The Atom’s Atom – Chapter One

This was a term paper that we wrote for GEK1508: Einstein’s Universe & Quantum Weirdness. Thanks Marcus and Gail, my awesome groupmates!


She was intent on making this breakthrough, and proceeding with her plans to enter the unknown dimension. Not even her life was important to her anymore. It was simply a matter of entering a wormhole, and hoping that her calculations would bring her to the right place. If it worked, she would bring about a change to the scientific community greater than any of her predecessors. If it failed, she would simply be forgotten, and that did not matter – no one bothered anyway. The beauty of the unknown  drew her, and with similar intensity, she could not wait to leave this world.

Chapter One

As it has been for the past five years of my life, I rouse from slumber at precisely 0530, stumble in a half conscious stupor to the bathroom of my apartment – the “Blue Horizon”. Aptly named – the estate is set nearest to the western coast of Singapore – presumably being as close as possible to the ‘horizon’. Of course, my Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy, Master of Science and Bachelor of Science magna cum laude diplomas sitting in my study would blatantly protest this absurd name. How can a horizon be blue?

Like clockwork, I freshen up and refuel, proceeding to my morning jog around the estate. With crisp cool air brushing pass my skin, and the lack of any intrusion into my train of thoughts, I feel that this is the best time of the day, a time where I can seek solace within myself, and ponder the workings of the universe. Well, that is before I report to my day job, and where I officially ponder about the workings of the universe, as Associate Professor Horten Arnold, faculty member of the National University of Singapore Physics Department. More importantly, I belong to an esteemed group of researchers heading black hole studies at the Chan Particle Collider. [1]

As I approach the 2 kilometre mark of my route, I am sweating profusely and enjoying the mixed sensation of heat emanating out of my body and sweat cooling it right back down. I reduce my pace to allow my body to focus more of its attention to my cognitive processes, and begin to rehearse my schedule for the day.

Together with my comrade in arms (actually pens in this case), Dr. Roland Thorne, an Assistant Professor in the department, we will be pioneering a new undergraduate module to kindle some interest in astronomy. Students will also be able to observe first hand our breakthroughs in black hole research! Dr. Thorne and I had to climb mountains and cross oceans to push for this astronomy module, as the Physics department found it hard to see the merits of grading undergraduates through the practical use of telescopes. Other issues such as tutorials in the night were highly unusual and logistically challenging, and the department was worried that the module would be undersubscribed. Eventually, they relented, right after Dr. Thorne, in a stroke of brilliance, cleverly showed them a picture of Einstein toying with his telescope in his own backyard. What would I do without this blessed soul!

The Chan Particle Collider was developed in 2116 by renowned Astrophysicist Dr. Phil Chan. It is the most powerful ULHC (Ultra Large Hadron Collider) to date, and is housed in deep space due to its immense size. Its sole purpose is research into alternative energy sources, primarily from the creation of black holes.

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