A CHILD'S GUIDE TO INTER-TIMELINE TRAVEL Tom Mazanec NATURE OF THE MULTIVERSAL SPHERE The Multiverse consists of an inconceivable number of Universes, each spliting in two copies roughly 1000 times a year. I) SPLITTING Splitting occurs approximately every several hours. A few times a day, you are precisely duplicated into two identical copies. In a year, you will have googols of descendents, each of whom stemmed from your present. A) CAUSE Splitting occurs whenever you "see" a black hole form somewhere within the Hubble Radius. This is usually caused by the implosion of a hypergiant star in a hypernova, or sometimes the collision of two co-orbiting neutron stars through orbital decay via gravitational radiation. B) DIVERGENCE At first glance, this would seem to be pointless. What good are gazillions of identical worlds, like a practically infinite hall of mirrors? Something must be causing those two universes to change from each other. This something is called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. It is impossible to say that two universes are ABSOLUTELY identical because it is impossible to EXACTLY measure a subatomic particle's position and its motion SIMULTANEOUSLY. But what does that do on the historical scale? What connects the quantum level and the historical scale? That something is radioactivity. The particles in an atomic nucleus are constantly "vibrating". Most atomic nuclei are like flat piles of sand, where this makes no signigicant difference. But a few nuclei (especially in timelines with a history of nuclear or thermonuclear explosions) are like towers of sand which are unstable. After an unpredictable interval, the particles vibrate in the wrong way and the tower falls. This emits particles and energy, which in turn sometimes triggers an "avalanche" of growing effects. Since this would happen in one universe and not in its twin, the two universes go their separate ways. There are many such cascades. In practice, they result in noticible changes (determined by measuring the Randall Metric which gives the time since the PoD and comparing newspapers) of around a month, although on occasion it happens faster. It doesn't take significantly longer. In this outline we will consider the three most important types. 1) BUTTERFLY EFFECT Why can't the meteorologists just run their Virtual Atmosphere forecasts and tell you whether or not it will rain on your birthday six weeks from now? The reason is the Butterfly Effect. Anything that alters the weather, even the flapping of a butterfly's wings or the wave of its antennae, will grow and propagate within the constraints imposed by the climate. There are radioactive atoms in the atmosphere. The most common is radon, which is emmitted from minerals containing uranium ore. There is also carbon-14 and tritium formed in the upper atmosphere by cosmic radiation. When one of these atoms decays, it perturbes the weather. Weather can make significant changes to history...one of the first major divergences between America Alpha 1 America Beta 1 is that the hurricane given the name Katrina in 2005 killed thousands and devastated New Orleans in America Alpha 1 while killing only two people in Miami in America Beta 1. And the dominance of the French cluster of timelines viv-a-vis OTL is due to the weather affecting a couple pivotal battles in the autumn of 1759. 2) MUTATIONS The blueprint for how you "are", for example the reason you are Caucasian or Negro, is encoded into the double helix of the DNA in each of your cells' nuclei. This consists of a huge number of chemical bases, each a "letter" in the alphabet of genetics. Occasionally, one of these bases are altered by the breakdown of a radioactive atom contained in it. This can cause minute (or rarely not so minute) changes in your biology, or the characteristics of a microbe. You might be born with congenital illness, or even have a virus mutate, like the H5N1 flu pandemic which killed 100 million people in Japan Epsilon 1. 3) ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES Synapses are the "switches" in the brain's circuitry. Most are dozens of nanometers in width and are switched by chemical diffusion. Some are electrical and are only a few nanometers across, and can be switched by the ionization of a radioactive atom's decay. This can cause random trains of thought which, in the proper person, can lead to great changes in culture and society. II) CONNECTION It hardly makes much practical use of these different histories if they are in different universes from each other. Something must connect then for the Christian Sphere and the recently discoverd Mithran Sphere to exist. That something is called quantum foam. A) QUANTUM FOAM Because of Heisenberg Uncertainty, it is possible for a particle and its corresponding antiparticle to come into exitance together if they do so for a short enough time. A consequence of this is that the fabric if our universe is "fizzing" at a very small scale (a scale smaller than an atom than an atom is smaller than you, or than you are compared to all the galaxies out to the Hubble Radius). What are called wormholes are constantly forming and breaking on this scale, called the Planck Scale. A wormhole is a five dimensional conduit between the four dimensional (actually eleven dimensional, but seven of the dimensions are "flat") structure of the space-time continua of two different timelines. Since we are four dimensional, (three of space and one of time) it is hard to visualize this. To help you, imagine that there are flat creatures living