ELONGATED ELLIE

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Ellie is a beautiful young girl of 6, the first grandchild of Robyn and Phillip. They are both smitten by her vibrant personality, her quirky nature and the perfection of her physique which is tall and slim. At school she excels at sport, numeracy and literacy. Her hair is brown and her eyes brown.
She is bright as well, demonstrated by the use of words she would acquire and then use incessantly and correctly. One of these was the word “actually” which she discovered at about 4.5 years of age. Everything became “actually I would like some ice cream” and “actually I will play with my barbie dolls now” etc.
During a recent visit Rob and Phil were surprised by the amount of food she could consume and thought a growth spurt was imminent. This is when the name “elongated Ellie” was born.
Ellie has two younger brothers, one of whom is Jacob. He has the most magnificent blue eyes, so magnificent and unique that I am sure the pop singer Taylor Swift, know for her blue eyes, would cede to Jacob the number one spot! Robyn’s eyes are brown and Phillip’s blue so he wasn’t a product of the milkman.
Ellie was visiting her Aunt Claire at the university Nanocenter Research Building when when one of the researchers, David, asked if they would like to watch his latest experiment in the basement. We think David is sweet on Claire who is certainly a good looker even if her eyes are brown.
It seems David is working on reducing the number of silicon atoms between the source and the drain of a transistor so that Moore’s Law can continue to operate. Moore’s Law (not really a law but an observation) involves the doubling of processing power of integrated circuits every 24 months.
In the basement were all kind of complicated gee wiz gadgets, freezing cold cylinders of liquid nitrogen and a powerful microscope for watching what was happening on the transistor surface. David was down to 3 silicon atoms which is really, really cutting edge research. At this number quantum tunnelling rears its ugly head and needs to be controlled.
There are only two possibilities : yes or no. Would the transistor act like a switch and stop the current or leak like a sieve.
David turned on his equipment, cooled everything down. Turned on the current and asked Ellie if she would like to use one of the eyepieces of his binocular microscope, he would use the other.
There was a blinding flash, the basement started to shake and it sounded like someone had opened the gates of hell as a cacophony of hoots, crackles and wails assaulted the building.
David remained calm and said this had happened before and was just an example of quantum decoherence when the quantum nature of the system leaks into the environment. The leak however had manifest itself in escaping through Ellie’s microscope eyepiece.
What were the chances of quantum probability fluctuations disrupting Ellie’s genetics and turning her eye blue? There was always a 25% chance she could have been born with Jacob’s eyes. However now she had one blue eye and one brown!
Robyn and Phil could now say she has one eye from each of us and is even more perfect.

About the Author: 
PHILKENN IS A RETIRED SECONDARY PHYSICS TEACHER