Wonder in Beyond Earth
|Requires|| 4 Geothermal|
|Effect|| +5 Diplomatic Capital|
|Notes||Affinity XP is gained 25% faster.|
The Ansible is a wonder available for construction in Civ:BE. It is a powerful quantum communications device which provides a 25% boost to Affinity accumulation as well as a decent amount of Diplomatic Capital per turn. Constructing it will permanently tie up 4 Geothermal resources.
"When will the orders arrive? Now? Can they be sent faster?" - Vadim Kozlov, Axioms from the Minutes of the Central Directorate
Quantum communications has been a field which has undergone various degrees of success throughout its development. Shortly before the Seeding, researchers discovered that certain subatomic particles were found with identical spins. Altering one particle would change the other as well, and this low-bandwidth, highly unreliable form of quantum communication was possible, but only for very short periods of time (the particles tended to diverge after a few hours) and with very low transmission rates (measured in bytes per minute). The upside was that these were perfectly secure - although perfect security of transmission was seldom worth the effort. Instantaneous communication was impossible for those situations where it was most desirable - say with populations separated by vast distances or without conventional connections.
The Ansible changes the equation. The Ansible uses a high-energy Johnson/Bates field to induce quantum spin in particles at effectively unlimited distances, creating an arbitrary number of matched particles for the transmission. When the transmission ends, the particles revert to their natural spin. The transmission recipient need only know which particles to watch - a simple task provided a precursor signal (colloquially known as the "ringtone") is loud enough for the receiving party to hear.
The high-energy Johnson/Bates field simply needs a target patch of space to affect, and aiming the Ansible is a relatively straightforward affair if a sufficiently detailed map of the distant target is available. Because the Johnson/Bates field is distance-agnostic, Ansible communications are unlimited in range, take advantage of instantaneous quantum communication, and are more or less uncapped for bandwidth (the theoretical upper limit of a Johnson/Bates field exceeds the number of particles than will exist in the universe's lifetime.)
As mundane as we find FTL communications in this era, the ability to instantaneously transmit information - any information, from the grandest political statements to the most intimate personal whispers - utterly transformed colonial society. Bringing a new definition to the old trope of “always on,” progress in every aspect of cultural and social development leapt forward with the vastly increased connectivity. Societies blessed with Ansible terminals seemingly overnight became blessed with greater understanding, greater industry, and greater compassion, and quickly took a position on the vanguard of social progress and human evolution.