Mechanical professor pens novel about quantum entanglement

By Jeremy Henderson

Published: Jan 24, 2020 12:00:00 AM

Rob Jackson Rob Jackson

It has physicists talking about teleportation with a straight face, and mild-mannered Auburn University tribologists writing post-apocalyptic literary fiction. Such is the power of quantum entanglement, one of science's most confusing, yet exciting concepts.

"They call it 'spooky science,'" said Rob Jackson, professor of mechanical engineering. "There's not really a good explanation for it—for how something can instantaneously affect something else even though they're far distances apart. It's happening faster than the speed of light. How can that happen?"

For his recently released first novel "Ages of Entanglement," Jackson didn't need answers—just possibilities. 

"The book uses quantum entanglement as a plot mechanism," he said. "It's an illogical bit of science that's true, and I thought it might make for an interesting book. Some of the things they might be able to do with it are just fascinating."

And, at least in the world of "Ages of Entanglement," cataclysmic.

In the novel, Jackson plays off the unintended consequences of harnessing the phenomenon, e.g. the decimation of the human population and the end of existence as we know it. But, hey— what piece of post-apocalyptic fiction worth reading doesn't?

The book has so far been well-received; it's currently sitting at 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon

"'Ages of Entanglement' is a very interesting take on post-apocalyptic writing," one reviewer wrote. "Quantum physics and entanglement and near-future technology all mesh for a really unique read. A super well-written and thought-provoking book..."

Jackson has recently received plenty of kudos in his day job as well.

Last summer, he was named a fellow of the prestigious Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, a designation reserved only for engineers who have made significant impact on the field of tribology and lubrication.

Could an "Ages of Friction and Wear" be in the works? 

Jackson laughed. 

"No, I don't have any plans for a tribology novel," he said. "I've written enough technical papers."

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson, jdh0123@auburn.edu, 334-844-3591

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