Quantum Radio

Fact vs Fiction

Spoiler Warning:

Below are major spoilers for Quantum Radio.
Please only read after finishing the book.

And: thanks for reading.



Quantum Entanglement



World War II / The Covenant War

Peenemünde Research Center & Nazi Rocket Research



All of the details about CERN and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are factual—except the existence of a signal in the data generated by the LHC (as far as we know…).


The LHC:
— was completed in September 2008
— conducted its first collisions in 2010
— is the latest particle accelerator at CERN and the largest in the world.
— is the largest machine in the world today (and the largest ever built)
— has a ring twenty-seven kilometers long
— was shut down at the end of 2018 after the second run (to be upgraded)
— recently came back online for run three, this time with more power and better hardware than ever before (Run 3 actually began in June 2022)

— The property market is competitive. Supply is tight (many listing agents don’t even bother to post pictures of the interior of available properties, and showings were often left to the current occupants; the best places typically went within hours, or days at the most).
— A Unireso pass provides access to all of Geneva’s public transport networks (trams, buses, trains, and even the mouettes, the yellow transport boats that operated on Lake Geneva).
— The A1 motorway is the fastest route from Geneva to Zürich
— Many international organizations are based in Geneva, including The World Trade Organization, Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors Without Borders), the World Health Organization, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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Quantum Entanglement

In the novel, I tried to do a good job of describing quantum entanglement and pointing out some of the fiction the book uses.

In short: quantum entanglement was doubted by some of history greatest physicists but has now been proven to exist. However, at present, we do not believe it can be used to communicate over vast distances (or time).


Quantum entanglement:
— is part of the disagreement between quantum physics and classical physics.
— is what Einstein called entanglement ‘spooky action at a distance.’
— is a phenomenon where one or more particles can act as mirrors of each other.
— can occur over vast distances. For example, if two particles were entangled and one was on Earth, it would have the same properties as an entangled particle in another galaxy.
— seems to violate the theory of special relativity, which established that the speed of light was the fastest anything can move in the universe.
— was doubted by Einstein due to its disagreement with the local realism view of causality.
— was disputed by Einstein in a 1935 paper which he authored with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen. Their arguments against entanglement are called the EPR paradox today.
— has been observed in many particles: photons, neutrinos, and electrons.

the idea that entangled particles can be used to manipulate each other together.

We know that for entangled particles, the act of observing one particle is what determines the state of the other.

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DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—an actual agency that is part of the United States Department of Defense (DOD).


The DARPA projects mentioned are all real:

Quantum Entanglement Science and Technology. It was started in 2008 at the DARPA Microsystems Technology Office, MTO. Its predecessor, QuIST, was the agency’s first foray into quantum data sciences. The project is looking at a wide range of things: secure quantum communications, quantum machine learning, game theory using quantum mechanics, quantum image processing, quantum radar and metrology, and even entanglement-assisted gravitomagnetic interferometry. The group has gone as far as applying entanglement principles to an old CIA initiative: remote sensing. QuEST is just the tip of the iceberg.

A DARPA initiative to examine quantum effects in biological environments.

A project that’s building new types of quantum repeaters that could one day form the backbone of a new quantum internet.

DARPA Facilities
DARPA’s administrative headquarters is located on North Randolph Street in Arlington, Virginia.

It does not have a location Navy Yard neighborhood in southeast Washington, DC.

However, the tweets shown in the book are real:

DARPA tweet posted August 28, 2019:

Attention, city dwellers! We're interested in identifying university-owned or commercially managed underground urban tunnels & facilities able to host research & experimentation. https:go.usa.gov/xVWCn
It’s short notice … We’re asking for responses by Aug. 30 at 5:00 PM ET.

And a subsequent tweet:

The ideal space would be a human-made underground environment spanning several city blocks w/ complex layout & multiple stories, including atriums, tunnels & stairwells. Spaces that are currently closed off from pedestrians or can be temporarily used for testing are of interest.


DARPA does not have an Origin Project.

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Identical (monozygotic) twins generally share the same genome. However, we now know that twins do have some genetic differences—thanks to a recent study in Iceland by deCODE.

After the zygote splits, the cells weave new strands of DNA and then split into more and more cells. With any cell division process, there’s the chance of replication errors. We now know this happens in the womb—enough to produce an average of 5.2 mutations between twins by the time of birth. In about one in every seven sets of twins, there are more significant mutations—ten to fifteen. The timing of the zygote separation has a significant impact on the number of differences. A zygote typically splits anywhere from one to seven days after fertilization. At this early juncture, there are fewer cells to split, and sometimes the cells don’t split evenly. In other cases, the zygote doesn’t split until up to thirteen days after fertilization. In those instances, there are more cells and typically fewer mutations in the resulting offspring.

