One of the things I've come to terms with in my fiftieth year on Earth is that my life's waveform is erratic, energetic and sometimes spontaneously combustive.
I could make - and on occasion have made - attempts to settle my existence into something more ordered, but in trying to alter the nature of my world-line I'm fighting a losing battle. Best I can do is make the most of what I am and let the Universe do what it will with me.
There comes a point in all our lives when we start to seriously count blessings. One of the most countable blessings I've probably ever had is my long-standing relationship with Stargate. The series first hit the airwaves in the same year that I was launched onto the path of quantum discovery, blinded by a science I didn't understand and beset by a driving force which insisted that I learn it. For some reason, the Universe decided that I was going to have to follow the quantum trail, sending me to look up quarks on my computer and make copious notes on the biology of the Sun. Some years later it rewarded me by showing me what I'd been missing on TV.
I stumbled across SG1 when Sam Carter was giving a lecture on the nature of cause and effect. My partner loved Sam Carter for reasons additional to (though not entirely excluding) her brain, and so armed with an unwieldy package of mutual incentive we harvested the entire set of DVDs as soon as it hit the market.
My blessings then reached the heights of stars as Corin Nemec (Jonas Quinn) became Quantumology's first follower on Twitter and I discovered that a couple of the galaxy's brightest System Lords are happy to tune into my wavelength now and then. Today, the longest-serving System Lord of all, none other than Apophis himself, deigned to include me in tweeting an article about quantum propulsion and warp-drive technology. (Years of insistent research are paying off, as I seem to have established some kind of reputation for knowing roughly what I'm talking about, and as ever, my rewards come out of nowhere - unfettered, unannounced and gloriously spontaneous in their colourful eruptions.)
The article which Peter WIlliams (who looks quite different when not wearing dubious quantities of gold) sent in my direction contains the following text (click on it for the full article);
"In the early epoch of the universe, there was a very short period known as inflation," said Richard Obousy, president of Icarus Interstellar. "We believe that during that inflationary period, space-time itself expanded at many times the speed of light, so there are tantalizing questions when you look at nature as a teacher."
Sometimes I can be a thorn in the side of the scientific establishment, poking merciless fun at SUSY (supersymmetry) and boldly declaring that Cosmological Constants, Constraints and Standard Models are little boxes which you really can't just keep stuffing things in forever. The articles landing on the timelines of Twitter these days show the Standard Model teetering precariously on the brink of collapse, SUSY getting her skirts very ruffled and all manner of constants and constraints being bludgeoned by the aftermath of Higgs and fallout from the LHC. So on reading the line above, which tells us that Once Upon a Time there was no such thing as a speed limit in the Universe, I thought, "Yes, Nature is the teacher. And sometimes," I mused quietly to myself, "humans can be very petulant pupils." When I come across a scientist mourning the loss of a familiar constraint, I think of Lego, which is where the pieces seem to have stuck in scientific evolution. "Come on now," says a school-mistressy voice in my head wistfully addressing the Particle Physics Party, "isn't it time we moved on to Play Doh?"
Bounded by an assumption that the speed of light is the absolute limit, we've made baby steps in understanding the Neutrino. From the many experiments conducted around the world it seems pretty obvious that the Neutrino bypasses standard models of physics and plays about in dimensions we can't see. Everyone knows these other dimensions are there, but they cause problems, so scientists curl them up and pretend they're too small to worry about. Infinity, too, is as much of a pain in the butt as David Hewlett, appearing absolutely everywhere and forcing theorists to 'renormalise' their equations to compensate. I'm a little frustrated, perhaps unfairly, that we're not taking as much notice as we should of the fact that science fiction is a product of Universal Intellect, and probably a good indication that our Universe has a sense of humour. Stories come into our heads because somewhere, in the infinite raft of possibilities shored up by the Uncertainty Principle and the Multiverse combined, they happen. Maybe not exactly as we picture them, but happen they do, and that has to be the reason why science fiction so regularly ends up being science fact. What goes around comes around, ring singularities notwithstanding.
Kathy is the author of Quantumology. She met up with quantum mechanics in 1997, pledging allegiance to its sources thereafter. These are her personal thoughts and testimonies.