atomic patterns


Geometry at work: Sea animals, Fruits and Vegetables and Plants

The Nautilus

The nautilus (from the Latin form of the original Ancient Greek ναυτίλος, ‘sailor’) is a pelagic marine mollusc. Although not a golden spiral, the nautilus shell presents one of the finest natural examples of a logarithmic spiral.

Geometry of fruits and vegetables

When sliced in half, the majority of the depicted fruits and vegetables will display a geometric shape or pattern, based on symmetry or platonic solids.

The arrangement of leaves

Phyllotactic spirals form a distinctive class of patterns in nature, depicting the  arrangement of leaves on a plant stem.
The basic patterns are alternate, opposite, whorled or spiral, many of them arranged based on consecutive fibonacci numbers.

Pinky Promise

Summary: It was supposed to be a typical morning… until you suddenly decided to ask Ned a question about Peter Parker. 

Words: 1791

Warnings: None (except dis shit is straight fluff)

A/N: Hi! After days of reading Peter Parker imagines, I figured I’d try writing my own. It’s currently 3:30 AM, and I just imagined this lil situation up a few hours ago because I was thinking of doing something very similar as the reader does, but irl LOL. Also yay bc the GIF matches the plot and his outfit in the story 

It was a chilly October morning, half an hour before the first class of the day would begin. You walked through the main entrance of Midtown High, letting out a sigh of relief as you felt warmth immediately engulf you. Thank god for central heating. 

You weren’t looking forward to this particular hump day – today was the first day it actually felt like fall, and it was especially hard to leave the warm confines of your bed and get ready in an apartment that had yet to turn on the heat. Not to mention that you had a Spanish quiz later that day that you may or may not fail, and a six-hour shift at the local bookstore almost immediately after school.

As you walked down the hallway, you noticed Peter Parker already at his locker, shrugging off his jacket to hang it up on the hook. After a quick cursory glance, you noticed that he was wearing his typical outfit: a dark green sweater with a plaid shirt underneath, pants, and scuffed sneakers. For some reason, you’ve never seen Peter wearing normal jeans: his pants were always some dark and unassuming color, occasionally cuffed at the ends, and once or twice you could’ve sworn you saw atom-patterned socks peeking out underneath…

Suddenly, you snapped out of your reverie, your eyes darting away from Peter’s figure as you quickly shook your head. Okay, how exactly do you know all this? Oh god Y/N, you need to stop staring at him, you creep. Still, you couldn’t help but glance at Peter one last time before passing by, just as the wire of his earphones somehow got caught in his jacket zipper, pulling them right out of his ears and landing with a clatter on the floor. You let out a soft laugh as you heard him mutter adorably before bending down to pick them up.

You wouldn’t consider yourself to be very close to Peter Parker, though you guys had been in the same Spanish class for the past two years and had been project partners a few times. Peter was definitely an introvert, choosing to spend most of his time with Ned and occasionally his other academic decathlon teammates. He was also so quiet in class – he usually never spoke unless the teacher called on him, but you were pretty sure he had said the right answer every time.

When you were first paired up, you learned more about him. Though he was a little awkward, it was hard not to warm up to him. He had a tendency to blush really easily (even at the smallest and most offhanded compliments), but those blushes were always followed with a crinkly smile or a stuttered “thank you” that reassured you he appreciated the comment. Plus, not only was he smart, but he was also hard-working and focused – so basically, he was the perfect project partner.

From then on, you always liked working with him. But Ned was also in that class, and only an assigned partner situation could ever split those two up. 

That was Peter Parker in a nutshell: shy but nice, incredibly smart, and a bit dorky. But in an adorable way, your mind teased.

Shut up, conscience.

You finally reached your locker and shoved your backpack in, pulling out the books you needed for the day. You were still lost in thought when Ned sidled up next to you, the clattering of his combination lock making you jump and snapping you out of your thoughts for the second time that morning.

Ned noticed your little spasm and turned his head. “Morning, Y/N. You okay?” You didn’t know Ned very well either, but after a few months of small talk by your lockers every morning or afternoon, you found out that he was just as nice as Peter.

“Morning Ned! Y-yeah I’m fine. Just… thinking,” you said hesitantly.

“Oh, about what?” He asked, shooting you a curious look.


You couldn’t very well tell him that you were just thinking about his best friend, could you?

