The Hunt for Mr. Silver

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The train rips into Center Station in Los Angeles as I touch the revolver resting inside my jacket.  The sound of the magnets are a barely audible hum of force.  Traveling at speeds of 4,000 mph, it still boggles my mind there’s no sound to boil the ear drums out of your head.
I live in New England and made it to L.A. in thirty minutes.  This morning I work in the City of Angels.  I’m a hunter.
The fugitive is a suspected thief of a new technology; “technology” is hardly the word.  As a famous quantum physicist once said, “This new venture is a meta-machine of the mind to reach and measure the unlimited universe inside and outside.”
Einstein had theories about time travel.  Even perceivable evidence that held potential.
It has been a growing rumor in the Global Scientific Community (G.S.C.) that within a decade or less, the super powers of the world will have developed a primitive but functional method for time travel.  As you can imagine, this has caused some uproar. 
History itself is close to the scrutiny we’ve always wanted to give.  The possibility to witness key events in our past first hand, could rest any religious fraud and the like.  Needless to say, this has started a panic amongst people holding onto truths that may not exist in the way they knew. 
The G.S.C. argues if anyone leaves this plane of existence to go to another time, it will be impossible to affect this plane, because we are all existing consciously within it.  Were an assailant to try and manipulate part of the past to affect our future, the G.S.C. says they will simply be manipulating another version of our reality.  That’s my understanding of it anyways, hard to tell.  Always seems to me, the more questions we find answers to, the more questions pop up.
Far as I see, no good will come of it.  But I don’t get paid for my opinions.
Train 287A whooshes to its destination in blaze of near silence, a heavy wave of momentum is felt more than it is heard. Train 287B lags a minute behind. 
The catwalk is cold.  The only warmth comes from the thought of my loaded gun.  “Last resort,” I think to myself as 287A docks and locks.
All I have is a description. The phone call eight hours ago, “The briefcase is a decoy, its silver, the tech is implanted behind his left eye - 5’9’’ –ish.  Very fit.  Eyes will be different colors.”  That was it. 
I see the side hatch puff its release on Train 287A, the left side of the catwalk, and two attendants file out ready for passengers to exit.
I touch my revolver again and recall a particular hunt where I took fire from an assailant (who I later captured) in the instant she stepped off the train, using an attendant as a human shield.  This time would be different though, as it always is.
Exiting my daydream I see two families emerge first.  Vacation.  The robotic voice of the train system blares its warnings and safety tips as the magnets on the right side of the catwalk come alive in a deep orange glow, whirring to life, awaiting 287B.
The crowd becoming a horde I see strollers, mothers, businessmen, laborers, transvestites, an off duty policeman, an obese handicapped man; the whole class system, all taking the same quick trip.  In fact, this quick trip gave me a job, and keeps it. 
I glance to the right as the second train also filtering out passengers now, and see a man by himself with a brown briefcase.  I feel as though I know him, but this happens when the whole population travels so fast around the country.  We call episodes like this, “having a One-Familiar.”
I’m infected with visual stimuli, person after person, from one corner of the globe or the other, all rushing out.
There.  I see him.  Silver briefcase - 5’9’’ and silver hair. Silver sunglasses, aviators.  He’s coming from train 287A.
There.  I see him again.  Silver briefcase - 5’9’’ also silver hair.  Silver sunglasses, aviators.  He’s coming from train 287B.
He is both, one on my left, and one on my right.  The future of time travel and its safe execution is in my hands and at the moment I’m seeing double. 
The catwalk is cold.  The horde moves through me as I pan my eyes on Mr. Silver from train 287A and Mr. Silver from train 287B.
I shuffle to my left and to my right, never in a straight line keeping my eyes on both men.  The same man.
Up the stairs I go, between a group of four transvestites with alien headdresses of metal and colored plastic; they’re arguing with a street performer about the latest weather pattern conspiracy. 
I can only hope the fugitives are too nervous to notice me, the only person facing them as I bound backwards up the stairs, continuing my shuffle.
The fugitive from train 287B takes off his silver aviators and scratches his left eye.  He looks tired, on drugs maybe.
I go from a million places to one in less than a second’s time.  Mr. Silver number two from train 287B.  Mine.
At the top of the steps now I turn my back to them and walk so slow my head screams.  The blood is flowing and I see what must be done.  Hold him at gunpoint as a common thief looking for a score from a swanky gentleman with a silver briefcase.  Get him into an alley and pop his left eye from his head the instant we’re alone, retrieve the meta-tech and call for the cleanup crew.  I’ll be at White House Alpha in fifteen.
I stand in front of Mr. Silver from train 287B at a safe distance and hope I have chosen the right man.  Hoping does me no good.  Only action can alter reality, I believe.

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Quantum Theories

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.

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’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.

A is for ... Act of observation

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

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.

R is for ... Randomness

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

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.

K is for ... Kaon

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

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.

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.

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 ... 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!

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.

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.

G is for ... Gluon

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

I is for ... Information

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.