art by Seth Alan Bareiss
by Preston Grassmann
Erwin stands outside the door of his house/her house and wonders if his wife is home/not home. He has just finished another long day of theoretical discussions about cats and boxes and he just wants to sleep. He knows that whether or not she is there depends on the observation of that morning's event.
In quantum entanglement, if the measurement of one entangled particle is known (clockwise), the other will have an inverse corresponding value (counterclockwise), no matter how far apart they are.
He had an argument with his wife that morning. She told him that he was too entangled in his work, that he had begun to live his life in a state of uncertainty, and that they would both be much happier if he were more certain about his life. "You're both right and wrong," he had said, "depending on the situation."
What if he doesn't go inside the house, he wonders now, staring at the door. The moment he walks inside, he will know if she is there or not.
Erwin opens the door. Instead of looking inside the house, he looks up at the walls. The wallpaper is a vivid fuchsia with ornate swirls and little vases. But it could also be a soft shade of red, covered with the faces of women looking down at him reproachfully. He was never sure which. Of course, it could've been both.
"Is anyone home?" he asks.