Many years ago, a group of scientists began experimentation on an extraordinary idea. They were among the first to effectively study protons, quarks and subatomic particles.
Their work was groundbreaking, revolutionary and proved crucial to modern day understanding of concepts like quantum mechanics and dark energy matrices. Their results led to radical new developments and theories such as string theory and quantum entanglement, as well as a better understanding of the not so basic elemental functions of the universe.
They began with a simple goal in mind: to develop a process to observe the behavior of particles. The basic premise behind this experiment was to use a particle accelerator to eject protons at high speeds through one of two microscopic slits. The particles would only be able to move through either slit A or slit B, as matter can only exist in one place at a time, or so it was thought.
They began the experiment using a series of monitors to calculate movement of the particles. Much as they expected, the particles would regularly pass through one of the two slits while they were observed. An addendum was then added.
The experiment was run again, only this time, none of the scientists directly viewed the process with monitors. Instead they measured the results using an imprint backdrop placed behind the slits. What was found was at first thought impossible. The particles produced a wave or interference pattern on the background. This meant that single particles were interfering with themselves as they were ejected. While unobserved, a single particle passed through both slits at the same time, while simultaneously passing through neither. All this technical jargon may seem unimportant, but when the implications are considered, one cannot help but be mystified. The experiment, (now known as the particle slit test) proved that matter could exist in two places at once. It could be in point A and point B at the same time. Furthermore, it also proved that matter can behave differently depending on whether it is being witnessed. Reality is altered simply by viewing it.
The scientists were baffled by their findings. The group continued to experiment and catalogue the results as they were tested again and again. Progress was slow, but the original findings were not refuted. The coalition slowly began to attract many of the most brilliant minds the world could boast. The group began methodically deconstructing the matter of the universe and raising further questions. The more they learned, the less they seemed to know.
The research conducted proved fundamental in development of particle physics. It was the building blocks of reality itself, and instrumental foundation addressing how the universe was formed. However, there was a problem.
At the time there were three guiding theories for the group. The theory of general relativity (gravity), the theory of symmetry (every action has an equal and opposite reaction) and the gauge bosons theory (the forces exerted by particles and between particles must remain proportional).
Particles exist within electromagnetic fields, which is how they interact with one another. The problem manifested when the symmetry requirements designated in gauge theory predicted that both electromagnetism’s gauge boson and the weak force’s gauge bosons should have zero mass. However, the contrary was proven. It was theorized that whatever had given the particles their mass was something that would need to possess a non-zero constant when in a vacuum state, but at the time no such force had been discovered.
In 1964 a physicist by the name of Peter Higgs and his colleagues put forth a paper propositioning the existence of such a particle which soon became known as the Higgs mechanism. Proving the existence of the particle however was an entirely different and altogether monumental task, as a ubiquitous particle which decays almost instantaneously was very unstable and at the time, was unable to be synthesized. Without perpetual state of an equilibrium vacuum, the particle could not be generated. Limitations of technology and an ever-dwindling budget doomed the scientists to a state of suspended animation; thus, the burden of such endeavors would ultimately fall upon the shoulders of their descendants.
Along the way, the physicists came to theorize that under certain circumstances particles would not follow the laws of symmetry. This would allow reactions to be more profound and exponential than the actions which birthed them. In effigy, this means giving mass to particles that would not normally have them when in a vacuum state. A notion which seemed to defy all logic which had thus far been amassed. It also served as a simplistic explanation for the results of the particle slit test.
These findings assisted in increasing computing power exponentially. And led in part to the development of many devices including but not limited to: the smart phone, GPS systems, pet transponders, tablets and Geiger meters. Perhaps the most important device created however, was that of the supercomputer. A machine capable of processing information millions of times more efficiently than the human mind.
It was through this development, that a technological marvel was first conceived. The scientists knew they would never be able to test some of their more lavish theories with the equipment at hand. The supercomputers had run countless simulations, but theoretical equations could only get them so far as their understanding of particle physics was still in it’s infancy. What they needed was a device capable of replicating the parameters of the Higgs field in order to see the results with their own eyes. An exorbitant amount of time, money and resources were poured into the project, and eventually the group received the funding required to build their machine. One of the greatest technological marvels of our time, the large hadron collider.
