Guest Post ~ The Quantum Cop by Lesley L Smith


From Physics to Fiction

Greetings, blog-readers! My name is Lesley L. Smith and I'm a science fiction writer and a physicist.

As a writer, I'm often asked where I get my ideas. One of the best places to get inspiration is from things or people you're passionate about. I'm very passionate about quantum mechanics. Somehow, quantum mechanics makes its way into a lot of my fiction.

What exactly is quantum mechanics, you ask? Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics that helps explain everything from the smallest, tiniest particle to the vast reaches of outer space. Technically, quantum mechanics is combined with Special Relativity to become Quantum Field Theory. It's based on elegant mathematics involving so-called 'wavefunctions.' Quantum mechanics implies that anything that can happen, does happen; infinite possibilities come true. We know quantum mechanics is correct because it can help predict things like the charge of the electron. Quantum mechanics' predictions have even been proven with measurements.

But, wait a minute! I don't know about you, but I don't see infinite things happening. What's up with that? The most famous physicist of all time, Albert Einstein, did not like this theory. He referred to these infinite probabilities when he said, "G-d does not play dice with the universe." As a result of these infinities, physicists had to come up with what they call interpretations to account for the fact that we don't see every possibility coming true. The most popular interpretations of quantum mechanics include the Transactional Interpretation, the Many Worlds Interpretation, the Copenhagen Interpretation and others.

The Transactional Interpretation says these wavefunctions represent waves that travel forward and backwards in time and affect each other. If you think this sounds like a kind of time-travel, I agree. We all know our past impacts our present but what if our future could affect our present? Wow.

The Many Worlds Interpretation says there are infinite worlds parallel to our own, each with their own versions of everything, including you and me. This situation is sometimes called the multiverse. Can you imagine what another version of yourself might be like? What choices made you what you are today? What if you could see the consequences of different choices?

The Copenhagen Interpretation says a measurement collapses the wavefunction and picks out one reality among the infinite possibilities. The Von Neumann-Wigner Interpretation takes the Copenhagen Interpretation a step further and says human beings have a special place in the universe. Only human consciousnesses can take the measurements and collapse the wavefunctions and hence, create reality. Mind-boggling! Could this be why positive thinking is so powerful?

Probably the most famous idea associated with all this stuff is the Schrodinger's Cat experiment. This is a theoretical experiment in which a cat is trapped in a box with a vial of poison and a radioactive trigger. If the trigger activates, the vial breaks and the cat dies (Boo!). If the radioactive atom doesn't decay, the trigger doesn't activate and the vial doesn't break. The cat stays alive (Yay!). Quantum mechanics says the cat is both alive and dead until someone looks inside the box and checks. Weird! (And what did this Schrodinger guy have against cats?) I think the idea of a cat that's both alive and dead totally goes against our intuition. What do you think?

These ideas of quantum mechanics appear too strange be true, don't they? But scientists can prove quantum mechanics is true. To me, this contradiction seems like one of the mysteries of the universe.

I guess the bottom line is: quantum mechanics is freaky and fun and fuels my imagination. How about yours?

post-divider rightquantumPublisher: Quarky Media (May 17, 2016)
Genre: Science Fiction
ISBN-10: 098613502X
ISBN-13: 978-0986135026
Buy: Amazon, Kindle


A physicist discovers how to control reality and all hell breaks loose.

When physics professor Madison Martin is smashed by a car, her quantum expertise and survival instinct enable her to rewrite reality and save her life. She's freaked about what happened but, luckily, the hot physicist from the office next door volunteers to help her decipher what the hell just happened. As their chemistry sizzles she's ready for some experiments of a more biological nature.

Unbeknownst to Madison her smartest student witnesses the bizarro accident and learns how to control reality, too. He and his buddies go on a quantum crime spree starting with never-ending beer, sorority girls losing their shirts, and progressing to bank robbery and worse.

Everything seems lost when the nature of reality is endangered as fundamental forces like electromagnetism and gravity start changing.

Can Madison overcome the odds, thwart her evil student and save reality itself?

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Lesley L. Smith, Ph.D. has earned a plethora of degrees, including a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Elementary Particle Physics. In 2012, she added to her collection by completing her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hall University. Dr. Smith’s short science fiction has been published in several venues, such as "Analog Science Fiction and Fact," "Daily Science Fiction," and Nano Meets Macro. She is an active member of the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW), and is also the founder and editor of Electric Spec.

Dr. Smith has held a variety of scientific jobs, including investigating quarks, dark matter, extrasolar planets, clouds, atmospheric chemistry, and global warming. She has worked for a variety of research institutions, while her nonfiction articles have been published in venues that include the Journal of Climate, Climate Dynamics, and Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan. She is a long-time member of the The American Physical Society (APS) and The American Geophysical Union (AGU).



Make sure to visit the next blog on the tour ~ Big Reader's Site






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