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World War II / The Covenant War

Quantum Radio introduces an alternate history where World War II never ended.

However, some of the events described in this alternate timeline are the same as our world’s history.


German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact
August 23, 1939

Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union shocked the world by signing a nonaggression pact that forbade either nation from taking military action against the other for the next ten years. The pact also included secret details of how the two major powers would divide up Eastern Europe in the coming war.

Easter Accords
April 16, 1938

In Rome, representatives from the British and Italian governments agreed to keep the existing world order and prevent Italy from aligning itself with Germany in future wars. The agreements were later registered with the League of Nations in March of 1939.

Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy, harbored different feelings. He believed that nations with rising populations were destined to rule the world while those with falling populations would eventually be conquered. As such, Mussolini placed relentless demands on Italian women to have more children in order to reach a population of sixty million—which he believed Italy needed to win a major war.

Mussolini believed that the declining birth rates in France would eventually doom the nation and that the British Empire faced a similar fate as 25 percent of its population was over fifty years old.

The US Neutrality Acts of the 1930s

In the years after the Great War, growing isolationism and noninterventionism in the United States prompted Congress to pass a series of neutrality acts starting in 1935 and again in 1936, 1937, and 1939, with the goal of keeping the United States out of another global conflict.

The A21 Timeline

The A21 Timeline of WWII Matches our own world until September of 1940.

July 7, 1937: War between China and Japan begins.
September 1, 1939: Germany invades Poland.
September 3, 1939: France and Great Britain declare war on Germany. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada soon join in the war against Germany.
September 17, 1939: The Soviet Union, after entering into a cease-fire with Japan, invades eastern Poland.
May 10, 1940: Great Britain elects Winston Churchill as becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain. On the same day, Germany launches its offensive against France. In a surprise move, the Wehrmacht invades Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, transiting the thick forests and difficult terrain of the Ardennes region and completely bypassing the extensive French fortifications of the Maginot line that ran along the Franco-German border. Forty-six days later, the Battle of France is over, ending in a German victory and the surrender of France and subsequent occupation by German forces.
June 1940: The Soviet Union forcibly annexes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and various regions of Romania.


On the A21 World, Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe wins The Battle of Britain by employing extensive use of long-range ballistic missiles (A4s also known as the V-2 rocket). In our timeline, the A4/V-2 rockets weren’t used in the war effort until September of 1944—four years later. And, in our timeline, the Nazis lost The Battle of Britain.

The timeline and events presented after The Battle of Britain on A21 are entirely fictional.

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Peenemünde Research Center & Nazi Rocket Research

Many of the details about Germany’s rocket research in the 1930s and 40s are accurate.


Germany’s most well-known rockets were the Aggregat series, which began in 1933 with the A1, a rocket designed by Wernher von Braun.

After WWII, the US government moved von Braun from Germany to the US as part of Operation Paperclip.

In America, von Braun continued his research. In fact, he helped invent the rockets that took the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon.

Von Braun, along with Walter Dornberger and Walter Riedel, began working on rockets in the 1930s at Kummersdorf—an estate south of Berlin. They developed the A-1, A-2, and A-3 at Kummersdorf before they moved the research to Peenemünde on the island of Usedom on the Baltic coast. They had more space there, and it was harder to spy on. The A-3 was the first Aggregat rocket to launch at Peenemünde. They used Kummersdorf for nuclear research, starting in 1938.

At Peenemünde, the Aggregat program made incredible progress. They had several different rockets in development—including the A10, which was designed to reach the continental United States. As early as 1940, the Germans were actively working on the A10, which they projected could hit America by 1946. The A5, however, was the biggest leap forward for the Aggregat rocket series. A lot of its components were reused in the A4—which was actually launched after the A5. The A4 became known as the V-2 when it was used in WWII. The A4 first flew in March of 1942, and it didn’t fly far—about a mile before it crashed in the water. But by October 3 of 1942, the A4 was flying 120 miles and reaching an altitude of 52 miles. They put the missile into production in 1943 and first launched it as part of the war effort in September of 1944.

The rest of the details of the Covenant/German rocket programs in Quantum Radio are fiction.

However, the Peenemünde Army Research Center is today a museum hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Much of the details of the building are accurate.

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