Leo The Lion

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Leo was born for this. His birthday falls on July 23, the beginning of the beast of astrology. That’s how he pursued everything, always taking the lion’s share of responsibility; it showed in his efforts to solve hard equations or the chores he and his brothers were assigned by his parents. His parents knew he was something special and he deserved that special name.

After university, Leo sought the most challenging post-doc work. He landed at Cal-Tech with an appetite for quanta worthy of his name’s sake. Quantum theory brings out the best of Leo’s abilities. His professors knew early on that Leo’s zeal for quantum physics could be dangerous. Young scientists often burn out just like the stars some of them study; they are left worthless after a semester or two and forced to teach the very science they intended to create. But not Leo, his path was different, and his professors knew it. Leo was destined for greatness.

So, where are we, Leo, are you ready to present to the grant staff tonight?” Leo struggled, “Well, Dr. Nash, my work isn’t quite ready.” “I beg your pardon? We have deadlines!” His professor countered. Leo, respectfully, “I believe we are going looking at this all wrong. What intrigues me most, perhaps scares me most, is we are going in the wrong direction. We should be looking at the bigger picture, much bigger. Is it a coincidence solar systems and our galaxy looks? Don’t they resemble atoms? That intrigues me beyond any information I can get you about a photon or quark.”

“Leo, you’re burned out, you need some time off.” Argued Dr. Nash. “We need results, tonight, or else we lose a lot of money.”

Leo responded, “Dr. Nash, I hate to tell you, but I’ve only been wrong twice in my life. The one time my bicycle ramp that I made broke, leaving me with a scraped up back; the other time was my last girlfriend. Both hurt, but not this time. I’m right; I’m going to make your proud! This approach will land us the money.”

“You’ve got me all wrong, Leo. I want you to be more successful than you can imagine. But we have deadlines to make. Where are you at this point?” Inquired Dr. Nash.

Leo, with reservation, “I’m where I need to be. I’ve discovered our illogical thinking. It is that larger particles, you, me, planets, solar systems, all of it, it all behaves the same!” “What is bigger than us? That’s the question. Is some celestial body out there studying us, learning of our reactions, or interactions? Please understand me. I’ll give the summary tonight and you’ll see, everyone will.”

Fortunately for Leo, his mentor believed in him, trusted him. Dr. Nash, with some reluctance, gave Leo his blessing, “We need that grant; you get the money, I don’t care if you tell them the sky is falling!”

After all, thought Dr. Nash, it is hypothetical; until those guys in Bern understand the smallest particles on Earth, it is only money.

Presentation night, Leo could feel his heart beating out of his chest. He couldn’t swallow much less give a talk without a drop of saliva. Just relax, Leo thought, these are just the most brilliant minds in the world - no worries, right.

The lights beat down on Leo’s face. He could feel a thin layer of perspiration develop over his entire body. He cleared his throat, “Greetings, thank you for the opportunity to discuss my latest theories in today’s quantum physics. I’ll start off by asking, do you believe in God?” I know some of you don’t and you certainly do not care about my beliefs. Honestly, I don’t care about yours either, this is science, right? Let’s take off our analytical hats and try on a philosophical one.”

Dr. Nash took a deep breath.

Leo continued, “Quantum physics is a difficult science. Believe me, just when you think you’re onto something, you fail. We study it because it is interesting, challenging, perhaps to show off; yet, our major flaw came to me easily.”

“Please, open your minds. If we are studying the smallest particles in the world, do we study the largest particles in the universe just as intently?”

“As we’d like to be very special, one solar system, moon, etc. Science and probability seems to prove otherwise. What if we were the smallest particle? There are more worlds out there with the same pretty little planet and sun, whether we like it or not”

But, is someone studying us? Are there larger beings amazed by our attraction, what we call love, our reactions, like war? Shouldn’t we be in search of the largest particle in existence? Perhaps you call it Zeus, God, Alpha, Omega.” I believe it is out there, and it is studying us. Einstein, Bohr, they were visionaries, creative masterminds that we based both sides of the coin on by studying our own world.”

Professor Nash knew he was done. His star pupil just lost the biggest grant he has ever tried to procure. He turned with a half grin trying to find the committee’s table. He had met a few of them before dinner and Leo’s talk. His eyes finally rested on their table. He mumbled under his breath, “bye-bye, money.” He felt future ideas draining out of his mind just like the sweat running into his eyes.

Leo finished up his talk with a small applause from the crowd. He looked out beyond the blinding lights and somehow found Dr. Nash, practically lying in his chair. He walked towards Dr. Nash; at the same time, the committee members made their way through the crowded room. They met Leo and Dr. Nash. Then one-by-one they turned and began walking out of the room. The last in the row then slowly turned and looked at Dr. Nash and spoke, “The check is in the mail.”

About the Author: 
Dr. Lowe is a doctor of optometry. He currently resides in Myrtle Beach, SC and enjoys writing on his spare time. He is the South Eye Care Director for Luxottica, North America. He and his wife enjoy warm weather and have five furry babies that keep them busy.