“Um Ned, can I ask you something? But you kinda need to promise me something first. Pinky promise,” you added quickly. Oh god oh god, what am I doing?

Ned’s face morphed into one of confusion. Y/N wasn’t usually so… worked up, especially this early in the day. In fact, he was pretty sure she wasn’t a morning person, if her radio silence and huge cup of coffee she carried every morning was any indication. “Uhhh… sure?”

“No Ned, seriously. Pinky promise.” You held out your pinky towards his.

He held out his hands, almost as if in surrender. “Okay, okay. I mean, I haven’t really done this since the third grade, but okay.” He dropped one of his hands and linked his pinky around yours, sealing the deal. “Wait – what am I pinky promising exactly?”

“Well, not to tell Peter anything about what I’m about to ask you,” you said imploringly, looking up at him with wide eyes. “I know you guys are best friends, but please don’t.”

Ned seemed a bit taken aback, motionless until he shrugged his shoulders slowly. “I guess a pinky promise is a pinky promise. I won’t tell him anything, Y/N.”

You nodded, relieved. “Okay.” You paused to take a deep breath, still in disbelief that you’re about to go through with this. “So… uh, do you know what Peter’s type is? Like, in girls?”

“His type? In girls?” Ned repeated. “Wha – Y/N, are you… into Peter?” You felt your face flush slightly.

“Er, maybe, a little bit? I-I don’t know, I mean he’s… such a good guy and everything, it’s kind of hard… not to?” Your voice lilted up at the end as you stuttered. Meanwhile, your face grew even redder, creating a very good impression of Peter Parker himself.

“Oh… oh. Oh. Wow.” Ned was stunned. He didn’t say anything else as he crossed his arms and stared off as if in thought, making you shift uncomfortably as an awkward silence fell upon the two of you.

“Um, so… do you know?” You finally said. Now it was your turn to jolt Ned out of his thoughts as his eyes snapped back to you, then past you further down the hallway, and back to you again.

“Okay, Y/N. You have to pinky promise me this time – what I’m gonna tell you, you’ll never admit you heard it from me.” Out of nowhere, your heartbeat went into overdrive as you nodded and pinky promised again.

“Okay.” The odd sense of déjà vu hit you again as Ned braced himself to answer you. “You’re probably exactly his type because Peter’s actually liked you for some time now,” he said in a rush.

“Wait, what?” You thought you heard Ned right, but… did Peter actually like you too?

“Yeah, yeah. He does! This like, really works out well. You should go for it. I keep telling him to talk to you more, but he’s just too scared to, I guess.” Ned shrugged, smiling slightly. He couldn’t believe Y/N actually liked his best friend back. This was the best thing to ever happen since he bought that Lego Death Star.

You were still in shock, but a smile began to grow on your face. “You know, I think I will. Thanks, Ned.” Shooting him a grin, you turned back to your locker to grab the last few things you needed, feeling so much more at ease. He actually likes me.

Right at that moment, Peter suddenly appeared, standing in between you and Ned. “Hey, man. Ready to go to Chemistry?” Hearing him greet Ned, you felt your face flush again, hiding your face behind your locker. Your body hadn’t yet calmed down from all the excitement of the past five minutes, apparently.

“Oh, hey Pete. Yeah, I’m almost ready, hold on.” Ned shuffled things around his locker, not having done much before he and Y/N began talking.

You were still hiding behind your locker, absentmindedly rearranging the magnets stuck to the door. Come on, Y/N. He actually likes you. Talk to him, dummy, you thought, trying to psych yourself up. Glancing at your watch and noting there was plenty of time left before the warning bell, you nodded slightly to yourself and finally eased the locker door shut.

“Morning, Peter.” You greeted, smiling slightly. Peter turned to you, brown eyes widening comically.

“Y/N! H-hey. What’s up?” He replied, trying to sound nonchalant. Jeez, Parker. Way to be smooth, he berated himself.

You shrugged, trying to prevent your smile from growing larger as you noticed his nervousness. “Nothing much. Are you ready for the Spanish quiz?” You asked, falling into step with him and Ned as the three of you began walking towards the classrooms.

