by Michael Crichton
written in 1999. It's one that has been turned into a video game
, and has been a bestseller
Essentially, a private company developed a form of time travel that used quantum mechanics and, get this, is theoretically possible IRL , which is the premise of all his novels. It explains from scratch the idea of multiple universes and some high school physics.
The other half of the novel revolves around an expedition to the Middle Ages.
I don't wish to spoil any more than the back cover reveals, but it's a good read, no science background required.
Eh....why don't I explain some of the Physics found in the book. I'm not really spoiling anything, as the scientist explains it before the team journeys to the past. Okay, I'm sure you've seen enough Sci-fi
or The One
to know the current theory that there are multiple parallel universe
s out there, almost identical to ours. In this universe, you flipped a coin in 3rd grade and you got heads. In another parallel universe, you got tails. You could call this the "heads" universe, while the "other" universe is the "tails" one. There is no way to go to the "tails" universe from here, you're trapped into the "heads" universe, where the multiverse
forked in the path, and you took the road on the left. Ehh..well you could if you went back in time and went with the tails, like backing up a car and taking the fork again.
Here's something people don't usually consider. Who says these parallel universes operate at the same time? For all we know, another universe took a million more years to make the Earth form, or DNA to replicate, or something. So the adjacent universe could be moving slower.
Now how to get accross to this universe? Well, there's something called Quantum Foam. Lovely mac desktop wallpaper. But it's also part of the Superstring Theory. Basically, if you go deep into the subatomic level of an atom, there are millions of black holes, which connect to other universes. Picture it as the Sea of Holes from Yellow Submarine.
Now with these holes, it's tough to send a person through one. It's about as difficult as sending a piece of paper through a telephone line. But you can be clever and send a fax. How can you do that with a person? Simple, a full-body MRI scan, fed into a lossless compression, meaning better than a jpg or mp3 as you are compressed, or rather data on your molecular structure is, and nothing is lost. How do you compress so much data? Exabytes of information for just one piece of skin? Simple, a Quantum Computer.
So, you step into a MRI-like cage. It scans your body as you hold still, feeds the data into the quantum computer, and...vaporizes you. Don't worry, they "fax" your info to the other universe, where you are reassembled, like beaming on Star Trek.
Well, what's on the other end to put you together? Well...nothing, but you should be reconstructed, as in another universe, they have the technology to reconstruct, but not to deconstruct. So you fax yourself over, the first step, and the other universe does the other step. Weird, but you need to know the double-slit experiment and quantum physics.