The Courthouse

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“Lacy, what do you remember from that night?” Lacy sat at the witness stand, recounting, slowly and with a shaking voice, everything she remembered. “Stacy was coming out from Lou’s Pizzeria and Bar when a man came up from behind her. He held a gun and threatened to shoot her if she did not give him the envelope of classified information from work.” Tearing up she continued on, “S-she tried to run, but he was faster. He pulled the trigger and shots fired, but then everything when black, and I have not heard from Stacy since.”
“Ms. Lacy, do you recognize the face from your memory of last night?”
“It was him!” she said, as she pointed across the room at the man dressed from head to toe in black, and up until that moment had an unwavering grin plastered on his face.
“Thank you, Lacy. Sir, would you please escort Ms. Lacy out of the room?” the prosecutor said. And as soon as she left he continued, “I would like to call my expert Mr. Ross to the stand?” Ross, a well-known psychologist, slowly stood up, nervously, straightening his jacket and tugging on the edge of his sleeves as he slowly made his way up to the stand.
Refusing to meet anyone’s eyes at first, the prosecutor pushed him to start, “Could you explain the physiological occurrence between Stacy and Lacy?”
“Well, it is unusual to even have identical twins who end up being the exact same in make up, personality, and interests. It was a wonder that they lived in different states; it is very strange to see a pair like them to be separated. During a recent study, we learned that Stacy and Lacy’s minds are connected. Stacy and Lacy almost act as one person. Whenever one experiences intense trauma, pain, or fear so does the other. They somehow shift into each other’s minds and can witness and explain everything that is going on in each other’s lives. However, the thing with entangled minds, in every case, is that when a pair like Stacy and Lacy cannot be told that their connection has been severe; if Lacy finds out about Stacy’s death, she, herself, would be in danger. If anyone tells Lacy that Stacy is dead, she will go into hyper shock, and her mind will no longer remember a single fact about Stacy’s existence. So it is imperative that the members of the jury and those in the courtroom that you don’t talk about Stacy’s death. If you do, it will be like she was never here. Quite possibly, Lacy might withdraw from the world and would slowly eat away at the inside of her soul, slowly destroying her. The intertwined part of their minds allows one of them to live while the other is dead. However, with the knowledge of the Stacy’s death, the entanglement will break and will both be dead.”
“With this danger in mind, the fact must be kept from Lacy, at all costs, this is a highly…” the prosecutor was cut off by the sound of a thrashing sound against the wall. The sound of animals running about the marble hallways of the courthouse filled the room. Mr. Ross hid behind a masked expression; he knew full well what was to come. He knew what was happening for he had witnessed it before. He couldn’t help himself; he let a grin escape, but only for a second, before he controlled himself replacing his grin with fake horror.
“It’s too late, she knows; she was going crazy,” the guard reported to the court.
Whispers broke out among the courtroom, and everybody slowly made there way out to Lacy, not wanting to move to fast, but wanting to see what the guard was talking about. In just a few moments, the court broke out into complete chaos; people ran around trying to confront Lacy and get her to control her rage, but it was no use, she was gone this time. It was only a matter of time until her body started to fade.
“Now it’s like she is disappearing I think she’s gone!!!” the guard reported to the court.
  Mr. Ross slowly slipped out of the crowd, undetected and unnoticed, “Good work. We cannot have their kind tainting the world; they are just too powerful, too similar, and too strange. Our world is not ready for that.”
“I know; it’s sad, but it had to be done,” the guard responded with a puzzled expression. “What I don’t understand is how they came about?”
“They have always been here, and we have always taken care of the problem. We were the ones that took out the trash. That’s what we do, we clean up the messes people make. How they came about, who knows. All that matters is that they are gone,” Without another word, Mr. Ross and his friend left the courthouse and the panic behind them. For over twenty years Mr. Ross has done his work, and he will continue until they are gone. For if they grow to strong and too powerful they will be a threat to humanity and they will dominate the world and become the supreme race.  

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Quantum Theories

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 ... 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

U is for ... Universe

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ... 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.

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.

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 ... Act of observation

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

R is for ... Randomness

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

I is for ... Information

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

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.

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.

K is for ... Kaon

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

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.

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.

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.

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 ... Gluon

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

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.