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  • danikahannon

Physics Dreams

"When you make a decision, you are really diving into a strong current that will bring you to places you never dreamed of when you first made that decision." - Paulo Coelho

Getting Started

Quantum physics has been on my radar for a long time.

But I first heard of it in 2008, when my high school physics teacher talked about a book called the "The Dancing Wuli Masters." He said it challenged his understanding of physics to the point where he could only read a bit at a time before he had to put it down and think about what he'd read.

That was striking.

And for some reason, the book's title stuck with me.

Now let's flash forward to 2015. I was reading the New York Times and stumbled on an article about quantum physics titled, "Sorry Einstein. Quantum Study Suggests 'Spooky Action' Is Real." That caught my eye.

When I read the article, I was fascinated. I wanted to know more about quantum physics, but with my demanding work schedule I didn't have time to spare.

Photo from the New York Times article. Photo Credit: Frank Auperele/Delft University Technology.

By the spring of 2016, I'd changed careers and my schedule opened up. Finally, I had enough time and drive to start reading "The Dancing Wuli Masters." I found that like Mr. Blair, I could only read a small amount at a time before I needed a break.

That didn't turn me away, though. Instead, I became more curious; which prompted me to read journal articles and more books on quantum physics.

That fall, I spent Thanksgiving at my sister's with her newborn and the rest of our family. While looking after my niece, I read to her from a book called "The Universe: Learning Scientists Explore the Origin, Mysteries and Future of the Cosmos."

It was complex material and I couldn't help but joke to her that, surely, she understood more of what I was telling her than I did.

In the months after that, my interest in quantum physics stayed with me. Yet it remained just that, an interest.

Then things started to change.

Speeding Up

In the winter of 2018, I read a book called the "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up."

One of the book's promises was that if the reader cleaned her home and got rid of things that didn't bring her joy, it'd be easier to realize what was meaningful in her life and what she really wanted.

Sure enough, that happened.

As I found myself less focused on things, my mind spent time on new ideas. One day, I had the thought that it'd be fun to study quantum physics at a deeper level. I held onto that and day dreamed about what it'd be like.

In the spring of that year, I stumbled on a book called "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big." Its author shared what had made him successful, with one piece of advice standing out in particular: write down your goals.

I followed that guidance and, almost every night for a couple months, I wrote down my goals. Including the one of wanting to study quantum physics.

Over weeks of writing, I noticed I added things to that goal, like wanting to make great contributions to the field, work in a lab and with an international team. As I started taking myself seriously, I thought about what area of quantum physics would pair science and the business world together.

Quantum computing popped into mind, so I Googled it, then realized I'd found a match.

That July, I met an advisor at the University of Minnesota to talk about their physics program. The meeting went well, but as I was leaving I started to doubt myself. When I got back to my car, NPR was on and they were airing a story on physics. I laughed out loud in response to the happy coincidence.

That same month, I asked a gentleman in my network if he knew anyone who worked in quantum computing. Lo and behold, he did.

Thanks to his introduction, I met an executive in the quantum computing field and gained a new mentor in the process.

The Present Moment

Since July, I've talked to several other mentors and gotten their input on how to move forward. In response to their guidance, I've reshaped my strategy and feel the outcomes will be the better for it.

Parting Words

In thinking about the timing of my life events, it struck me that they were similarly patterned to the Fibonacci sequence. Happenings started slowly at first, then picked up until they occurred close together. How neat is that?

The Fibonnaci spiral is on the left. Fibonnaci numbers shows up in nature, too, and can be seen in the fern's uncurling leaves on the right.

Now, then. I've got one last thing to share. Mr. Blair, if you happen to be reading this, thank you. You're the spark that started it all.

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