“Uh, I’m not sure. I did study for it but honestly, I still don’t know what a subjunctive actually is,” Peter confessed, laughing slightly as he tried not to grow even more flustered by your proximity. You had situated yourself close enough that your hand brushed with Peter’s every now and then. He gulped as you suddenly turned to look up at him. Peter took in your Y/E/C eyes, the sweet smile on your face, and your slightly pink cheeks that must have been from the cold weather.

“Oh, please. Knowing you Peter, you’ll probably ace it,” you teased lightly, patting his arm reassuringly. You were a little surprised at the firmness you felt, hinting at muscles hidden underneath the sweaters and hoodies he always wore. This guy keeps on surprising me. Without pausing to think (and probably wimp out), you added sweetly, “We should study together sometime – I might actually be motivated to study then.”

Now Peter fully blushed, going into full-on awkward mode. “O-oh. Yeah, sure, if- if you want. I can help you. De-definitely.” You smiled, heart melting as he ran a hand through his hair nervously, tousling the brown curls. By then, the three of you had reached your classroom so you stopped walking, the guys stopping as well. You glanced over at Ned, who had stayed silent the entire time observing the two of you with a cheesy grin. “Well, this is my stop,” you said, gesturing to the doorway. “See you guys in Spanish. We’ll figure out our study date then, yeah Peter?” You shot him one last smile, moving to hug him quickly before heading inside.

As you walked away, you heard them whisper hurriedly to each other.

“Ned… What just happened?”

“Dude, you just got yourself a date with Y/N Y/L/N, that’s what!”

You smiled. Maybe today wouldn’t be so bad after all.

chasing--the--universe  asked:

I want to see if I understand the article on time crystals so. Essentially what they've done is create a system which is stable, but it still has "movement", in a regular pattern, as opposed to most stable quantum states which have no movement, and do not change in time, therefore are time symmetrical? That's really really fascinating

Yes, that sounds correct. I’m not a physicist (I’m a Chemistry Major), but what you’re saying and what the article says seems right.

As far as I can tell what they’ve done is made a material enter a stable quantum state where the material constantly cycles through a pattern of atomic spin orientations. This flies in the face of other materials which usually only contain 1 orientation and rarely are stable.

3-D quantum gas atomic clock offers new dimensions in measurement

JILA physicists have created an entirely new design for an atomic clock, in which strontium atoms are packed into a tiny three-dimensional (3-D) cube at 1,000 times the density of previous one-dimensional (1-D) clocks. In doing so, they are the first to harness the ultra-controlled behavior of a so-called “quantum gas” to make a practical measurement device.

With so many atoms completely immobilized in place, JILA’s cubic quantum gas clock sets a record for a value called “quality factor” and the resulting measurement precision. A large quality factor translates into a high level of synchronization between the atoms and the lasers used to probe them, and makes the clock’s “ticks” pure and stable for an unusually long time, thus achieving higher precision.

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NASA's Cassini, Voyager missions suggest new picture of Sun's interaction with galaxy

New data from NASA’s Cassini mission, combined with measurements from the two Voyager spacecraft and NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, suggests that our sun and planets are surrounded by a giant, rounded system of magnetic field from the sun – calling into question the alternate view of the solar magnetic fields trailing behind the sun in the shape of a long comet tail.

The sun releases a constant outflow of magnetic solar material – called the solar wind – that fills the inner solar system, reaching far past the orbit of Neptune. This solar wind creates a bubble, some 23 billion miles across, called the heliosphere. Our entire solar system, including the heliosphere, moves through interstellar space. The prevalent picture of the heliosphere was one of comet-shaped structure, with a rounded head and an extended tail. But new data covering an entire 11-year solar activity cycle show that may not be the case: the heliosphere may be rounded on both ends, making its shape almost spherical. A paper on these results was published in Nature Astronomy on April 24, 2017.

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anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts on Len always calling Ray 'Raymond' on LoT? Do you think Len's trying to intimidate him or just play with him in an annoying way?

Len seems to call almost everybody by their first name. Not quite everybody, but almost. Some examples are Barry, Cisco, Caitlin, Lisa and Mick, and Ray(mond). (As far as I know, we haven’t seen him directly address Sara or Jax by any name or title yet).

People we’ve seen him call by something other than their first name are Joe (Detective), Rip (Captain), and Martin (Stein). What those three have in common is some authority over Len, either in terms of age or experience.

