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Poem: "Of Alchemy and Quantum Physics" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Of Alchemy and Quantum Physics"
This poem came out of the May 6, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from technoshaman and siliconshaman.  It also fills the "time travel" square in my 1-2-14 card for the Trope Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Of Alchemy and Quantum Physics

Schrodinger's Heroes
discovered a dimension
in which science had
fallen by the wayside.

Isaac Newton, it seemed,
had stuck with alchemy
instead of moving on
to study physics.

It was Tim the Tentacle Monster
who discovered traces
in the spacetime continuum
that pointed to some kind of
time machine or vortex
tampering with the natural flow.

Alex stayed up all night
and into the next day
covering papers and computers
with strange equations.

When they finally untangled
the threads of spacetime,
out popped Isaac Newton,
altogether bewildered by
tumbling into their andervector.

Of course they tried to
contain the damage
and minimize their influence,
but there was only so much
that could be done --
science was just more
compelling than alchemy
when you saw what it could do.

They sent Isaac home
as soon as possible,
reweaving the threads
to connect with his eigentime.

On the way to the gate,
Isaac caught sight of
some notes that Alex
had left out.

It was only a glimpse,
but it was enough.

* * *

Read about Isaac Newton.

Alchemy is one of the roots of modern science, especially chemistry and psychology.

Spacetime is what most of us live in.  It's not as immutable as most people think.

Quantum physics and time travel are associated in various ways.

In the context of time travel, history may be fragile or robust.  Imagine that time flows like a river; while it may be diverted, it tends to follow the course of least resistance, which means there are channels it will wind up running down unless you do quite a lot of work.  In this case, someone changed time so that Isaac Newton and science parted company.  But their union lies in one of those channels.  Schrodinger's Heroes tried to avoid tampering with time any more than had already been done.  Just fixing the meddlesome part, however, "broke the dam" and caused Isaac and science to flood toward their natural union.

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3 comments or Leave a comment
fayanora From: fayanora Date: May 12th, 2014 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Have you ever read "Newton's Cannon" and the rest of the Age of Unreason books by Greg Keyes and J. Gregory Keyes?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 12th, 2014 01:30 am (UTC) (Link)


Those were fun books. I like explorations of what the world would look like if alchemy worked. Hence my development of Nether-Earth in The Steamsmith.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: May 12th, 2014 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

I can't remember if I read more than the first book, it's been about 15 years since I read it.
3 comments or Leave a comment