|"I'm just a glorified mechanic."|
|Yes, he is obviously named after Carl Sagan, haha, but the name has importance for his character. |
Sagan means "wise one" and Carlyle means "protected tower". Also, it just sounds cool.
Anyway, going back to his being a physcist engineer and architect, as you might remember, quantum physics is the basis for my world. I've been learning so much about it of late as well as other areas of science, and one exciting thing I've learned about is nanotechnology. There is still a ways for it to advance, but the things we can already do are simple amazing! We can move individual atoms and build small structures out of them, moving atoms as if they were merely lego blocks. One accomplishment in nanotechnology was back in 1997, when Cornell University created a guitar that was the size of a human cell! Here is a picture of it:
|"The world's smallest guitar is 10 micrometers long -- about the size of a single cell -- with six strings each about 50 nanometers, or 100 atoms, wide. Made by Cornell University researchers from crystalline silicon." - Cornell Chronicle|
Nanotechnology will only continue to advance, but the fascinating thing is, the smaller and smaller we go (which is why our technologies continue to decrease in size), there will be a point where we won't be able to get any smaller because quantum physics takes over, the wave/particle duality. Technology as we've come to understand it will hit its limit within the very near future, your iPhone or iWatch or storage devices will only take you so far. That is where another crazy concept will take over: quantum computers, which is a whole other fascinating subject in itself. However, returning back to atoms, and using them as building blocks, one of the ideas I want to incorporate in my world is that technology is so advanced, that humanity is able to manipulate the very smallest of small subatomic particles, thereby mastering matter completely. This concept is very similar to the Star Trek replicator, in which Captain Picard always asks for his Earl Grey. This is the same idea, syntheizing materials at a subatomic level. However, in my world, it is taken a step further, where humanity is able to manipulate everything. If they want to create suns, galaxies, planets, make infinitly complex structures, change elements from one to another, anything they literally desired and dreamed, they can do this. Nothing is off limits for them, and so in that way the world of the quantum is magnified and put on display on an universal scale. So, this where my "engineers" and "architects" come in, which they would be the experts in this field. It takes an Engineer to be able to understand the technology and science behind the machines (or as I'm calling them in my world, "quantum simulators") and it takes an Architect to have the skill and artistry to create them. In my world being an Architect is one of the highest and in demand positions because, obviously, people would be needed who have the skill to be able to maintain a society of such capabilities. Since this skill is made possible, ultimately, by science, scientists usually end up just becoming Architects, just so that they can be useful. It is depressing for the scientist in that the practical avenues of their work are so limited, but Dr. Carlyle, in this case, is a very exceptional Architect and Engineer. It is with his help that Dr. Sarton will be able to bring to fruition his theories and ideas in the story.
Before I leave the subject, though, one of the foundational principles, or the science, behind my "quantum simulators" is the Higgs Field. One of the greatest discoveries that has occured recently, was the Higgs Boson. It was a theorized particle (which makes up the Higgs Field), that was thought to give fundamental particles their mass. Well, it was theorized correctly, because it was found in the particle collider at CERN in 2012! Basically, elementary particles (such as quarks and electrons) are given mass as they interact with the Higgs Field, and these elementary particles go on to make larger particles, such as neutrons and protons, then ultimately atoms. So, it would seem to me, that if you were to somehow manipulate the Higgs Field, you would be able to begin to manipulate matter itself, because you could change the structure of subatomic particles by the smaller constituents of subatomic particles. This is the basic idea behind my quantum simulators, though since this is the far advanced future, I am assuming that there are even more infinitly complex quantum fields used for manipulation, because all that we are and see, what gives mass to things, isn't *just* from the Higgs Field (actually most of it isn't!). I'm still trying to piece together basic concepts on the science of my story, but this is one of the foundational elements.
So, as I come to the end of my post, (I hope you've enjoyed all our sciencing!) I'll leave you with one last video that explains Higgs and the elementary particles, and how amazing it is that most of what makes up mass is *not* mass! The masslessness of mass is staggering! O_o
Another completed piece of Dr. Sarton entitled Sacrifice.
He makes everything beautiful in its time . . . Ecclesiastes 3:11