Wed, Jun 27, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Johnny Foreigner’s EURO 2012: England fans wake up to reality, but which one?

British President Stephen Fry poses at the premiere of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows at the Empire Cinema in London on Dec. 8 last year.

Photo: Reuters

We started with no aspirations, no belief, but then, as ever, came hope, dreams of glory — maybe this time will be our time.

Monday morning, reality bit back.

Yes, I’m talking about the long-suffering England fan, all those years of disappointment, dreams turned to dust. Johnny shares and feels your pain.

Wait, though, maybe we should take a closer look at “reality,” what it is exactly.

So it’s to the improbable sub-atomic world that Johnny looks, hoping that maybe things aren’t quite as bad as they seem and quantum reality holds some promise.

Yes, in the world of quantum physics there could be some solace after 46 years of hurt.

Of course, I’m talking about the two-slit or Young experiment, in which individual photons of light are fired at a screen with two slits.

Now, your life experience tells you that the photons will either pass through one slit, the other or be reflected by the screen, and if you set up equipment to watch the photons as they approach the screen, you’d be right. Don’t look, though, and a single photon will pass through both slits at the same time.

The same rule applies to atoms, the stuff that you and I are made up of.

It seems we can change the rules of reality, just by looking at it.

Surely this is insane, I hear you shout, but it’s true. The paradoxes of quantum theory even drove Albert Einstein to despair.

Yes, everything has the power to be in two places at the same time, we just can’t see it. Quantum reality, my friends, is a strange place to be, but it could be the last refuge for us long-suffering England fans.

There are a growing number of physicists, including professor Max Tegmark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who believe the ability of sub-atomic particles to be in two places at the same time, but only when not observed, is evidence of the existence of the multiverse.

Parallel worlds.

Tegmark believes that there are an infinite number of universes and that they are being created all the time.

“The big problem with quantum mechanics is the little particles we’re all made of can be in many places at once. Yet I’m made of little particles, but you never see me in two places at once, so what’s going on here?” Tegmark told the BBC.

Tegmark believes the math is telling us that when the photon travels through both slits at the same time, our reality has branched out into two universes. When the photon faces two slits it doesn’t split in two, it splits reality in two.

Infinite realities.

If that’s true, there’s another Johnny Foreigner, sober, working for the Taipei Times in a different version of reality, another universe. Now if only we could read that article...

Yes, dear readers, the Euro 2012 quarter-finals are over and no great shocks to report.

The Czech Kingdom, watched by his majesty King Vaclav I, put paid to Portugal’s bid for glory, while European economic powerhouse Greece ended the dreams of debt-ridden Germany on Friday, with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras seemingly unamused by a group of German supporters waving a flag that said: “Samaras thinks we’re at work.”

So while the downtrodden Germans’ dreams of Euro glory wilted, France ended the hopes of strife-torn Spain, with midfielder Xabi Alonso coming under fire after a foul-mouthed rant to a Marca journalist following his side’s 2-0 defeat.

After the debacle of the 2010 World Cup in Zimbabwe, it’s difficult to see where Spanish soccer goes now.

This story has been viewed 2634 times.
TOP top