It was placed beneath the streets of Geneva, Switzerland almost 600 feet below ground. The machine itself measured an impressive 27 kilometers in circumference, simultaneously making it the largest single machine and scientific laboratory in the entire world. Over one hundred sovereign states and hundreds more universities and independent laboratories cooperated in the enterprise. The machine was built in an enclosed ring and used superconducting electromagnets as well as a temperature colder than that of outer space to achieve a perpetual state of vacuum.
The idea was that by accelerating protons to over 99 percent the speed of light and colliding them into one another, enough energy would be produced to replicate the aftermath of the big bang, albeit on a much smaller scale and generate the Higgs-Boson. The protons collide at 4 independent intersection points around the loop, with each one built for observing a separate phenomenon. The protons moved unimaginably fast, completing almost 12,000 rotations of the 27km loop per second.
Despite the generations of preparation to complete such a project, no one was entirely sure what would happen when it was first activated. Fear mongering campaigns abounded up until the initial launch, with some even persisting long after. The scientists were called “mad” and accused of trying to synthesize a black hole to swallow the earth, or open higher dimensions and tear the very fabric of the universe. Some even protested to force governments hand in shutting the project down, and yet the coalition persisted.
The machine was activated on September 10th, 2008. No black holes were opened, and no cataclysm ensued. In fact, to the untrained eye, nothing looked any different. The machine produced very little noise aside from the hiss of cryogenic tubing and seemed to be severely lacking in the apocalyptic explosion department, much to the dismay of many doomsday advocates. And yet, the scientists who had yearned for so long, finally got their wish, the Higgs-Boson was created. The God Particle, had been born.
Peter Higgs himself was never fond of the omnipotent moniker, and yet it did seem appropriate in a sense. It was in a way, metaphysical, at the very least for its ability to seem to defy logic and the laws of reality. It could exist everywhere and nowhere simultaneously, almost like a certain religious deity.
Observation of the machine led to many breakthroughs in modern physics. Theories long since discussed but never proven were now able to be observed firsthand. Quarks, dark matter, dark energy, wormholes, antimatter were all brought back into the limelight. For the first time, science fiction concepts such as time travel and teleportation suddenly did not seem so ludicrous. What is time after all but a measurement of something that occurs? Without anything to measure, time becomes meaningless. If an opposite of matter exists, then surely an opposite of time must as well. Anti-time and the theory of reverse symmetry. And just like the Higgs boson with it’s impossible existence despite perceived impracticalities, an equivalent in the space continuum must exist. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The Higgs-Boson bridged the gap between matter and antimatter. For where the light touches the dark does not, and where the dark touches light does not. One acts and the other reacts accordingly. But what of the point in which they interject?
This theory had been surmised many years earlier but had since taken a back seat. It was called String Theory. It was believed by some to be a theory of everything, a way of explaining every possible outcome via mathematic equations. There are many components to it, but one of the more prominent was that of parallel universes. The idea was that our dimension, our reality was but one of infinite others. Details would alter between realities, with some varying wildly while others would appear almost indistinguishable.
There may very well be realities in which parrots have evolved to become the dominant species on earth, while others would have only a single miniscule difference. Someone deciding to wear a blue tie on Monday rather than red could very well spawn its own reality. This is made possible by theoretical subatomic molecules known as “strings”, which bind and hold the separate realities together and apart. All these realities are connected but distinct from one another. Sometimes realities can blur, leading to strange effects and black swan events. Déjà vu, the butterfly effect, NDE’s, all symptoms of what is now known to the scientists as quantum entanglement.
The hypothesis of string theory was scrutinized for negative affirmation. They sought to prove that there was no link between events, but as time progressed, their plausible deniability further dwindled. The hadron collider had taught them a great deal, and yet even it lacked the ability to glimpse into other dimensions. The computing power had increased exponentially from when first the machine had been built, and yet to further their quest, a radically different machine was needed.
In order to twist and bend the rules of reality, one had to be capable of manipulating protons. The ability to conquer gravity or travel faster than the speed of light. At outset, both concepts are impossible, unless one had the ability to exist in multiple places at once. The scientists realized it was not a matter of travelling to, but travelling through. Through space, rather than towards it. Instead of travelling towards a destination, they must already exist within the destination. A premise made possible by quantum entanglement. An immensely complex series of domino effects culminating in the desired outcome. Coordinates mapped to a grid system in order to allow one to transpose matter from one location to another.
