Telephone Operator

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Miles examined the reporter’s eyes for any hint of seriousness.  This whole exercise was far lower than his pay grade and only the fact that she was female – and he was under orders – allowed him to provide the time necessary for what was little more than the latest ‘transparency effort’ targeting the Deep Space Network. 
“Yes, life on Bohr Station can be boring, as you state, but I am not a telephone operator,” Miles objected with a fixed smile and a strong desire to return to his data monitor.
“But as you’ve described, your primary role is to ensure that all communications received here at Bohr are re-transmitted to their ultimate destination,” asserted Molina.  “To me that’s akin to a 20th century telephone operator.”
It wasn’t that she was all that far off, thought Miles.  To be honest, he used that same analogy for his sister’s pre-schooler once if, for any reason, to stop that line of questioning and be able to focus on the Three World’s Championship game on the holo-net.
“Remember,” prodded Molina, sensing Miles’ hesitancy and growing agitation with the entire interview, “I have to make this understandable to the readers whose understanding of quantum physics is limited to what they learned in the second grade.”
He couldn’t help but to be mesmerized by her.  It could be her smile.  It could be the uncertainty of whether she truly was as beautiful of a woman as she appeared on the secure holo-path.  Galaxy Corporation, his and just about everyone else’s employer, had nearly perfected such sensual manipulation programming.  After five years working at Bohr, any resemblance to his first crush was a welcome distraction.  Miles softened.
“Yes.  You are right. The intent is the same but as I’m sure you are well aware, while we have come along way from understanding simple quantum cryptography of the past, there are many intricacies to ensuring the thousands of simultaneous states that are represented in the Deep Space Network,” lectured Miles, now returning to his pre-rehearsed demeanor.  Strong resemblance to Kelsie, or not, his role was to explain how colonies and exploration craft alike utilized atomic resonance to transmit all forms of communication – to include the solid holographic image he was addressing now – to his station.  And, yes, like a pre-historic telephone operator, he enabled the communication to go to its UD – ultimate destination in station speak. 
Miles continued, now not at all concerned whether Molina was generated or natural.  “The success of our operation, that is of this station, is the pivotal reason that humankind can explore the galaxy and share all of the information gained by each individual.  In the early days of exploration information was transmitted at painfully slow intervals, one sided and often with missed conversations, as you well know.”
Miles shifted in his chair, leaning to the right as he cupped his hands and held them below his chin.  While he knew only his shoulders and head appeared at the other end of the holo-path, his habit of talking with his hands threatened to move the conversation to a more energetic level if not for the measure of self control he taught himself.
“When Galaxy Co placed Bohr Station here – we knew we were taking part in what was to be the most rapid fit of exploration since the discovery of the Americas – by Columbus, not the earlier explorers,” Miles noted, showing his love of history as surely known by the reporter’s review of his personal file.
“Now we can send remote probes every which way we want with an entangled split particle contained here at Bohr and receive the data instantaneously!” 
Molina’s smile spread, she returned the cupped hand gesture along with a tilt of her head towards the camera sensor on her end (or the computer generated all of this – Miles didn’t care) and she pressed on, singularly focused less on Mile’s words and more on Miles himself.
Almost flatteringly she stated, “And you are in the middle of it all!  The man who ensures that  humankind gains this knowledge and shares the stories.  But tell me, what is it that you do?  It is all about you right now!”
Miles straightened up, his eyes focusing on the holograph image.  “I’m the curator so to speak.  Through the centuries we’ve had many great minds contribute to the advancement of quantum theories: Plank, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrodinger to name just the earliest.  The basis of the Quantanet follows the five ideas behind quantum theory:  energy is continuous; particle behavior; that particles are random; and that the atomic world is nothing like the world we all experience every day.  But it’s the fifth original idea, that has since been overcome, that has contributed to our success: it is now possible to know both the position and the momentum of a particle and not reduce its measurement.”  Miles realized this last thought caused his hands to erupt in dance in front of his face and consciously now sat on them.
“It’s less an advancement in theory and more in quantum electrodynamics and quantum computer ability to both manipulate the split particle on one end and decipher its entangled partner on the other.  We have been extremely capable in our manipulation transmission ability and using the resources here at Bohr Station to essentially decipher and retransmit with its nonlocal pair.  I make sure all of this is successful.”
Molina’s eyes bore through Miles. Her expression dulled from lack of interest.  Miles now believed she was a live person and not a simulation.  Her next question was indicative that the interview was near its end.
“As I understand it, your role is to ensure that this communication is complete and that Bohr Station maintains its 100% transmission record?”
“Yes, exactly!” claimed Miles.
“So, you are 22nd century telephone operator.”  There was no question there.  Miles was sure Molina’s headline would say just that.
“Yes,” he resigned to answer. 

About the Author: 
The author likes learning science, reading science fiction, and hopes to inspire his children to appreciate the world and science as a subject.

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Quantum Theories

T is for ... Teleportation

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R is for ... Randomness

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

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

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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

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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.

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.

S is for ... Schrödinger’s Cat

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G is for ... Gravity

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K is for ... Kaon

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M is for ... Many Worlds Theory

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Q is for ... Qubit

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R is for ... Reality

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U is for ... Universe

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N is for ... Nonlocality

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D is for ... Decoherence

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R is for ... Radioactivity

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Z is for ... Zero-point energy

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I is for ... Interferometer

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W is for ... Wavefunction

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T is for ... Tunnelling

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H is for ... Hidden Variables

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Q is for ... Quantum biology

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F is for ... Free Will

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A is for ... Alice and Bob

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P is for ... Probability

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E is for ... Entanglement

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C is for ... Computing

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M is for ... Multiverse

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H is for ... Hawking Radiation

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X is for ... X-ray

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P is for ... Planck's Constant

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C is for ... Cryptography

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S is for ... Superposition

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B is for ... Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

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D is for ... Dice

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I is for ... Information

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B is for ... Bell's Theorem

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Y is for ... Young's Double Slit Experiment

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A is for ... Atom

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V is for ... Virtual particles

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G is for ... Gluon

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