• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 10

Quantum Zulu

“It’s definitely a representation of a multi-slit experiment,” he said, looking at the picture beside their table.
“I just thought it looked quirky,” she said, worried her opening small talk salvo had been a mistake.
“It’s fascinating. Look at the exploration of the relationship between the broad and the narrow; the horizontal and the vertical; the parallel and the perpendicular.”
“I guess. So, what was the last book you read?” she asked, trying to move the conversation on with one of the interesting blind date questions she’d googled that morning.
“Quantum physics.”
“That’s heavy duty. I’m more of a Sophie Kinsella kinda girl.”
“The double-slit experiment is from quantum physics, the multi-slit must be more advanced.”
She went over his profile in her mind. It didn’t have any red flags. His picture was up-to-date. Their three top interests had matched. He had some humour in his bio. He hadn’t asked for naked pictures. No signs. “Shall we order?”
“Schrodinger’s cat?”
“Is that a special?” she said, flicking through her menu.
“Famous quantum physics experiment. A cat is put in a sealed box with a radioactive substance and until you open the box you don’t know if the cat is dead or alive. You must have heard of it.”
“Why would you do that to a cat?” She was seriously questioning whether their interest in animals was the same.
“You don’t. It’s a thought experiment. The point is until you open the box you don’t know whether the radiation has killed the cat. Do you see? So until you lift the lid the cat can be thought of as being both alive and dead.”


Quantum Zulu

As the waiter went past she flagged him down. “I’ll have a large glass of rose, and the chicken salad.”
“Gammon and chips. Sparkling water, two glasses,” he said, despite not having looked at the menu since she’d commented on the art.
“What one thing would you save if your home was on fire?” she asked, going back to her question list.
“A Zulu shield.”
“That’s unexpected.”
“The more I look at it, the more I think it’s definitely a Zulu shield. Fascinating people the Zulu. They could run a marathon and then fight at the end. They were so alive.”
At the same time she knew the date was dead.