on the surface of a perfectly smooth, infinitely big sheet of paper. There are also creatures living on the other side of this sheet, only 100 microns away yet unreachable. To help them reach each other open a hole on the paper wide enough to admit them and 100 microns "thick". Say the flatties live in the rim of an inkspot which soaked through the paper, leaving alternate inkspots on each side. Now a flatty can go along the sheet, loop around the edge of the hole, and keep going the same way but in the opposite direction. It will reach the alternate inkspot (alternate Earth). Notice that its handedness has been reversed as well. This has some practical consequences, such as the need to eat special food. In our real world, each point in space is constantly trying to connect for a Planck Time with an identical point as close as possible. This causes a balancing act between two opposing requirements. One is that the vicinity of the quantum foam has to be the same. The other is that the PoD has to be recent. Attempts to derive this balance theoretically from first principles have proven intractible...obsevation shows that the PoDs are in the past with an exponential distribution with a mean time on the order of 100 years. B) WORMHOLE EXPANSION But what good are connections which last too short and are too small to communicate through? As they normally are, no good at all. This is where Rosenthal Synchronization, commonly, if inappropriately, termed the "quantum laser effect", comes in. A quantum wormhole has a certain mass, about that of a germ. If a quantum wormhole can be made to "eat" its neighbor, it will double in size. If this is done an unimaginable number of times, you can come up with an astronomically massive wormhole large enough for a field alteration drive ship to safely enter. The field alteration flattens the spacetime in the ship's bubble, protecting it from the huge tidal forces of the wormhole mouth. Remember, the field alteration drive was originally developed to allow unlimited acceleration without G forces and to efficiently convert matter-energy into kinetic energy without wasting it on expelling reaction mass. Some of this virtual matter can also be used by the wormholer to be converted into the exotic-matter needed to line the wormhole's throat and stabilize it. Wormholers can only function where space-time is not greatly distorted from zero-matter-state by gravity or tides. For tides (variation in curvature) this is easy to attain...only tides near the surface of a large astronomical body are severe enough to cause problems. Gravity (variation from "rest" or zero matter state) are more potentially more serious but practically insignifficant. In the solar system, only the vicinity of the suns surface has an "escape velocity" high enough to affect a wormholer, and even there this could be dealt with. However, if we were near to the Milky Way's center or the core of the Virgo Supercluster, inter-timeline travel would be far more difficult, or even impossible. C) WORMHOLE PLACEMENT In the Chrisian Sphere, wormholes have a mass of a small red dwarf (about 0.1 sol) and are distributed in a heagonal pattern about 100 AU from the sun to minimize gravitational perturbation. In the Mithran Sphere, wormholes are more common per timeline and are distributed in the Oort Cloud. III) NOMENCLATURE There are the two major wavefronts of contact we are in communication with. The Christian Sphere contacted the Mithran Sphere several years ago. The Mithran Sphere is larger, however. Each uses its own system of nomenclature, Mithran a series of numbers indicating which sequence of wormholes to go through from the central founding timeline, and the Christian using a nickname for the most dominant nation or feature, followed by Greek letters and 1; the alphabet will start over with a 2 when we run through it (this has not yet happened with any nickname. We are close with America, however). A friendly debate is "raging" over which standard should prevail. IV) TIMELINE CLASSIFICATION We classify timelines as "inner" and "outer". Since there is no way navigate the timelines, a timeline must be fully integrated into our inter-timeline framework before daughter timelines are contacted. A timeline with daughter timelines is "inner", one with just one connecting wormhole is called "outer". If told to collapse a wormhole, we will, leaving a small black hole. We may also decide to collapse a wormhole ourselves. This has happened once, with Germany Alpha 1, aka "The Reich". Hitler was assassinated Summer 1939. His successors, while not the straightest metersticks, were prudent enough not to invade Poland. Indeed, when Russia did so, Germany allied with the Allies and gained considerable influence in World War 2. A lifetime later, they developed nanotechnology and went on to a world hegemony which returned to the principles of the Founding Fuhrer, and even exaggerated them. V) TRANSPORTATION Field distortion drive bubbles must be an order of magnitude smaller than the wormhole throat. For the Christian Sphere, this means about 60 meters in diameter. The price of first class (with neural VR for entertainment, of course) is 725 Gigachronons. Second class (hibernation, 1% chance of permanent memory loss) is 125 Gigachronoms. Third "steerage" class (cryo-preserved head, 90% of successful regeneration without permanent memory loss) is 25 Gigachronons. In practice, this means only the wealthiest individuals can affors 3rd class, major corporations 2nd class, and only supranational governments 1st class.