The One Eyed King

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Ouch, dagnabbit! This was the second time this week that the sleeping platform had moved and Robert had face planted the wall when he woke up. It seemed worse this time because it happened on the weekend. “Why am I paying such high rents for a living cube where the compensators regularly go offline?” Robert wondered again. At least the coffee pot, being smaller, hadn't moved.
Ahh, caffeine. He checked his geo-locator app and found that the lab building hadn't moved much overnight. Not bad for such a large structure. His keys of course were still in the bowl by the door. Because the keys were small they moved a lot less. Without thinking he knew that molecules and atoms being really small rarely ever moved. On his way to the 'porter pads he checked the rand-move app for about the tenth time. Rand-move was predicted to be very low today. That worked out well for his plans at the lab.
Robert's college days had been spent struggling in the theoretical classes. But the engineering classes, the applied stuff, had been easy and fun. Theory was grand but he was always better at designing and building practical things. He’d gotten wealthy creating “toys” that no one seemed to know they needed until Robert had invented them.
His biggest invention of course was the compensators. It even overshadowed the transporters. The ‘porter pads had tapped into the uncertainty principle and allowed objects of all sizes to be moved across the street or across the planet. Objects were going to move anyway, so ‘porter pads made them move where you wanted. The stuff of science fiction but he’d made it work.
As big as the ‘porters were the compensators were an even bigger success. The compensators held objects in place against random QM movements. It was especially useful for larger things. The smaller objects tended to move, but not as often or as far. When the habitat compensators went offline the keys stayed in the bowl but the sleeping platform moved, resulting in the annoying face plant. The biggest hurdle to compensator use was the large amounts of energy required. So their use was limited to special applications. The CIA, KGB and MI6 were pleased that their files didn’t move. And of course rich people paid to have them. And Robert received his royalties.
But there was a basic, unsolved, Quantum Mechanics mystery. The mystery wasn’t that the larger the object the more often it moved and the further it moved, or that the smaller the object the less often it moved. Big objects moved a lot, small objects moved less and baryons moved barely at all. Those weren’t mysteries. The great physicists of the twentieth century had solved that. The equations explaining why small objects moved less than large objects were well known. Robert had studied those equations in an upper level physics course at university.
(While thinking of the QM mystery, Robert remembered reading wild theories of other universes. If they existed they might have different laws of physics. One mathematician had even come up with a complete QM theory where only quark sized objects would move randomly. Something the size of a marble would have almost no chance of randomly moving much less a building moving. The engineers at the lab had a fun time discussing how a world like that would actually work. Life would be impossible they decided. How would life have come into existence if protein molecules had little chance of moving randomly?)
The real mystery was why extremely large objects such as the earth, moon, sun and other heavenly bodies didn’t randomly move. Quantum Mechanics broke down in the realm of extremely large objects. As far as could be determined orbits had been stable throughout the life of the galaxy. No one had ever successfully solved that QM anomaly. Sure, Einstein had tried out his Cosmological Constant. But that turned out to be a kludge that he came to regret. That’s why Robert was heading to the lab on a weekend. He’d invited only his top three engineers. And of course Bryan, his lab technician, who always seemed to know what to build as Robert was thinking about it.
At the end of a very long day Robert and the engineers had checked and double checked the math. His most lucrative invention was on its way. By using the earth, or even better the larger mass of the sun, as an anchor point, Robert’s company would be able to predict the random QM movement of large objects. Only Robert’s company would have priceless information on when an object would move and its future position. Money would start rolling in and Robert would be the one eyed king in the land of the blind.

About the Author: 
Michael Koehnlein has been designing electronics for 45 years. He took apart his first radio at the age of twelve. And has been engaged in design since.