He Cuts Up Some Plastic and Puts It On His Phone. What Happens Next Is Breathtaking.

Andrew flexed the last piece of clear plastic between his fingers. “Just watch,” he said. “This is gonna blow your socks off.”

His small audience — Professor Carrigan and her two other post-docs — looked on, eyes creased with skepticism. That skepticism changed to open-faced wonder as Andrew brought the plastic nearer the cell phone, already layered with plastic. They could feel something starting to change, like the surface tension of a bubble about to break.

The clear plastic touched the screen and glowed blue. “There,” he said. “Cherenkov radiation. And—” He stopped as the glow shifted from blue to red, to something too dark to see. A breeze ruffled their clothing in the enclosed lab, then a gale tore from under the door and into the phone.

“It’s not supposed to be like this!” Andrew didn’t know if anyone heard him shouting over the whistling wind. He wondered if he’d have enough air for another warning. “The event horizon should’ve stayed—”

Everything fell still and silent. “—beneath the screen,” Andrew finished. Professor Carrigan had clamped a Faraday cage over the phone.

“You’ve got at least six research papers here, Andy,” she said. “But next time, please come more prepared.”

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