The Pluto Effect, by Gordon Lawrie

For years, scientists assumed that all matter consisted of atoms – protons, neutrons and electrons – plus ephemera like photons and Higgs-Bosons.

Then, in 2016, a small research team noticed that particles bounced off far distant objects would return slightly separated, proving that protons, for instance, were more complex than previously realised. This ‘echo’ became known as the Pluto Effect because it was first observed as dual-posting in flash fiction websites using budget servers based on that distant planet.

It was the breakthrough mankind needed. Finally, it became possible to control atom-splitting, which in turn created safe never-ending supplies of green energy.

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