The Fossil Fuel of The Universe
At this point in the time, most quantum matter is in equilibrium. This new physics might be accessible if the universe began in nonequilibrium. I won't bore you with the details, but understand if relic cosmological particles decoupled at sufficiently early times, they might still be in quantum nonequilibrium today and violate all we understand of quantum mechanics. Matter within stars is constantly interacting, so you need to go deep into interstellar space to find pockets of the stuff that's still in a usable state. It's a limited resource. Once you use it up, it's gone. It’s hard to get, grants untold advantages, and is immensely valuable. Late-stage civilizations regularly went to war over prism. The eden have locked down most of the known pockets of the material. They alone know how to use it, from what I understand. A spoonful could power the most powerful quantum computers, fuel engines for years, and even kickstart the planet wide city here on Safeharbor. Imagine what we could accomplish if we could get this planet running again.
What is Prism?
Prism is matter, but in a state of nonequilibrium. What that means is the standard forms of physics won’t apply to it. Most of the time, it appears as cosmic gas floating in the furthest depths of space. The main fuels used in nuclear fusion are deuterium and tritium, both heavy isotopes of hydrogen. If this fuel happens to be in a state of nonequilibrium, the fuel lasts longer and in less quantity. When used in weaponry, the prism reacts to standard matter, causing spectacular results. Naturally, this isn’t done often. It would be a waste of the resource. In a gaseous state, light passing through will separate into a gradient of color. This is the easiest way of determining if matter is not in equilibrium. Besides that, pinning down exactly what it is and what to look for is complicated as it can literally take the form of all matter.
The easiest way to acquire prism is within a singularity. The Eden use Higgstech to literally extract relic matter from black holes. This slowly drains the singularity, meaning every black hole has a finite amount of the resource to offer. Other ways of obtaining it include using mining barges to harvest gas clouds in deep space. This isn't just the space between stars. We’re talking is the vast empty reaches of our galaxy, further than most species dare to go. If we could acquire this material, study it, and unlock its secrets, we would be a force to be reckoned with. Naturally, the eden are reluctant to part with it. It's vital to their entire civilization. If we are to excel in this new branch of physics, we need to find some of our own. The wayfarers have been searching for a long while. It’s only a matter of time.