By utilizing the Higgs field, it was possible to shift a single proton from one location to an entirely separate one. This again was made possible by strings, snipping the fibers of one to insert another through the fabric of space. At first only a few nanometers, but as transistor complexity increased so did the distance. The need to travel at light speed was eliminated by travelling through the cosmic web itself. One intergalactic coordinate to another faster than any amount of measurable time.
Their findings were unparalleled, and by this point, some within the project began to grow nervous. Science all too often concerns itself with the question of ‘can it’ rather than ‘should it’. Is it right to tamper with time and space?
A schism developed in the team and some left the project, but those who stayed, were soon driven towards yet another monumental discovery. By shifting protons through space itself, a new machine was developed. One which could act before time itself. Electrical stimuli propelled instantaneously through minuscule wormholes to allow faster than light reactions. Elements and compounds could be altered and created from raw materials by manipulating isotopes and electrons around an atomic nucleus. Diseases and viruses could be decoded mathematically and cured before gestation. Equations longer than books which had lingered unresolved for a lifetime, explained in an amount of time too fast to be measured. It was the merging of the digital and the physical. The Deus ex Machina. It was the philosophers stone, holy grail and all-seeing eye in one convenient package. The world’s very first quantum computer was born.
The capabilities of such a machine were unimaginably vast. It could write books, decode languages and twist the very fabric of space in less time than it takes to take a breath. No longer would any machine be needed. As the quantum computer not only could complete any other machines task, it could also create the machine intended to do said task. Many were worried by its mere existence, and for a time the group fell into disarray at the unrivaled power of the quantum computer. No one man should have all that power.
One of the scientists; a man by the name of Henryk Ludgren began to experiment with a series of simulations. The computer tested prototype technology for space travel, as well as ideal planetoid hosts for future human migration and subsequent colonization. The computer’s abilities were unparalleled, as it could perform the tasks of the next million machines behind it. It could grow organs which were genetically coded specifically for an individual. Transplants were accomplished with a one hundred percent success rate. Trash debris could be morphed into gold and other precious metals by changing the isotope electrons, atomic mass and by proxy the chemical makeup. For what is an element? A series of electrons around an atomic nucleus.
The simulations it created were so visceral and realistic, they were soon discovered to be indistinguishable from reality itself. Human minds which were subjected to it, found telling apart reality from quantum simulation to be impossible. Collectively the scientists managed to create their own self-contained universe within a simulation.
Lundgren, who had since taken the mantle of director stumbled upon an epiphany. Here they were, with an entire simulated universe at their fingertips. A cosmic reality created and maintained by the quantum computer itself, and if they had the power to create that, how did they know their own universe was not the result of the same process?
The group began to test their new hypothesis, as suddenly nothing else seemed to matter. Transmissions were created, transported into space to await a reply. But none came. The sudden descent of so horrible a notion had not treated the group well. Many were outright on the verge of episodic mental psychosis, but still those who funded the project demanded it go on. With morale waning, and hope for the project diminishing, the group was again split. The vast majority of scientists left the project, promising to return soon with a battalion of lawyers at their backs. When the smoke had settled, only 7 scientists remained. Among them was Henryk Lundgren, who had since become obsessed with seeing out his greatest discovery.
Beyond the veil of the observable universe was a higher dimension which no human had ever glimpsed. A holographic tapestry where our infinitesimal minds cannot even comprehend. The problem of course was communicating with it. Whatever force or entity may lie behind it may have long since grown apathetic to our own existence, and furthermore may not even be capable of recognizing us as an existence at all. For the universe created by the scientists was in their image, but who’s to say the same was true for the scientist’s universe. It very well could have been nothing but an ironic experiment or an accident altogether. For what is a hologram? A digital reality.
One of the other scientists proposed creating an anomaly, something that violates the very laws of motion and space. It was the H-bomb dropped in world war 2 which first alerted extra-terrestrials to humanity, and it was thought that the same principal could be used for whatever may lie beyond the tapestry. If an outside force were to detect an impossibility from within the simulation, then perhaps it would be compelled to respond.
