LEVI McPHERSON, a graduate student of analytical chemistry at the University of North Central Florida, is approached by agents of the Homeland Security’s Counter-terrorism Unit. The agency is recruiting Lee to study and expose the loopholes of screening instruments in airports. Struggling financially, he accepted the offer, making him a paid, benevolent hacker of the nation’s gateway. Yet Levi is horrified when an Airbus from Los Angeles disintegrated in mid-air.

At 40, when everybody’s career trajectory is going up, Levi’s still a poor graduate student, struggling financially. His research projects however, are worth million dollars. Researching the highly classified and heavily guarded secrets of detecting traces of explosives, what Lee know was a goldmine. The agency's offer is his financial break . So Levi tackles the problem like a scientist, detailing the loopholes of the aviation security and turning what he knew into a big time money machine.

JIM and JONATHAN of the counter-terrorism unit, where nowhere to be found after Charlotte International Airport, a hub of Delta Airlines closed abruptly because of instrument malfunctions in their security lines. And in a post-Osama Bin Laden’s era, the biggest blow to the United Stated after the 9/11 disaster comes unexpectedly when a passenger plane blew up in the skies of Washington D.C., in the heart of the nation.

Levi knew it was only the start of more troubles, so he recruits his fellow graduate students to counter the future attacks. They have to think like criminals—and scientists too. With the help of FBI counter-terrorism experts, Homeland Security and Transportation Security Agency, the team races to close and plug the loopholes Lee identified.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Cat

I was researching what eigenstate is and found a good explanation from the web.

An eigenstate is one of the many possible states which may exist prior to quantum decoherence

Ok, I don't know what quantum decoherence means, but here's a better analogy.

The story of Schrodinger's Cat is one of the most well known story involving eigenstates. The story goes like this:

There's a cat inside a box, with a poison ready to be release anytime. Since you don't know when the poison is released, the cat is either alive or dead. Alive and dead is the eigenstates.

So what does this philosophical point of view means? It means that you can't predict where exactly a hurricane will touch land. You can only calculate the possible areas where it is going :). Until you open the box, you don't know if the cat is dead. Until the damage of the hurricane is done, you don't know what area will be the most damaged:)

Sadly, this is how tiny things operate--like the electron of an atom. You may never pinpoint the exact place where the electron is, but you can calculate the probability where the location is.

I saw that shirt by the way in one of my students. Pretty geeky.

1 comment:

Patricia said...

kuya emil, i want a shirt just like that! hahahaha.