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By K. Von DeWitt
All modern physicists love cats. We have two presently. Munoc is also an orange tabby; irascible, witty, and cute-as-a-button on his back. His winks obviate more than I know. For Louie - my original tabby cat - is now his brother.
Once upon a time Louie was a very lonely cat, he was even lonelier than I.
It was Grammy B, who scolded me. My landlord insisted that keeping just one cat in an apartment was wrong. Grammy said: “If the howling does not stop I will evict you.”
When I left for the lab nightly, Louie would sit by the door and wail like a phantom. Loud he was; loud enough to wake the dead. Upon my return, I always found curious cat by the door: bawling; crying. Often Louie was sitting atop castigating notes which had been slipped under my door, stating: Louie kept us awake again!
How were my neighbors to know I was just a lonely scientist - who worked all night; that I loved Louie too much, and that I could never part with him, nor could he ever part with me? What choice did I have but to bring Louie to work with me?
Louie is a most important cat; Louie reminds me of my childhood. He plays and rolls, hides under throw carpets, and chases spiders in the bathtub. He keeps my bed warm, and fights me for blanket.
More importantly, when I was lonely – because, one can not keep friends working all night - Louie would cheer me up, offering rub-rub and happy snarky eyes. He always had love to spare. Louie also reminded me of Mum and Papi’s back yard, where kindred cats would meet and frolic; chasing chirpy birds and fluttery butterflies. Louie inspired me to think young and fresh; thoughts that make me the person of science I am today. I still use my childish imagination. Mum and Papi would have been proud.
When I was very little, Papi told me that it was possible for all the air atoms in my bedroom to suddenly move to one corner. “Quantum probability:” he’d said. Nights I would huddle anxiously, checking to see if my atoms were still there – until Papi caught me shivering one night. He reassured me spontaneous hard vacuum might only occur once in a Universe’s lifetime. He’d said our Universe lived a long time and was very big, so spontaneous vacuum appearing in my particular bedroom was: “near statistically impossible, given, ‘natural probability.’”
But my imagination went beyond. I had asked Papi: “What if a scientist makes the atoms in my room move away while I’m asleep?”
Papi had laughed long and hard. Removing his white lab smock and loosing his button-tie, he’d said: “Child, there is no one living presently who could even conceive a remote device to accomplish that task, unless they live off this planet.”
“Like Mars?” I’d said.
Papi had laughed even harder: “I was thinking father out than that. But little one, I must say quantum probability means…well, anything can happen. Go to sleep and dream silly head.”
There are no cats on Mars yet, but if our new drive works, then perhaps soon. Currently, only what humans “need to survive” are put on spaceships. Not cats. Newton’s laws relate one must thrust heavy and expensive mass out the back of a spaceship to push forward. Thus, mass is collected from planet Earth or the Moon and put in tanks. Boring!
Scientists are jokesters. My Lab Partner was one. Aside our Probability Engine sat the VCB, or Vacuum Collection Box. My partner had labeled the VCB the Bohring Box – because: “A lot of particular nothing always happens inside.”
All Plank-Unit-Space (PUS) is filled with potential energy that may spontaneously manifest in four-dimensional space-time as either field or particle mass. Inside the vacuum box are coordinate areas where strong magnetic fields pulse in and out of phase, manipulating quantum-dimensional space-time probability. Concordantly, since all quantum energy is linked, we essentially steal variegated-potential-energy bound at the Big Bang Singularity from every PUS. Thus, when the VCB excites the smallest bubbles of space time, real reciprocal field energy and mass is created from the vacuum itself.
We were building upon Papi’s works during his days as a collage professor. We were making something out of nothing: free energy and antimatter.
However, results were unexpected. During one night test, instead of the expected hydrogen gas and antimatter residue, we found a black lump - that turned out to be organics: carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen.
“A probability quirk?” My smiling lab partner theorized.
We told no one - for fear of being shut down. We had to find out why?
The night of our proof, Louie disappeared.
My Lab Partner fell for Louie too, and set up a cat condo where Louie could watch us work. However, when we threw the switch he was gone. We could hear his howling, but could not find him. I was terrified!
Being always a curious cat, Louie ended up inside the VCB. When we powered down and opened the chamber, there he was, angry at being locked away. Next to him sat Munoc cat, though we had not named him yet.
During sunset coffee - before work - we laugh at the cats as they chase each other around the tiny apartment. My Lab Partner noted that two cats are double the trouble and maybe we should live together so we might care for them better. I agreed!
The cats are not twins exactly, they are slightly different, but they get along as all cats do - its fun watching them tussle and wrassle. We received a massive grant to explore quantum mass manifestation – based upon our furry friends, now the most loved cats on Earth.
 When we leave in the evening, Louie doesn’t howl anymore, but we have had a few complaints of loud laughing inside our apartment.
Silly Cats.

About the Author: 
Von is a part-time physicist and movie maker. He loves his cats Munoc and Louie who inspired a Bohr,Schrodinger,and Witten quantum cat's tail. ;)

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Quantum Theories

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

K is for ... Kaon

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

R is for ... Randomness

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

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!

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.

G is for ... Gluon

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

U is for ... Universe

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

A is for ... Act of observation

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ... Cryptography

People have been hiding information in messages for millennia, but the quantum world provides a whole new way to do it.

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.

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.

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.

I is for ... Information

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

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.

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.