A quantum Nursery on Ethree

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Earth 1 is harmonious as always. Its 21 billion inhabitants are nearly always healthy and happy. Yes, these are special days for everyone: The nursery is slowing to nearly orbital velocity, its swarm of support vessels now mostly transferred to Earth 3 development. “Nada, our whole civilization dances with excitement with your arrival, yet you seem perturbed.” We know that increasing gravity makes people anxious and uncomfortable. But, you have been going through this for nearly 10 eoy. What is wrong, can you share a little?

I see tears building up, can you say why? “I wish I could hold you now.” Hold me then. “These stupid robots!” she screams. They really make me angry, you know. She laments quietly. I don’t want to hold them. I really wish I could hold you. I feel the tears welling up in me too. These are the moments when the distance is so painful, and although I feel like the most privileged man on Eone, it really hurts, and I just have to let the tears run.

After a while I get the idea, but I don’t want to risk hurting her more. I know how the gender issue bothers her, but she really needs to hold someone, real. My robotic self is just so inadequate at times like this, so I risk the greater pain and suggest it anyway. “Hold Ave.” With a deep sigh, she resigns herself and calls Ave.

Ave is unashamed of her feminine gender, and loves Nada so much, especially when she is hurt like this. Ave does not need to talk about it, she immediately embraces Nada, and indeed the magic of human touch is rich. Nada finally lets Ave fully into her heart healing herself in their embrace. I don’t need to go through the sleep ritual. I just leave. She can tell we are disengaged. She will have to call me back, but I feel very good that I can leave them to their privacy.

I love my job as much as living here in the Pluvinergy clouds. I can always see sunshine to the north, just beyond the perpetual storm systems of the powerplant. I think Nada and Ave will not need me for a few days. When I was younger, it took months or even years before she would call me from sleep, but as the nursery has slowed so much now we are almost on mutual eoy time. Still, I feel I can go down to the thunder symphony.

The biyearly Pluvinergy thunder symphony is so special, but I would rather watch it from here. The thunder from physical lightning separates from the music, since the thunder is timed for arrival to the amphitheater, it’s cacophonous here. But, the vibration shaking my house is somehow soothing with the discordant music from the amphitheater.

It is Ave that called; telling me that Nada has engaged ASCEND. I don’t need to ask about what. ASCEND has engaged me directly, to release my prepared arguments. I hesitate so that I can understand the issue. Worldwide reaction her question has taken so much computational power that Pluvinergy high density weather modeling capacity has been reduced to field the worldwide reverberation of interest. Nada’s prepared arguments seem to go back centuries. My prepared arguments are just not holding up and although I have resource priority in using Pluvinergy processing capacity, my arguments are just not holding up.

Nada demands to know what her name means, and she has worldwide support. Although I feel this is wrong, I am overwhelmed. It is only my parental authority that is holding the issue open. She has had 800 eoy to prepare her arguments; mine are only dozens of years in the making. And I did not realize how critical this was to her. So, I digress, to let the world community consider the issue and hopefully support me.

Now instead of her closest supporter I feel like an opponent, with Ave as my confederate. The only thing that comes to me is to talk about how our communication can carry on across 22 ly. “Nada, think about IDM.” Inter-Dimensional Modeling use to be called QM, Quantum Mechanics. You don’t like to talk about that because it seems silly to you. But IDM converted a convoluted confusing mess of theories into a simple comprehensible construction. Where QM proposed a hodgepodge of nonsense to accommodate quasi-Euclidian atomic construction, IDM makes it a simple and consistent inter-dimensional matrix. Without it, we could not communicate, and the nursery vessel would not function. The support robots that you rightly detest, could not have nursed you without parallel parents like me. I ask her to let the conversation into ASCEND, which she denies.

Look, within 14 eoy months the nursery will arrive on Ethree. The entanglement of our communication could be interrupted once you are on the planet. Your people will require your guidance as you encounter unknown and unimaginable difficulties. Although the planet is constructed to support human life, unknown diseases may develop. The thousands of pilgrims in your charge may disagree, but the race is supposed to convert from hermaphrodite to split sexuality within 2 generations. This will be hard. With broken entanglement you could be on your own, with no support from us. Knowing the origin of your name, entails destructive mythology that could poison your people’s understanding…

“Are you saying we are incapable of reason?” Is it not Eone’s people that are incapable of reason, insisting that we must end our hermaphroditic nature? It is not just better for rapid population development; it is a more complete existence. Why must we evolve? People are complete; evolution is in machines and our biota. ASCEND makes us as capable of reason as you. Pluvinergy provides for all our energy and commodity needs...  

“I think she should know.” Ave offers softly.

Nada demands, with worldwide support, “What does my name mean?”

“Nada, your name was a simple mistake.”

About the Author: 
Atanacio Luna studies anything of interest. Currently he authored the book Pluvinergy: Responsible, food, water, and energy security. Its premise provides inspiration for the story.

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Quantum Theories

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”.

I is for ... Information

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

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.

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.

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.

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’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.

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.

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!

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!

G is for ... Gluon

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

R is for ... Randomness

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

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 ... 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ... 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.

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.

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.

A is for ... Act of observation

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.