, but I have tried to condense it here due to the word count restrictions.

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Quantum Theories

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.

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.

K is for ... Kaon

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

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.

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.

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!

A is for ... Act of observation

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ... Cryptography

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

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 ... Gluon

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

U is for ... Universe

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

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 ... 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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

R is for ... Randomness

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

I is for ... Information

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.