In the realm of time, what flows is memory. What we perceive as the flow of time is, actually, the intertwining of events. In the grand scheme of the Universe, what is static is nothingness. it? Perhaps yes. Welcome to the Quantum World.

What mesmerizes us? What drives us to distant lands? Why do we feel blissful?

In the context of our consciousness, when was the last time we pondered over questions such as these?

The questions can be infinite just as the expanse of our universe. Umm...but...Is the universe really infinite?

Amidst the fluttering of the butterflies and the blossoming of jasmines, when the nature was at its brimming colourful glory, I opened my window on a pleasant Saturday morning. I looked out. I was suddenly drawn away by some unknown force into the world of quanta, in all their magnanimous splendour. It was as if I were Gulliver in the land of Lilliput and Alice in the land of wonder.

Surprised and euphoric, I was feeling extremely lucky to still be there in a physical form.

So, now a bit about our tiniest bits, the quanta. Quanta are the smallest units of any quantum field (electric, magnetic, gravitational and others), which physically manifest as particles once the fields interact. At all other times they are waves. Photons operate at such micro levels that they are barely observable as particles and are just shrouded in probabilistic clouds – the enigma of existence!

Quantum fields are the ones which make up our universe. Well, at least this is what quantum physical research has proved.

Now, back to our quantum world, where I am wandering in awe. A casual query of mine about our universe receives the following answer –

“Hi! Our universe is roughly of the order of 10^60 times the Planck’s Length.”

“But what is the Planck’s Length?” I ask.

Well, what the nearest quantum near me tells me is that this is the minimum dimension beyond which space does not exist and which is of the order of 10^ (-35) m!

What? What does it even mean?

But that quantum, Mr. Queer, might be right. How?

Well, that’s for some another day.

But why are these quanta in a state of perpetual swarm? An eternal state of motion? Why are they invisible to me at times and visible at others when they suddenly manifest? Where do they go when not interacting?

“Hello Mr. Queer, can you hear me? Can you answer me?”

“Yeah. Let me give you a glimpse on this complex case. We are basically quantum fields, and we make up this universe.

We are your dreams, your memories, your nostalgia, your hopes, your desires, your dreams, the objects of your affection, the songs of the sparrows, the fluttering of the leaves, the mist of the wind, the fragrance of the rain and the sweetness of first love.

However, we manifest as particles only when we interact. At all other times, we are fuzzily dancing around in a cloud of probability. And the speed of light may not be fast enough for us.” Mr. Queer winks haughtily.

And continues...

“Oh yes, we can be here, there, everywhere and nowhere. Your probability equations have this task of locating us - to the galaxy and back. Quite literally! But beware, the more you try to locate our positions the more improbable our momentum becomes and vice versa.

The chaos is never ending.”

I asked – “If there is so much unrest down there why don’t we feel that? I see my body as static, the tree there quietly spreading its shades, the soil down there lying calmly and those farms in the south unwavering as ever. Why aren’t all the physical entities around me buzzing and fuzzing around alternately as particles and waves?”

Mr. Queer replied calmly – “The mother of all illusions is what you witness every moment of your life. The quanta are interacting and non-interacting at such fast frequencies that they create the illusion of form, howsoever formless they might be!

Frankly speaking, at your macroscopic scale, the quantum fluctuations are imperceptible. A serene calmness is what your eyes view and your brains process.

It’s the placidity of your mind amid the ever-curious disquiet!”

And before I could wink, Mr. Queer was gone. Wanderlust quantified!

So, having got a glimpse of the quantum world momentarily, I was back in my reality, or the illusion of it! I looked around, and it was already dark, and a couple of months had gone by! My real world had moved ahead by months while I had just spent few moments with Mr. Queer!

How? Why?

Maybe I will try to meet Mr. Queer some other day to get these answers.

I can’t ask when because ‘when’ does not make much sense at quantum level and relativistic speeds i.e., the speeds nearer to that of light.

Cut to now, I reflect retrospectively.

The event was spell bounding. The revelation, an awakening. The enlightenment, an illumination.

The awakening is what mesmerizes, the quest is what drives us to distant lands and the enormousness of wisdom is what makes us feel blissful.

So, let there be light!!

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