While my debut novel, Persistence of Vision, is not a hard-core science fiction novel (anyone can understand it, even without a physics background) it does have some scientific elements. I studied science for a while in college and, while the day-to-day basics and laboratory stuff bored me (which is why I didn’t pursue it as a career) the idea of where science meets consciousness fascinated. In other words, where the physical meets the metaphysical. Because of this, higher-tiered science concepts caught my attention. Stuff like quantum mechanics, deep-space cosmology, and nuclear chemistry. (Don’t worry: no way I’m cool enough to know how to make bombs.)
The concept for my story is based heavily on quantum physics. “Quantum physics is a branch of science that deals with discrete, indivisible units of energy called quanta as described by the Quantum Theory.” (source: library.thinkquest.org)
It deals with concepts that are hard to wrap your head around because they can’t be seen or conceptualized in a tangible way. But in my mind, that makes them more interesting. I wanted to bring these concepts to readers in an interesting and understandable way. Stir in some good old-fashioned emotion from compelling characters and voila! You have an intriguing story.
There’s something called the Quantum Enigma. I won’t explain it in detail because it’s highly scientific and will reveal the desperately pathetic extents of my geekdom, but to put it very generally, it says that the scientific properties of our macroscopic world—that is, the real world we all see and observe—don’t apply to the unseen (microscopic) world. Particles can often have opposite and contradictory properties at the same time.
Furthermore—and here’s the kicker—particles aren’t defined until a being of higher intelligence (i.e. a human) observes them. That’s right folks! When you observe a particle, you actually create its properties. I know it sounds like magic, but I swear it’s true. Look it up if you don’t believe me. This leads to the supposition that the real world as we know it doesn’t exist without our observation of it. Now, this freaks the crap out of physicists, my friends. So, they ignore it and pretend it’s not true.
Meanwhile, it’s awesome fodder for science fiction stories. Will my stories always be one hundred percent realistic? Mmmm, probably not. Will any story that deals with time travel and weird brain science always be hole-free? I’m gonna take the fifth on that one. But, the fact is that we don’t understand such things. We don’t have the technology to measure them and the human brain doesn’t have the capacity to fully understand them, which means writers like me get a (somewhat) free pass.
So, put on your thinking caps, sports fans. The twisted-ness of Interchron has only just begun. :D
Really interesting stuff, am I right? Thanks, Liesel!