It was then decided that the safest route was to alter time. Something tiny, but profound. By reverting a single seed back five minutes in it’s life. The sprouts which had begun to grow would be reverted on the cellular level.
A small glass container was placed in the center of the room, containing only a juvenile seed with sprouts upon resin paper. The parameters were set within the quantum computer, and the switch was flipped. Silence filled the room, as all the witnesses looked on in nervous anticipation. The sprouts of the seed contracted and disappeared inside the seed. After which the seed itself shrunk to nothing and disappeared altogether. The computer alerted the onlookers that the task had been completed, and those in the room exchanged uncertain glances.
Then the monitors of the computer flashed warning signs and an array of flickering lights which indicated an error of some sort. The seed suddenly reappeared and erupted with green tendrils in the chamber, causing the entire case to rupture violently. Debris was flung throughout the testing chamber, and those who looked on ducked away.
The screens of the computer began emanating a flickering performance of hazard lights. It was a warning failsafe which had been implemented, but never activated. It was perceived as a threat, an outside malicious force which had latched on to the computer’s hardware. The scientists scrambled to their machine, desperate to stabilize it. They knew that if ever anyone were to acquire control of the quantum computer, their potential for devastation would be unimaginable. They realized the only way to save the machine, and prevent a hostile takeover was to cut the power. One man grabbed the kill switch. He stood ready to activate it when he was stopped by the loud command of Lundgren. Everyone in the room stopped and turned to face him.
Lundgren sat with eyes wide and mouth gaping, staring intently at the main monitor of the computer. The screens had stopped flashing, with only the single center screen still illuminated. All the scientists gathered and stared at the last remaining screen. A single buffering bar was displayed, with approximately 20% of it being filled in. This indicated only one thing. Something was being downloaded.
Immediately the group reasoned that it must be a virus or other malware. All previous hacking attempts by scientists and computer engineers to break the computers firewalls and gain control externally had failed. It was thought to be impossible to break the quantum computers security, but nevertheless the download persevered. The group exchanged nervous glances, not sure of whether to pull the plug and save their creation or to allow it to proceed to whatever ends. Eventually the call was made by the investors outside the room who had since been notified of the development. They demanded power be cut from the computer in order to save it. The machine represented a colossal investment, and the costs to build a replacement if any severe damage should occur was altogether out of the question.
Begrudgingly Lundgren eventually followed the order and commanded his affiliates to pull the plug. It was done straight away, but the quantum computer did not power down. The main power cord had been disconnected, and still the download persevered.
The scientists began to panic and instructed all power at the facility be shut down immediately. It was done within moments, and everything went dark. Everything that is, except for the main monitor on the computer. The download bar was now nearing the halfway mark. The computer groaned and whirred under enormous duress as hundreds of fans shot to life to attempt to cool the leviathan machine. The scientists stood back, dumbfounded at what had occurred. There was simply no possible way the machine should’ve remained active, and yet it was. It continued to fill up the progress bar, powered by the assistance of some unknown outside source. With no other viable solutions at hand barring physical termination of the machine itself, the scientists could do nothing but await the culmination.
The bar continued to load until the entire mysterious file was finally downloaded, weighing in at a massive 100,000 terabytes of binary code. It was enough to fill thousands of hard drives from normal computers, but the vast memory capacity of the quantum computer was able to easily store and render it. Upon completion the last screen went black, and the room fell into darkness.
The scientists discussed their options in the dark, until they decided their only recourse was to initialize power and reactivate the computer. And so they did. Minutes later and the power was back on, and the machine began the slow start up process. Once it was fully activated, a prompt appeared on the main monitor. The prompt posed a single never before seen question:
“Unknown file type. Do you wish to execute the file?” All attempts made by the group to bypass the prompt failed. With nothing else at their disposal, they executed the file.
The computer began rendering the file. The process took several minutes to complete, an otherwise unheard-of amount of time for the computer to accomplish any task. Once the file had finished, it opened itself. Two words sat on the screen in simple white text amidst a black background. Words which would forever be remembered by those who had attempted to achieve the impossible. The words sat silently on the screen for a moment, until the image began to flicker. Moments later the quantum computer fizzled out and shut down, never again able to be reactivated. The room again went dark, this time for the last time. But for those men and women who had witnessed the event, they would never forget the final words relayed by their mechanized god.