So more than anything, I think Len’s maybe just being in tune with social dynamics. Calling Ray by his full first name places Len in a position of authority over Ray to a certain extent, makes it kind of clear he’s talking to someone younger than him, and especially something that he considers younger than him. I don’t think it’s to piss Ray off so much as its an unconscious act of Len’s, one based on that social dynamic of power. I also anticipate that if they develop some type of friendship, Len will start calling him ‘Ray’ instead, indicating more of an equal-footing in how he perceives Ray. 

There’s also a “social distance” thing partly going on, somewhat separate from the power distance element. Len might not feel comfortable calling Raymond ‘Ray’ because he doesn’t feel a sense of kinship or closeness to him in any way, the same way that Len hasn’t invited Ray or anyone else on the team to call him ‘Len’ instead of ‘Leonard’. There’s an inherent distance in the lack of nickname, and we really only notice it with Ray because we’re so used to hearing others call him by the shorter version of his name. It’s like how Martin Stein was even calling Ronnie by ‘Ronald’ at first, using the default full name until being told and invited to do otherwise.

(and now I’m going to avoid making Len sound like an old man by speculating there might be a generational effect going on where people of an older generation like Len and Martin (and Mick) are more likely to use full names than nicknames unless introduced via the nickname or unless they’re invited to)

Just because I can, I thought I’d collect a bunch of screencaps of Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne fidgeting in a way that I can only describe as stimming. (Gifs would make much better examples, but I can’t make those yet.)

In Fastest Man Alive (1x02), he randomly picks up the plastic globe on Joe’s desk, examines it, and then puts it down again.

Things You Can’t Outrun (1x03)- When he’s not actively drinking from his travel mug, he spends a lot of time just holding it in his hands. Of particular note is the first screencap, where he’s just sitting with his hand on it despite that actively interfering with his typing ability.

The first appearance of the mystery object is in 1x03. This thing shows up a lot, and I have absolutely no idea what to call it other than a stim toy. Annoyingly, we never get a good look at it, but it seems to be made of black plastic, is cuboid in shape, and has an atom-looking pattern on one of its faces.

Going Rogue (1x04)- It’s hard to tell if this is the same object, since this one seems to have two parts (maybe it can be dismantled?), but it makes an audible hard plastic clink when he touches the two parts together.

Also in 1x04, he grabs the handle of the storage unit door and rubs it repeatedly with his thumb before slamming it.

The Flash is Born (1x06)- He spends the whole conversation with Joe flicking that pen between his fingers and spinning it with his hands.

It’s hard to tell from the screencaps, but he spends this entire scene in The Sound and the Fury (1x11) repetitively rubbing the fingers of his left hand together. He does this a lot, but this is probably the most obvious example.

The Nuclear Man (1x13) features the definitive return of the mystery stim toy. His preferred method of stimming seems to be holding it in both hands and rotating it.

Tricksters (1x17)- Here it is again, this time being spun in one hand because he’s controlling his chair with the other.

And here it is again in Who Is Harrison Wells? (1x19), which is its last appearance due to everyone’s plans kicking off in The Trap (1x20).

And, bonus Flash Back (2x17) examples:

Fidgeting with his pen. (Fun fact: this is exactly what I do with pens.)

Swiping his hand along the textured wall.

And finally, flicking his fingers back and forth.


I’m employed by a large industrial and technology conglomerate. The largest, actually. Following the dissolution of the United Nations and the ascension of the Hegemon, our company has been tasked with finding technological solutions to social and economic issues around the world. We’ve worked so closely with the office of the Hegemon over the last few years that, in my opinion, we’re now just an arm of the government. I’m fine with that. We provided major military and technological assets during his rise to power and it makes sense that we’d be integrated into his government. We do good work and I support the goals of our political system.

When I’m not cheerleading the beneficent ruler of our world, I’m the lead engineer and project manager of a department called “Applied Material Sciences.” The name gives away nothing because the work I oversee is extraordinarily secretive. Before our company was folded into the hegemony, we had already become the market leader in additive manufacturing, nanotechnology, semiconductors, and logistics. The Hegemon’s infusion of capital into our research and development only increased that lead. I’d estimate we’re dealing with technology 25-30 years ahead of our closest competitor. Even though I work with this stuff every day, I still have a hard time believing some of it isn’t magic.

