To Defy Ω

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      Vellan and Alioth had lived too long.  In fact, they had outlived all members of The Community, and now they were attempting to outlive even the Universe itself.   They had ‘birthed’ when the Universe was only 20 billion years old.  They birthed, lived, met, fell in love, birthed their own children; and refused die.  Some said it was the combination of their love for life and each another that sustained them.  What it was…didn’t matter; they wouldn’t die.  But the Universe would now see to that.
      “It’s impossible,” Vellan conveyed.
      “It’s not impossible!” Alioth responded, “The calculations have shown that our plan has a non-zero probability of success—therefore it is possible,” He could sense Vellan’s despair, “What’s this?  Where’s the Vellan I know?  Where’s the one who’s always beguiling me into doing something adventurous, whimsical, or even dangerous?  Here I am, giving you the greatest thrill of all…and you’re not enticed?”
      Alioth could sense the change in her mood, and could sense her ‘smile’.  “You’re right, Alioth, any adventure that would allow me to spend a moment longer with you is enticing.”
      If she had the physical body to do so, she would have smiled. Instead Alioth had felt something better…the energy equivalent of her smile; for Vellan and Alioth were non-corporeal, they were conscious energy…the essence of a corporeal being in energy form.  And they were the last of any life form.
      Dark energy had not stopped its accelerating pace of ripping the Universe asunder.  The Community’s best minds had determined long ago that the hoped ‘transition’, when dark energy would reverse itself, would never occur.  The fate of the Universe and all life in it was sealed; galaxies, planets, life, the very atoms themselves would eventually be ripped into oblivion.  Even time would end.
      The Universe was now a trillion years of age.  The galaxies could no longer been seen, long receded from light sight.  The Community had given up the fight and accepted their fate.  Vellan and Alioth could not bear to be parted, could not bear to have their lives together extinguished… if there were any possibility.  Alioth had come up with that possibility, fleeting and outlandish as it may seem.   And his plan, his strategy for them both to be together for a little bit longer, was a non-zero probability. 
      Hope exists.
      Before now, his idea could never have been tried because it would have been impossible to prove it had succeeded.  But that didn’t matter now.  Alioth and Vellan could choose to be ripped into oblivion, or die in a desperate attempt not to die.
      They had ‘relocated’ to this spot ages ago, before this local area of space-time began to manifest the tearing of matter and energy.  They had come to the edge of the gravity well of a massive black hole, massive enough not to affect them greatly before they entered. 
       One of the few questions The Community had not been able to answer; what lies within and beyond the event horizon?  Soon it would be answered….the last two would finally find out.
     Alioth and Vellan could sense it was time; they began to feel the disrupting effects of dark energy.  They both formed their essence/energy into a sphere surrounding the black hole, their energy just enough to hold themselves stationary against the pull of the massive gravity well.   Alioth was just an electron’s distance in front of Vellan.
      “I’m frightened, Alioth,” she ‘thought’ to him.
      “So am I, but we know this is the only hope.”
      She felt her fear lesson, “Yes… I know.”
      Together, they both thought, “I love you.”
      Alioth conveyed the signal, and they both put all their remaining strength into a surge towards the black hole’s event horizon.  Their energy sphere’s becoming smaller in diameter as they accelerated towards the inexorable.
      They quickly reached the event horizon….and as they crossed they were greeted with an experience no other being had ever witnessed---the interior of a black hole!!  It was ablaze with light!  Photons trapped forever within the gravity of the black hole raced around the interior with energies just above zero…to energies near the maximum allowed by the laws of physics!  And Alioth and Vellan raced past them all—continuing to converge on the center of the gravity well.
      As they approached the center, they reached nearly the speed of light.  Alioth could feel himself begin to lose consciousness…he could feel Vellan doing the same.  But just a moment before he contacted the exact center of the gravity well… he was able to discern what was truly at the heart of a black hole.  He conveyed what he discerned to Vellan.  Just before they touched the center, Alioth detected a writhing foam, only 4000 Planck lengths in diameter—made up of strings!  Strings so tightly bound that their vibrations were almost imperceptible.  The black hole was a quantum string star! Alioth’s promised thrill to Vellan---fulfilled!
      They contacted the foam!!
      ……..Nothing……Vellan could sense nothing.  But why could she sense at all??  She had touched the center of the star and then, nothing…  How can she sense---that she senses nothing?   Then she felt him!…Everywhere!… Alioth!!  She could sense he could feel her too…everywhere! 
      Slowly, as if waking from a deep sleep, she began to realize… as did Alioth…that they were truly everywhere and everything!  She was aware of the entire Universe…every atom, every graviton, dark energy….everything.  There was only one explanation…somehow when they crossed the threshold of the foaming string star, they were not destroyed.  But instead became one with the entire universe!
      Entanglement!!!  Both she and Alioth realized as one.  They had become entangled with everything, everywhere that existed in the Universe.  Elation!  They were one with the Universe--and with each other!  Together……truly together!  For how long…didn’t matter!

      But now…now that their essence was one with the Universe, they were able to sense something they couldn’t have before….and it filled them with unimaginable joy!
      The expansion of the Universe—was slowing! 
      Hope exists…..

About the Author: 
I’m an airline pilot and Science Fiction fan. This short submission is a story adapted from a novella I have written called Epitaph. Favorite books—Foundation series (in order of publication date!) and Robot Series (in order of publication) by Asimov. Huge fan of Babylon 5, and of course….Star Trek.

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Quantum Theories

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ... Computing

The rules of the quantum world mean that we can process information much faster than is possible using the computers we use now.

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.

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!

K is for ... Kaon

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

G is for ... Gluon

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

R is for ... Randomness

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

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.

A is for ... Act of observation

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

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.

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.

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.

U is for ... Universe

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I is for ... Information

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

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.