THE BLOG

ON ... Life, the Universe, and Who or What Is Eating My Sandwich

11/05/2015 12:43 BST | Updated 10/05/2016 10:59 BST

Back when I was an engineer, I studied a bit - and then became a besotted with - quantum physics and all things universe-y. I was intrigued as to the nature of matter, what constitutes reality, and how everything can be 96% empty space (including me, you, the missus, the cat, even that fly said crackpot cat has wrecked the curtains trying to catch).

Over the years my interest became an obsession, and I found myself twisting my few brain cells - 'a few,' I hear you say, 'you're good to yourself' - around finding out where we are, and what we're doing here.

One conclusion I have come to, regardless of the physics, is it's not to bust a gut over who won X Factor and/or where's my new iPhone?

Anyhoo and here's the sciency bit:

What we call the Universe is all of Time and all of Space. The part of the Universe we see, the observable universe, is reckoned to be about 91billion light-years in diameter. Actually the size of the universe is not completely known and may be infinite, also observations suggest the Universe has been governed by the same physical laws and constants throughout most of its existence. The Big Bang theory is the accepted cosmological model to describe the development of the Universe and, assuming the model to be correct, the Universe is about 14 billion years old. Space in the Universe is expanding, and the expansion is increasing.

There we have it, in a nutshell. There are however two other suggested characteristics of the Universe and its quantum make-up that has always fascinated me. The notion that everything we see, hear, touch, and generally interact with by use of our senses and consciousness is but a holographic creation brought on by our perception of things, as governed by those physical laws and constants mentioned above. The other is a physical phenomenon known as Quantum Entanglement, where pairs or groups of particles are generated, or interact, in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently - instead, a quantum state may be given for the system as a whole. Therefore, if entangled, one constituent (bit of something) cannot be fully described without considering the other/s.

In one experiment, using a single particle of light, scientists for the first time linked thousands of atoms in quantum entanglement, where the behavior of the atoms would stay connected even if they were at opposite ends of the universe.

Now, being the nerd-ball I am, I got to thinking about all this while making a banana sandwich (a holographic banana sandwich, created by my perception of a banana sandwich, as governed by the physical laws and constants governing the banana and its sandwich - if that particular theory turns out to be accurate).

When I'd placed all the constituent parts together, bread, spread, banana (unsheathed and sliced) and arranged them in the most appetising manner any aficionado of banana sandwiches would envy - for some reason, my nerd-ball gland kicked into gear and I had the notion that, if the particles in my sandwich are indeed entangled, then are there about three thousand little, bug-eyed gobbledeegooks, all over the known universe tucking their teeth, mandibles, suckers, whatever it is they call mouth-bits, into my precious banana sandwich before I've even had one bite.

Now, I don't know about you but, to me that's just rude.

Next time I'll use tomatoes, not as many people - or bug-eyed gobbledeegooks - like tomatoes.

Just saying is all ...