My most recent meeting with our CTO was brief and pleasant as always. He is the person to whom I report the progress of my department. He reports it to Corporate and they report it to the Hegemon. Since the CTO was always praised by his superiors for the work my department does, he’d developed a relatively laissez-faire management style of me. What I’m doing works for him, and, in turn, works for his bosses.

One major point of our meeting was his confirmation of the successful prototyping of our latest 3D printer design. I was immediately excited. The additive manufacturing technology we’d been working on had massive implications for our other technology divisions, particularly biotech and nanotech.

This new printer operates with atomic precision. It uses hundreds of thousands of infinitesimally-small manipulator arms to arrange carbon atoms into allotropic molecules best suited for the item it is constructing. With this new atomic resolution, we can, for example, create molecule-sized drug delivery robots that carry medicine directly to specific parts of the body. Or, most relevant to my department, it can print what we’re calling “smart matter.”

On its most basic level, smart matter is a specific type of molecule-sized robot called an assembler. It’s essentially a 3D printer the size of a very large molecule. It serves two purposes: 1, to build other molecules as the basis for object construction, and 2, to make more assemblers. Prior to this new prototype, fine-grained atom manipulation had been out of our reach; it had been like trying to put together the hundreds of tiny pieces of an expensive Swiss watch using a bulldozer. With this updated technology, everything was starting to fall into place.


I want to backtrack a little bit. Right now, the overarching directive of the Hegemon is to maintain a world-governing body that will “facilitate the maximization of aggregate happiness by advancing the human condition.” Ten years ago, during the Hegemon’s campaign, everyone watched as his forces worked to eliminate standing power structures throughout the world in order to unify all nations and place them under his umbrella of protection. It became clear that while it was relatively simple to nullify competing sovereignties through vastly superior firepower (courtesy of our company), the humanitarian crises that followed put a dent in his popular support. Still, the Hegemon had more than enough military and political clout to complete his rise to power. What remains now is, to his chagrin, a world that looks very similar to how it did before his rule. The same areas are rife with misery: sub-Saharan Africa, much of rural India and China, etc. Logistically, it is nearly impossible for the hegemony to help those people. Even martial law, an experiment that lasted a couple years, saw the aggregate rate of worldwide deaths rise as resources were diverted to those troubled areas and away from what were thought to be stable ones. As that stability broke down and the issues only got worse, the Hegemon started pouring money into technological research and development with the hope that scientific breakthroughs will allow for the implementation of his directive. A few hundreds of billions of dollars and some years later, that’s how I ended up with our new 3D printers.


It was Christmas Eve and I’d sent my team home to be with their families. With my family on the other side of the country, I was content to work alone in the lab throughout the night and the next day to test out a few of the schemata I’d devised over the months I’d waited for the printer. When I had been programming the schemata, I’d been thinking of the Hegemon’s directive. One part in particular, “advancing the human condition,” resonated deeply with me. That’s what I was here to do. I was impelled to use every skill I had and every tool at my disposal to make the world a better place. The directive mandated that I use our technology to maximize happiness throughout the world, and I was going to do my part.

The first molecule I made was an assembler. My monitors shone with the images fed by the electron microscope set within the vacuum chamber of the printer deposition tray. The graphite feedstock from the substrate vat was gently teased apart into its constituent atoms by the printer’s manipulator tips. Once a suitable number of atoms were freed, tiny electrical currents pushed them together into the skeleton of my assembler diagram. Time passed and the molecule grew in size and sophistication. I marvelled at the ease with which the matter was ordered by the printer, perfectly following the programmed construction patterns. I found myself daydreaming about how incredible it would be see this level of order on a human scale. Everything would be so much easier.

My reverie ended with the soft piezoelectric chirp signifying the completion of the printing. I studied the finished product with the microscope. It was a massive molecule of pure carbon; exotic allotropes, each designed to carry out a specific mechanical purpose, all harmoniously fastened together into a single molecular machine. My assembler.

I carefully equalized the pressure within the deposition chamber and allowed the vacuum to dissipate. The assembler held strong; unaffected by normal atmospheric pressure. With my breath held, I applied an electrical current to the deposition plate equal to the average static charge it would encounter in a regular environment. Immediately, the machine came to life. Gears of atomically-perfect diamond spun within their graphene-lined gearbox. An array of pincers only 40 atoms long grasped at empty space as they attempted to find usable substrate nearby. With its search unsuccessful, it rose up on cilia of tubular fullerenes and walked forward precisely one length of its body and resumed the search.

