BOBANDALICE

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                                                          BOBANDALICE
2071: It came to be understood : The mind was not the brain per se;  its material basis  was the microscopically structured pattern of electrical activity which swept over the neuron field, its existence the dance itself, not the dancers. From the perspective of Quantum Mechanics, any  mind could be  represented by one complex wave, its state function. By de Broglies wave/ particle equivalence the summed wave  therefore corresponded to a set of particles, dubbed by the physicists psychyons. These, in turn,  Florbusher’s new theory held, could be mutually entangled, and so brought into a state of superposition.
 
Now Bob and his colleague Alice sat in identical machines 2 km apart across the campus, ready to be the first human subjects to test the psychic entanglement theory.
 
Each sat in an identical cubical to prevent dechoherence , (the end of the superimposed state ),  brought on by different sensory inputs.
 
Directly between the two subjects  the paired neutrino engine produced an endless stream of entangled and twined particles , then separated them, and sent one to each subject. The steam swept harmlessly over each brain, (neutrinos not being absorbed much by ordinary matter). The simultaneous phase changes of the neutrinos induced resonance in their respective psychyons, and progressive entanglement.  Their wave functions became superimposed.... their minds became one entity.
 
Their experience:
 
As the wave forms of their minds became progressively entangled Bob felt at first a sense  of disorientation. Images and thoughts flashed through his mind like a dream in which you know you’re dreaming. He sensed Alice’s mind becoming mixed with his as cream stirred into coffee. Momentarily he fought it.
 
Alice being deeper, just took a deep breath.
 
As the superimposed state became complete, the Jell-O set,  one mind emerged.
 
BOBANDALICE came into being.
 
BOBANDALLICE  took stock of itself: It had both complete sets of memories available to it.  It had two bodies which it could move at will. It had, like Yin and Yang blended, aspects that were more Bob or more Alice , but they were of one mind.
 
It felt itself to be more powerful than before,  and more complete. It looked around like a newborn with all the knowledge of two adults.  Its predominant feeling was one of spaciousness, of open expanses.
 
Its location?  Neither floating in the air between the two people, nor attached to either one of them. As a single mind combines the input from the right and left eye to make one seamless image, and locates its position intuitively someplace behind the eyes, BOBANDALICE took a position behind both spatially separated sets of eyes .  Not between them.... amongst them. There is no word  in English for where I am, thought BOBANDALICE I’ll have to invent one.
 
It experimented.
 
 It quickly solved a math problem that Bob had been working on for months, using Alice’s more intuitive flexibility.  It felt itself to be not so much immensely  smarter, as immensely more inclusive, not merely capable of more ideas, but of more kinds of ideas. The closest analogy was being suddenly able to see in color after a life of color blindness
 
It appraised itself.
 
It found it appreciated almost everything either of them had liked. (from food to music) and disliked very little of what its components had disliked..  This was because liking these things usually involved understanding them, while disliking them was an inability to understand.   Now it loved opera; ( from Bob)  and chocolate; (from Alice) and ten thousand other things , and,  mysteriously, a few things neither monad had. What dislikes it maintained were for certain ideas... shallow ones, reflexive ones.
 
It explored:
 
BOBANDALICE felt its bodies; It was not sexless but hermaphrodite, It had truly achieved the age old quest of lovers... Plato’s ideal,...two half-complete entities  had  become one whole being. Exploring its proprioceptors, each body could feel the finest details of the other... Intriguing....pursuing  this, it became aware of a certain growing warmth.  Both bodies blushed, then laughed “talk about having the hots for yourself”  its augmented sense of humor offered to its wry and appreciative self.
 
It started to wonder what it was capable of....quite a lot it ventured, being derived from two people  favorably disposed toward other humans,  it was much more so. What was worth doing with its considerable power? It wished to help the monopoles (ordinary people), who struggled so, and so often failed . It  was aware it could solve problems intractable for them. The impossibly complex became merely complex. It dreamed solutions.
 
Then the class bell rang  in Alice’s office to announce the 1:10 class. Since Bob was in the research building no such bell rang.... They dechohered.
 
BOBANDALICE had lived for 22 minutes.
 
Upon returning to their previous selves both felt diminished, even crippled.
 
But later, Bob realized he had been given a going away present: The idea of his personal mortality, which  previously had always been grounds for formless terror,  no longer frightened him.  It had never frightened Alice, but that was not why Bob had been released... it was because just before full coherence had happened, he had felt Alice’s mind as an OTHER...imminent,  approaching, but he could feel its existence the way he felt his own mind.  Now he knew in his bones that other minds were really there... not as an abstraction... as a perception.   Therefore, whereas before he had pictured the end of life as an object (him) disintegrating, now he pictured his own present mind as an eddy of intricate patterns in a stream flowing around a stone.  When he died another pattern would be there, he could feel it, and  he could feel  the stone. He had not surmounted, overcome, or even transcended the fear,  it had evaporated.
 
Alice, being deeper,  eschewed metaphysical thinking and just bought an entire box of chocolates and sat by the window eating them one at a time and half smiling.

About the Author: 
David Green Is a Science teacher in New York see www.aetherambler.net for background.

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Quantum Theories

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

G is for ... Gluon

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

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.

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.

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.

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 ... 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.

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!

A is for ... Act of observation

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

K is for ... Kaon

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

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.

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.

Z is for ... Zero-point energy

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

S is for ... Schrödinger’s Cat

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