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Spanish physicist and science fiction writer Sonia Fernandez-Vidal makes quantum physics fun by explaining complicated nerdy topics with the use of imagination. The author explained how a bus can go in two directions simultaneously and why any advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
There is no proof that parallel universes don't exist, says Sonia Fernandez-Vidal, a Spanish science fiction writer, who holds a PhD in information and quantum optics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and was included on Forbes' list of the 100 most creative people in 2017.
In early September, Yale University researchers "teleported" a quantum gate between two qubits, on demand.
"The fact that it was possible to teleport a quantum gate does not prove the existence or absence of parallel universes," Fernandez-Vidal told Sputnik Mundo. "One of quantum mechanics' interpretations does indicate that superposition is the result of superposition of universes, but this is just one interpretation. So this experiment is not enough to confirm whether or not they exist, but at least it does not refute their existence."
The researcher has drawn attention to the fact that giant steps are being made to create new quantum computers.
The Bus is Moving Simultaneously in Two Directions.
Fernandez-Vidal, who has worked in most prestigious projects at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, the National Laboratory of Los Alamos in the United States and the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona, explained that the parallel universes concept is widespread in the collective imagination precisely because of science fiction.
However, "parallel universes exist in many theories that do not relate to it," she noted.
"One of the founding fathers of quantum physics, Hugh Everett, argued that a subatomic particle can simultaneously move both to the right and to the left and that instead of collapsing, one of the two probabilities survives in one of the parallel universes."
To illustrate the point, she offered an example: "In some parallel universe, the bus that turned to the left turned to the right as well."
The point is that we do not see two buses going in two directions at one and the same time, she remarked.
"This is what we call wave function collapse," the physicist explained. For the observer, the superpositions disappear, and one of the two options is chosen, but the other continues to exist elsewhere with all the decisions that we have not made."
However, according to the writer, "it is a rather expensive theory". If this true, "there would be an infinite number parallel universes, one for each decision we make."
Although this topic may appear suitable only for scientists, the writer tries to make it understandable even for children in her book "A Door with Three Locks" ("La puerta de los tres cerrojos"). This is a trilogy, the second part of which "The Way of Four Forces" ("La senda de las cuatro fuerzas") was published in 2018 and was very well received by readers. The first book has already been translated into 12 languages.
"It's not just about communication of ideas or knowledge transfer, but first of all, about conveying the desire to learn, to stir children's interest in science and to show them that science is more interesting and exciting than one could imagine," the physicist elaborated. According to her, the ideal age for reading "A Door with Three Locks" is from 9 to 99 years.
Likewise, the main goal of the novel "Quantic Love" is to popularize science.
"The purpose of this book is to bring adolescents and a female audience closer to science," she emphasized. "In the world of science, we are working hard to solve the gender problem." Efforts are being made to attract the youth and women to science, the writer noted.
"If we ask our readers to close their eyes and imagine a scientist, it will be a typical gray-haired old man with two pens and a white coat. It would be good to destroy these stereotypes," Fernandez-Vidal said.
A Question of Time
As for "The Way of Four Forces," it was written to explain the scientific concepts of parallel universes and quantum physics in simple terms.
"It was the hardest part of writing," she said. That's why the writer decided to use imagination. In the book the four fundamental forces of nature — gravitational, electromagnetic, weak nuclear and strong nuclear — are represented by four girls, whom the protagonist must save by walking along four paths that open four doors.
"To explain such complex concepts, such as quantum decoherence, I had to resort to fantasy and turn decoherence into a fairy-tale character, into a little girl," the scientist explained.
"As Arthur C. Clarke, a British scientist and script-writer of '2001: A Space Odyssey'  said, any advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," she pointed out. It's just a question of time.
2018.09.17 / 23:10