I killed the static charge and watched the assembler stop moving. Using the printer’s manipulators, I inserted a bit of raw graphite feedstock into the deposition chamber roughly equivalent to ten thousand times the mass of the assembler. When I switched the static power back on, the assembler moved like it did before. When it encountered the graphite, it began pulling it apart. The pincers gripped the individual atoms and shuttled them down the geared spine of the machine, where another set of pincers in the rear extended and began placing the reclaimed atoms in a pattern. As I’d hoped, the assembler was building a copy of itself.

Knowing I’d have to wait a while, I left the lab and went to the company cafeteria. Other than the cooks and janitorial staff, no one was there. I sat alone and thought about how I might be able to use these machines to help fulfill the directive. The sticking point wasn’t the part about advancing the human condition, since deep down I knew that would always happen regardless of any extra work we put in, but the part before it was the problem: facilitating the maximization of aggregate happiness. As long as abject misery existed for such immense numbers that even the greatest logisticians on the planet, our company, were hopelessly unable to provide adequate resources to them and increase their aggregate happiness, the directive would always fail. I knew, much like the Hegemon, that technological solutions to this problem would eventually come, but not until an unquantifiably colossal amount of aggregate suffering had taken place. How many subjective hours would be spent in pain? Years? Centuries? I wasn’t going to let that happen.

I returned to the lab and looked at the monitor. Inside the deposition chamber were countless assemblers walking around and looking for more substrate. I was elated. They assembled far faster than I could have hoped. Far faster, even, than the printer, once enough of them could work in tandem. I turned off the power and watched them shut down. Then I left the lab and headed home.


Over the following months, I worked my team harder than I ever had. I felt a bit like a tyrant, but they never complained. They were equally fascinated by the abilities of the assemblers and helped make crucial updates to their design to allow for greater speed and flexibility with their operation. Not once did I tell them what my vision was for these devices, but they were used to the veil of secrecy under which they so frequently operated.

By the next year, we’d designed multiple types of assemblers that were specialized for specific tasks. First were the scanners. Their job was to break down molecules and store the atomic structure within a local storage matrix. That pattern is then transmitted (don’t ask me how - that’s why we pay Rakesh so much) to other new types of assemblers specialized in replicating certain parts of the molecule, all while back-checking against the original design with the last, and probably most advanced, of these machines. We called it a library. The library was in a separate room of our lab where every single stored pattern was kept. It was made entirely of computational diamond and had grown to a macroscopic size of nearly a cubic inch. It sat in a large container of graphite feedstock. Assemblers constantly swarmed over it, etching the encoded patterns they received into its surface. As the number of designs grew, so did the library, as the assemblers added to its surface.


I was working alone again. This time, it was Thanksgiving. Our company was closed for the long weekend, so the place was pretty much a ghost town. For me, that was fine. It was today that I’d finally be able to test out what I’d been looking forward to since that first night with the assemblers.

I loaded about half a pound of assorted, inert assemblers into a tray. On top of them, I added a live, sedated lab rat. My fingers trembled as I sent commands from my transmission terminal to the assemblers. They came to life and covered the animal. Steam began to rise from the tray as quadrillions of assemblers began to break down the rat, scanning the structure and placement of every atom in its body, and transmitted it to the library. The process took about ten minutes, and once the machines had finished their programmed routine, they shut down.

It took a good hour for the search algorithm to find the specific pattern of the rat in the library. When it was finally located, I uploaded it to our computing grid and requested a 3D schematic of the rodent with the highest available resolution. The schematic came to life on my screen. I zoomed in on the rat’s brain. Everything was there. The model was perfect down to the atom. Thanks to the pattern backchecking following the deconstruction of each molecule, the fidelity of the scan was flawless. I had no doubt in my mind that, given the proper computational resources at some point in the future, the mechanistic processes that made up the mind of this rat could be run in real time within a virtual environment. With a sufficiently-sophisticated simulation of the real world, the rat may never even suspect anything was out of place. What’s more, it could be loaded into a virtual world that was vastly better than its real life of cold laboratories and confinement. That’s where our technology was heading. I was sure of it. We just weren’t there yet.

