The Moon is Gone

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      Aein glided down the cylindrical corridor of the LOOP (Large Orbital Outpost) and joined Polle at the transport vessel’s mainframe station.  Six months ago, it entered orbit around the outer gas planet Hawking-3a and launched an exploratory probe carrying Miqklev and sophisticated equipment onto the surface of Hawking-3c, this system’s only terrestrial planet.  This mission is requisite to saving the human species.  True to the warnings of Hansen and Gore, Earth was a world significantly changing.  No longer able to nurture and sustain the sheer number of planetary inhabitants, there had been a massive cataclysm across all latitudes and all biological kingdoms.  From the rubble, those who remained alive joined together their technologies with a symbiosis made possible by sophisticated quantum supercomputers.  Globally interconnected and programmed with a strong artificial intelligence of logical inferences and rational principles, these computers constantly scanned the digital cloud and made immutable decisions at the speed of light.  Earth’s economical and political infrastructures were governed by photonic qubits.  Historians would later call it The Robo-Intel Era. Predicted in part by 21st Century’s Teilhard, a paradigm shift took place that embraced the morality of human cognitive collectiveness over diverseness. 
      Without the influence of discordant hegemonies technology progressed rapidly towards space exploration.  It was time to find a new planetary home.  One promising new world was located in the ISIS binary system.  ISISa and ISISb are both Class M red stars.  Hawking-3c has liquid surface water, an atmosphere amazingly approximate to pre-industrial Earth’s, and is well within the habitable zone of ISISa.  Aein, Miqklev, and Polle are the voyagers on this SHEPH (Search for Exoplanetary Homes) Mission.  The crème de la crème of genius polymaths, their combined broad band intelligence is enriched by Aein’s gifted mathematical abilities, Miqklev’s original ideas in theoretical physics, and Polle’s unchallenged computer aptitude, a brilliance evidenced by the solution for quantum computing decoherence in the latter’s Master’s Research Project.  Whereas Earth’s collective governance and social character could no longer be victim to its own histrionics, personal remained in evidence among this select trio.  Aein desires recognition of intellectual accomplishments, while Miqklev finds fulfillment through the very act of thinking.  Polle is abstruse, hiding an intentional and emotional persona with a tendency towards hyper vigilance and over-intellectualization.  Despite these differences, they had been devoted colleagues during their Doctoral and Fellowship programs, the reason they were chosen for this long and distant endeavor. 
      As Miqklev set-up the terrestrial laboratories on the surface of Hawking-3c, Polle began the task of interfacing data transmissions between the LOOP and Earth.  It was during this process that Polle discovered an imbedded encryption filter programmed by Aein to cloak all personal texts from Miqklev.  Out of both affection and a wariness of ulterior motives, Polle felt the need to protect any discoveries formulated by Miqklev.  With no difficulty, Polle reconfigured the algorithm and inserted a decipher tool for all these texts.  They could be received but never again accessible to Aein.  Polle would become the keeper of the files.
      Six months into the Mission, both binary stars began to align into their orbital perigee.  During this event, Hawking-3c will be positioned between the stars, an event calculated by Polle to occur exactly every 500 million years.  Once occulted by ISISb and without communication satellites to perform triangulation, Miqklev will temporarily be out of communication with the LOOP for seven hours.  One hour before this cut-off point, Miqklev contacted Aein.
Atmospheric ratio of gases necessitates an organic origin but there is no biochemical evidence of current or preexisting living processes.
Ground penetrating radar has found no subsurface carbon graphite deposits.
This planet should not be younger than Earth, but the radiogenic elements within its molten core show minimal radioactive decay.
Tectonically, this planet is still a “baby.”
It’s like this planet periodically remakes itself.
But there’s something more important happening here.
Atom interferometers are signaling gravitational wave distortions while solar resonators are detecting similar distortions in the electromagnetic field.
This can only mean a perturbation of elemental mass in these binaries.
More formidable is that planetary subsurface carbon actuators are beginning to display distortions in atomic structure.
These must be quantum shift distortions and they are occurring in lockstep with the perigee alignment.
The communication signal to the LOOP was beginning to break-up.
These findings indicate gravitational field wave resonance with all other force fields.
If so, then all atomic photon exchange will stop with light quanta becoming static.
The entire quantum structure of this planet could shift towards a lower state of entropy.
It would cease to exist as we visually know it.
“You know that is strictly forbidden by the laws of physics, Miqklev!”
Entropy requires a first cause, I know, but Anaximander’s apeiron questions the very idea of origin.
“Miqklev, there is no computational presence of gravity in the Standard Model.”
Gravity has always been there!  Matter and gravity are intertwined.  One is born of the other.  It maybe that gravity expressed as a wave function is Einstein’s ether or Planck’s constant.
Gluons, gravitons, colors, like the Greeks’ atomos; we must await a future vision in order to understand how to record its presence.
After a pause, this final message is sent.
Aein please, develop your mathematical proofs but don’t leave out my name this time.
      When Hawking-3c is expected to emerge from occultation, there is no incoming data because there is no planet.  Aein attempts to transfer the encrypted files to a portable drive but finds they are irretrievable.  Aein looks up and locks eyes with Polle.  Just a transient whisper of space/time warp takes place as Polle pushes a “play” button and the sultry voice of Mick Jagger begins to sing Streets of Love.

About the Author: 
I am a reader, dreamer, and lover of all things science.

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Quantum Theories

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 ... 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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A is for ... Act of observation

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

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.

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.

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 ... 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!

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.

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.

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.

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 ... 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

R is for ... Randomness

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

G is for ... Gluon

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I is for ... Information

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

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”.

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.

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!

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!