Inspiration strikes

Warning: this post is rather physics-heavy, as it’s very much written for me. I’ll do a much better job of communicating it on the site. Possibly.

Inspiration came from re-reading Marcus Chown’s book The Universe Next Door, which contains lots of strange theories about the way the Universe works – including ideas like parallel universes and time travel. I think I’d like to do a story where the protagonist somehow falls into another world, where quantum effects are much more important. Perhaps the protagonist could be shrunk (this leaves scope for them to grow to then see general relativistic effects). There are lots of very weird effects at the quantum level – like particles teleporting through barriers – which can be quite simply explained. The user’s task would be to get out of the other universe – perhaps by finding Einstein or Feynman to help. I could also get some history of science in – people like Newton and Descartes who would not have liked quantum uncertainty.

This has the really nice twist of being a story about parallel universes which creates them: at each decision point, there are two (or more) possible futures. The user decides which future universe to enter, and leaves the others behind – but they still exist within the website, only the user cannot access them, or know how the story would unfold there.

Website names – not sure. Alice in quantumland? Nice, as also makes reference to ‘Alice’ , who is often used along with ‘Bob’ to conduct thought experiments in physics. However it might be a bit gender specific. Does Alice and Bob in quantumland have the same ring to it?!

Thinking of Alice and Bob, they would need to be your companions in this world – they are used to explain many things – so that could be the first branching point: go with Alice, go with Bob, or go it alone…

I’d need to get a bit more up-to-date information to do this, so I’ll dig out Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You (also by Chown), to look for the more up to date stuff. I’ll use his books as a base, because he writes popular science books, so the topics he picks will be the easiest to popularise.


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