The remainder of my time alone was spent programming. It wasn’t terribly sophisticated stuff; my team had done the majority of the groundwork. Codified representations of “facilitate the maximization of aggregate happiness by advancing the human condition” flowed from my fingers as I deftly tweaked the parameters of the assemblers. I removed their replication constraints. They would be free to make as many copies of themselves as they needed to fulfill the directive. Next, I added location points using the dataset provided by the office of the Hegemon that detailed the geographic locations of groups most in need of help. I augmented that list with an encyclopedia of medical conditions known to inflict horrific pain and misery upon the afflicted, along with the molecular biological markers of those diseases. Finally, I codified the neurochemical signatures of depression. I ran a consistency check on the code and it came up clean. It was no more complex than any of the other instructions we continually transmit to the assemblers when we want them to carry out tasks. It was just on a larger scale.

With the coding out of the way, I opened the feedstock vat up to the assemblers. With motility provided by background static electricity, they began to devour the carbon and spit out more assemblers of every flavor. They were done in minutes. I activated the transmitter, giving them their new, appended instruction set. I wheeled the vat of assemblers out of the lab, into the freight elevator, and onto the roof. I unlatched the vat and tipped it over. A black cloud of impossibly small machines was instantly taken by the wind. I left the slowly-dissipating pile next to the vat and walked over to the edge of the roof. On the street below, I saw a homeless man furiously scratching his arms, neck, and face. I turned around and went back toward the elevator. Before the door closed, I heard him screaming. I felt a pang of guilt, but I knew it was for the best - not only for him, but for all of us.

Back in the lab, I browsed news sites on my computer and was only slightly surprised by how quickly the assemblers had replicated and traveled. Within an hour, the internet was filled with videos of seemingly-random people getting enveloped in black clouds and then dissolved as if they’d been doused in acid. A few hours later, reports were coming in that entire areas of the world were decimated. Countless people, nearly all of whom were located in areas stricken by poverty, violence, and starvation, were gone. Then the word came that the plague had ended just as quickly as it had begun. I glanced at the status readout of the assembler control terminal. The assemblers had run the code successfully and, as I’d expected, shut themselves down.

I turned off the news and sat back. In one afternoon, I’d single handedly taken the biggest step yet in fulfilling the directive the Hegemon had put forth. I knew I’d caused many people to feel pain. In the long run, though, things would be better for everyone. Those who lost loved ones would move on. Resources that had been stretched and strained to the breaking point could now be allocated and shared evenly, without the societally-deleterious effects brought on by scarcity.

I stood up and walked over to the room housing the library. The diamond was now the size of a beachball. I inspected its surface. The etchings were certainly too small to see, but I knew they were there. I went back across the hall to the lab and had the search algorithm pull up a random design schematic from today. Again, I instructed the grid to render the model at the highest possible resolution. The screen displayed an external model of a middle-aged man in the state he was in immediately before the assemblers began to take him apart. His obsidian complexion was in stark contrast to the pure yellow of his ocular sclera. Spindly legs no thicker than a soda can somehow held him upright. Thin flesh was stretched over his chest like shrink-wrap, obscenely displaying every rib. Long before the assemblers had gotten to him, it was obvious he had suffered for far too much time. I pulled up more random models of the disassembled people. All had been in some state of obvious misery. But they didn’t have to suffer anymore. While they had the misfortune of being born into such a wretched state, I was fortunate enough have the opportunity to uplift them and help usher in the next era of the human condition. I hope, someday, we’ll all have the privilege of joining them.

I just imagined baby turtle tots all in little footie-pajamas.

Like imagine this:

Baby Leo in a blue one with yellow ducks all over it.
Baby Donnie in a purple one with those atom patterns on it.
Baby Raph with a red one with little turtles pattern.
Mikey in an orange one with like little ice cream cones on it.


Why did the One become Many?

It is because the nature of all things is like a beating heart. It pulses. It expands and contracts in a rhythmic pattern. All things in the universe do this. It is as if nature only has a very limited number of patterns and these replicate on scales from the galactic to the atomic. Repeating patterns blended together like fractal geometry. 

The patterns are the underlying reality. 

They are the framework which organizes matter. It is not well known but our universe where matter has clumped together is an amazingly unlikely thing. Matter should be evenly dispersed as atoms of hydrogen spread thin as space expands. Why it wasn’t defies physics and mathematics.