Waves And Particles

Entry by: Daisy

30th September 2015
'One Night in Bern'

“Come on Al, tell me what the big secret is?” pleaded Conrad.

“I haven’t sent it off for publication yet,” said Al, unbuttoning his waistcoat as he relaxed back into the green, leather seated booth.

“What could you have possibly written that is so hush, hush? Is it a scandal?” whispered Conrad.

“Well, I’m sure some folk might see it as one,” smiled Al.

“You can trust me. You can’t tell me you’ve written something spectacular and then not tell me what it’s about. Have you got it with you?”

Al, nervously touched his leather case, which was protectively jammed between his leg and the side of the booth. He couldn’t tell if anyone was listening. But, he reasoned that nobody could hear the physical ink of written words, and so he unbuckled the bronze clasp and held out his master-piece.

“Read this bit, and then you’ll get the gist of what I’m proposing. But read it to yourself. This has to stay between you and me until publication. Do you understand?” he murmured.

“You have my word and my honour, Al.”

As Al, handed the manuscript over, he realised the room seemed eerily quiet. As though the space and all its occupants knew he was about to change Conrad’s understanding of something thought to be already understood. Although he knew what he had written was most likely correct, he realised there were many who would challenge him. He was nervous about finding out whether Conrad, was going to be a believer, or a disbeliever.

Conrad, grabbed the manuscript and silently scanned it over the places Al, had indicated. After he had read the implicated lines, Al, noticed Conrad’s vision shift back to the very start of the page.

Al, twiddled his thumbs as his stomach churned in suspense. Conrad, finished reading the page and continued flipping over the next pages.

“So,” said Al, to break the silence. Now that what he’d written was being witnessed, he felt like he couldn’t wait any longer for the forthcoming debate.

“I just need to read over this a bit more. But, are you serious?” asked Conrad, hardly looking up.

“It would be rather embarrassing if I wasn’t. But, I’m sure I’m correct about this Conrad,” said Al.

“But, but… this is a big deal, Al. It does make sense and, well, I’m quite shocked. It’s almost like a slap in the face. How could we have not considered this before?” he asked, having started to read the whole paper from the beginning.

Ten minutes passed in silence. Al, just sat and watched his friend read, while Conrad, couldn’t turn the pages over fast enough.

“Look Al, you’re a clever guy. I’ve always known that. But this, well this is a big surprise. Even I didn’t know you had this in you. Are you sure about this? I mean really, are people going to take you seriously? You’re just a patent clerk,” stated Conrad.

“This nugget of glory was conceived by my mind whilst it was dwindling at work. You cannot dispute the math here. I’m sure of it. This is the only way it makes sense, so I don’t think it matters that I’m just a patent clerk. Thank God I am, otherwise I might not have had time to understand the math behind this science,” whispered Al.

Conrad, gazed at Al, in disbelief for several moments.

“So, you are theorising, waves and quanta?” he said.

“Yes, contrary to popular understanding that light photons travel from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ in a wave, I am suggesting that a wave-particle duality exists. Light travels in waves and particles Conrad.”

“If you’re right, this is going to change the foundation of science. You do realise that?” he gasped.

“I’ve plenty more ready to follow that theory,” smiled Al, pleased that Conrad, appeared to be a believer. It wasn’t often that people took him seriously.

“Albert Einstein, you are going to change the world. Fancy that,” said Conrad, who grinned and shook his head.