His first clear memory was watching his father cut firewood at their winter cabin, and being transfixed by the fact that he could see the ax fall noticeably before he heard the chop. Ever since, the concepts of light and sound fascinated him, and he followed his passion into the sciences.
His next big “a ha” moment was when he learned that, for a beam of light, time doesn’t exist. Everything that has, is, or will happen occurs at the same time, since it is perpetually moving at the fastest speed possible. He dove into relativity and the study of reference frames – after all, everything, even measure of light, depended on your perspective.
Late in college he did experiments with Cherenkov Radiation, that awe-inspiring blue light that comes from radioactive particles interacting with heavy water – it was essentially a sonic boom, but with light, because it was moving faster than it “should be able to” through the medium.
He was hooked. He theorized that, since light could be slowed or changed as it passed through mediums, and light experienced no time of its own, it should be possible to construct materials, or at least a point of observation, where light and space itself could go in any direction desired, even backwards. His colleagues at the university thought he was a crack-pot, and his papers were soundly rejected from peer-reviewed journals.
If it weren’t for the quiet urging of his mentor and graduate advisor, Dr. Emma Jalesco, he may have given up the whole idea. What she saw in him he never knew, but her encouragement was always enough to get him back in the lab, designing new experiments.
One late night, he succeeded, and his world changed forever – just as Dr. Jalesco hoped it would.
Recommended Traditions: Order of Hermes, Son of Ether
Recommended Spheres: Time, Forces, Correspondence