The quantum mirror is an alien device of unknown origin that transports a person from one reality to another by touching it.
The mirror is approximately 7 feet tall by 3 feet wide and about a foot wide with a wide base. It is irregularly shaped and formed from naquadah (a quartizite metal that is not found on Earth). The smooth surface looks like a mirror on first glance, but is actually a portal displaying an alternate universe.
The quantum mirror was discovered by Dr. Daniel Jackon during a mission to P3R-233. After accidently activating the mirror and returning to Earth, Dr. Jackson found himself at another version of the Stargate Program.
After Dr. Jackson's returned through the mirror to his own reality, SGC retrieved the device and brought it back to the SGC. It was moved to a secret storage area in a Nellis High Security lock-up (Area 51). It remained there until Dr. Samantha Carter and Major Charles Kawalsky came through it from yet another reality. The quantum mirror was moved back to the SGC under heavy guard. Dr. Carter brought a controller with her from her reality, which was convenient considering the original controller was destroyed in the first alternate reality.
Note: The term "alternate reality" and "alternate universe" are used inter-changably.
How the Quantum Mirror Works
A hand-held controller is required to activate and control the mirror. When the mirror is "off," the surface is non-reflective. When it is on, it displays the alternate universe.
The controller allows the user to "dial" through the connected universes. Through the mirror, the user can view the surroundings of the "receiving" quantum mirror.
When a person touches the mirror, there is a flash of light, an electical shock, and they are transported into the selected alternate universe and are now looking through the mirror at their originating universe.
As long as they are turned on, the mirrors connect the same two realities. If one of the quantum mirrors is "turned off" then the mirror "loses" its place and needs to be redialed to find your originating universe. The controller's dial determines the increments of change.
As the quantum mirror is made of naquadah, it suggests that it is able to absorb and hold a great deal of energy. The flash of light and the "electrical shock" that occurs when the mirror is touched, indicates energy us being released as the transfer is initated.
The Theory of the Multiverse
The theory of multiverse suggests that the universe is constantly splitting into multiple universes. It is suggested that one trigger for these splits are the very decisions we make. From the point of creation, every action created a divergence and an alternate reality.
".. for every possible universe, there are an infinite number of variations, diverging at every choice we make like forks in a road..." (3.06 "Point Of View")
"..there a infinite number of alternate realities. Some are very different, and some are almost identical." (1.20 "There But For The Grace Of God.")
Dangers Using the Quantum Mirror
If a person stays in an alternate reality where they have a living counterpart, for more than 48 hours, they begin to experience "entropic cascade failure" on the cellular level. It is caused by the increased entropy of two people existing in the same reality. The visiting person literally begin to distort and come apart at the cellular level. The effect looks like a video that has gone out of focus. It is very painful. The more time passes, the worse it gets and will eventually cause the visitor's death.
References in Episodes
- 1.20 "There But For The Grace Of God" - Dr. Jackson discovers the Quantum Mirror on P3R-233. He is transported to an alternate reality where he did not join the Stargate program and Earth is being invaded by Aphophis.
- 1.21 "Politics" - Dr. Jackson tries to convince Senator Kinsey that the Goa'uld are on their way based on his experience through the Quantum Mirror.
- 1.22 "Within The Serpent's Grasp Part 1" - SG-1 goes to the address Dr. Jackson brought back from the alternate reality.
- 5.04 "The Fifth Man" - Confused by their conflicting memories, Dr. Jackson suggests that the situation could have been caused by the Quantum Mirror. The idea was dismissed.
- Catherine Langford
- Daniel Jackson
- Jack O'Neill
- Samantha Carter
- Charles Kawalsky
- George Hammond
--Torvac 21:39, 3 Mar 2005 (PST)