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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Father Inire's Mirrors and Wolfe Physics
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 23:16:43 -0500

Tony Martinez wrote:
> > FWIW, I thought the explanation reminiscent of the EPR
> > (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) paradox, which is, as you say, an aspect of
> > QM (and a very interesting one, linked to the idea of FTL
> > communication); don't know how it connects to tunneling, though.

Crush responds:
My ability to defend connecting QT with Fr. Inire's Mirrors pretty weak.
However, I thought "Quantum Tunneling" sounded promising because it worked
so well within the themes of tBotNS and Wolfe's general themology in
general -- specifically, the twinning aspect (as I understand QT).

For other laymen, my understanding of QT is to imagine a bowling ball
stationary in a valley between two hills. The ball does not have enough
energy to escape the valley based on Newtonian Mechanics, but QM says that
it is remotely possible that the ball could suddenly appear on the other
side of one of the hills. Since matter (as energy) cannot be created, one of
the bowling balls would have to be destroyed -- if the bowling ball in the
valley is destroyed then the ball has moved beyond the valley without any
energy expended. This analogy works just as well if the "hill" is 500
million light years. I don't really understand math enough to believe this
could actually happen -- but I did find a website that offers an experiment
that permits one to see it in action (also I'm led to understand transistors
incorporate QT???):

While this experiment involves a prism instead of a mirror, one could
*imagine* it being done with mirrors. Also, QT seems to have been observed
only in discrete particles over minute distances, but theoretically one
could use this method to instantly transport from one end of the universe to
the other.

Well, all this seemed so relevant to Severian whose name implies twinning,
who is repeatedly annihilated and recreated.

Another way to imagine QT is to imagine matter as a wave passing through the
hill -- just as Tzadkiel's ship became a wave to move beyond Space, Time,
and Universes.

It seemed to work so nicely, I wonded whether there was any basis to it in
the Fish explanation.

-- Crush


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