Sweet Charlotte in the Higgs Field

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Her name was Charlotte. In high school she looked like Audrey Hepburn. She was alive then, then dead, then a potentiality of the Higgs Field. In the future, in a moment of despair, he put out his hand and the probability of her existence became very high. Observing through closed eyes, in the corner of his peripheral vision she appeared, took his hand and turned to face him. "It's ok" she said "I still love you."
He had a theory about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal. Tongue in cheek, he explained: "If I can't be certain about the location of any one particle in the universe, then there's no reason why my brain cells should be confined to my skull." A mind comprising physical states of individual neurons is therefore, also not confined. This explains why he wakes up right before the alarm goes off; his wandering mind checks the clock. ESP and the soul then both consist of the realized potential for all the particles of his macro brain to be coherent anywhere at any time. A joke with a germ of truth. Among all possible universes, this must be true.
In 2012 he learns that Charlotte died in 1997 at the age of 41. Then, in Jungian therapy, guided imagery, she appeared to him unbidden, the Sun’s messenger, clothed in the robes of a Renaissance angel. Among archetypes however, she misbehaved. She appeared in her overalls, sat on the kitchen counter, ate cereal from the box, laughed and talked with her mouth full. He began to think she had arrived from outside, that she was real.
He asks: Are you an angel?
What’s the definition?
A bodiless spirit with work to do.
Ok then, I’m an angel.
What is your work?
 To tell you that here, on this side, it’s not that complicated. I spent so much time reading theology and trying to get a glimpse of God, so much concentration, so many words, but it’s more like slipping into a warm bath. I wanted you to know.
He says: I don’t want to take up all your time, though.
She laughs: Eternity is all moments at once, omnipresence is easy. I’m infinitely dispersed. All I have to do is be.
Like when Allah made Adam, he just said “Be!”
Exactly, and I am closer than your jugular vein, like it says in the Qur’an.
And did you find your Encounter with your Maker?
Not exactly.
He knows now that particles arise out of "nothing", the field of potentialities. It is the ether between and within all things. The Deep of Genesis is Tahom in Hebrew, linked linguistically to Tiamat, the Babylonian mother goddess out of which all the other gods were born. The Babylonian captivity informs Genesis with a word literally pregnant with potential, the Deep. Potential, the prime mover, precedes the Creator. The Rig Veda asks: Who made creation? Maybe the Supreme Being knows, maybe he does not know.
Gradually, he begins to understand, she hasn’t met her Maker, any Maker. She has found the Deep. Does Charlotte sail the Ether Deep, the new Quintessence? Does she feel the neutrino wind, deriving her mass and force from the medium that buoys her in the middle realm like a diver without need of breath? Is she without entropy, infinitely timeless and eternal? Among all possible universes, this must be true.
On the actual, realized beach, in the heat and light, he closes his eyes, turns his head to see her at his side and offers his hand:
Charlotte says: Why would He create the universe, anyway, just to watch it?
No: he answers.
Because He’s lonely?
That doesn’t sound like God.
To experience oneness with a created being?
Too needy.
To learn from an uncreated being?
That would make human Encounter impermissibly necessary for God.
She asks: What can we tell from our senses?
He says: That we don’t normally perceive God.
Right, so what do we do?
We pray to induce that perception.
Before that, something happened to us that we did not control, something from outside of us that we did perceive.
A theophany, the perception that throws us to the ground, like Paul and Mohammed?
Yes. So, is a Creator required for us to have that experience?
No, only suddenly the unseen seen, the unheard heard.
She continues: Creation is too messy and awkward to insist that it was created.
He agrees: True, maybe it was inferred, like dark matter.
Maybe something became aware of this dark matter and wanted to know it.
So, if we are not created, but yet are creatures, what are we?
She said: I think we were found.
Dark energy, dark matter, these are speeding through us here and now, but unseen. Perhaps we are God’s dark matter, unseen, occupying the space of God’s coffee table, a constant required by an equation, a theory descending from His blackboard, the subject of His Nobel Prize, regarding which He intones in Sunday morning interviews, for a news cycle or two. He says thirty per cent of the matter in our Universe, we do not see, do not interact with and yet it is right here, closer than your jugular vein.
As He dreams of book tours, Charlotte nods in silence and believes she knows the truth of the semantics of love and grace and pushes off from the shore of life to meet her Maker, Himself seeking only tenure and perhaps Encounter with a grad student whose equations have so far evaded His solution.
In the World, scientists under mountains still forge golden rings of power. Tristans projecting their anima on the stainless ISOLDE, they search for Charlotte in the Large Hadron Collider. She smiles and says to the first boy that worshipped her as a goddess, and to the equidistant fallen God of Abraham: “I still love you.” Both lovers close their eyes and promise to wait for her, in the Deep. Among all possible universes, this must be true.


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Quantum Theories

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

A is for ... Act of observation

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

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.

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.

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!

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Q is for ... Qubit

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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.

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 ... 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

G is for ... Gluon

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Q is for ... Quantum biology

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R is for ... Reality

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F is for ... Free Will

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V is for ... Virtual particles

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K is for ... Kaon

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I is for ... Information

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