A Quantum of Love

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For Trever, science had never been about finding ways to build a better mouse trap. Rather, as Einstein once said, it was about knowing the mind of god, the quest to understand the Universe at its most fundamental level. And he had spent most of his 48 years pursuing that dream. Even as a boy he would stay up nights teaching himself mathematics which would sing to him as poetry. Few were surprised when became a theoretical physicist. The only thing that had ever meant more to him was his wife, Erin.

She was an artist, a photographer to be exact. Always so full of light and life, she lived for Trever as he lived for her. She never saw the poetry in math and physics that Trever did, but she saw the joy it brought him and that was poetry enough for her. He was always so lost in thought, though, that she took it upon herself to make sure that he didn’t miss the rest of what life had to offer. It seemed her favorite pastime was pulling him away from his work and whisking him off to some new adventure or beautiful scene. At forty-eight, they had been married half their lives but still spent every free moment together. Never were two people more in love with, or more perfect for, each other.

As Erin lay in their bed watching the spring Sun set through the window, they both knew that it was her last. She would die before morning. Erin wasn’t afraid, this had been coming for a while and she was ready. But she worried about Trever. He had been strong for her from the moment she was diagnosed over a year ago. But she had heard him sobbing softly sometimes when he thought she wouldn’t hear, and his eyes, which had always seemed to be smiling, were filled with sadness these days. But as Trever sat watching the Sunset with her, she would swear that the playfulness had returned to those eyes the past few evenings.

Trever’s research was in quantum information theory. The primary focus of QIT was to understand the information content of quantum systems and how that information was stored, and could be extracted, for applications such as computing and cryptography. Trever had made significant contributions to quantum cryptography and was well funded by both military and commercial sectors. His interests took a sharp turn before Erin’s illness, though. As he lay awake one night, an astonishing thought came to him: perhaps all of science is less about the physical world sought to be known, and more about our interaction with that world.

Scientists typically assume that what is observed in the lab has a primary physical reality that exists whether observed or not. Even quantum mechanical observations which cause a wave function to collapse into a particular state are presumed to involve some underlying physically existing, external superpositional reality. What occurred to Trever is that there is no reason a priori for humankind to expect to be able to access that reality on a deep level. After all, our intelligence is an evolved trait and whether it bestows abilities beyond those necessary for survival is at least questionable.

Trever began viewing physics as an exercise in the construction of information-inference networks which modeled our empirical state of knowledge about the world rather than the discovery of physical laws that actually govern it. Perhaps science does reveal the actual why, what and how of physical reality, but there is no requirement for it to do so. That is why he reformalized quantum mechanics to make explicit the idea that what its laws represent are simply the rules for the creation and destruction of states of knowledge as opposed to physically real external quantum states.

The model he created was almost identical to traditional quantum formalism except that it included an information-inference subspace representing that part of our physical laws contributed by the manner in which the human mind created, perceived, processed and made inferences from, information. If the content of this subspace could be solved for, it might reveal physical reality unobstructed by our mind’s translations. It would also permit the quantum configuration of consciousness to be viewed for the first time. This subspace was more real than anticipated, though. Information, it turns out, is primary, not the particles, waves and fields which are simply conduits.

Everything around us is real enough, but it is a manifestation of something more ethereal. What we experience as the physical Universe is merely a projection of the information content of Trever’s subspace. Quantum phenomena is explained by the manner in which information transforms into projection. Even nonlocality is seen to be a holographic manifestation of a single point in this informational domain, not phenomena distributed over space.

Trever’s smile that evening as he sat with Erin watching her last Sunset arose from a discovery made days before. Theoretically, the conscious state of two individuals could now be mapped and entangled so that they were joined as one. That entangled state could then be “nudged” into a self-reinforcing internal interaction that would trigger the Quantum Zeno Effect. QZE occurs when a constant measurement/interaction “freezes” the time evolution of a quantum system. Because time literally stops for that system, a quantum consciousness state would not feel trapped for it would be forever in the moment. If the internal interaction could be stabilized, an entangled consciousness state would last as long as the Universe continued to exist. Although only he knew it, a breakthrough in Trever’s lab made all this possible.

Erin and Trever held each other in the gentle embrace of lovers as they watched the Sun set. They breathed in the sweet, soft air, filled with all the happiness a life together had brought them. And as a childlike awe of the colors that painted the sky washed over them, they enjoyed one last perfect moment together … as they would together, forever more.