A Word on the Anderson Coherency Scale

Since the widespread implementation of ACS classifications within technical documents, several researchers have come to management confused about the new terminology. This page will briefly explain the Coherency Scale for researchers more used to the older forms of reality classification. Any researchers with questions about the ACS should be directed to this page for a short summary of the system and its use.

Research into a reality coherency scale was done primarily by Dr. ████ Anderson at the Black Lake Technical Institute prior to Incident A8-035 and the subsequent seizure of the campus by the Authority. Dr. Anderson's research was posthumously used by the Authority to develop the Anderson Coherency Scale as a more qualitative method of cataloging realities as opposed to the more quantitative systems the Authority have been using for decades.

The Anderson Coherency Scale measures the consistency of an attribute of a reality known as its Logic System. The basis of any reality are the physical laws and constants that determine how matter and energy interacts within. Similar to the way an equation can be defined by the group of its symmetries, a given reality's Logic System is defined as the group of physical laws and constants that dictate its interactions. Of course every reality will have a different Logic System, but the ACS only measures how internally consistent a given Logic System is, or rather, how well a reality adheres to its own physical laws.

The Coherency Scale operates via the Anderson Constant, a value representative of how coherent a reality is as a result of observed interactions within. The ACS classification is then determined using the closest integer to a reality's Anderson Constant (constants of 2.5 - 3.5 relate to a classification of ACS-3, and so on). Our own reality has a constant of roughly 3.97, making it a Class ACS-4 reality. Class ACS-4 realities are those which would appear the most coherent to the average human, they represent the closest levels of consistency to our own reality.

Realities of classification larger than ACS-4 could theoretically exist, though they are difficult to imagine. To conceptualize a reality so internally consistent and so physically coherent that it makes our own reality seem uncertain and dreamlike in comparison can be challenging for beings so used to a ACS-4 Class level of coherency, but it isn't impossible. By looking closely at the math as well as interactions between lower ACS Class realities and our own researchers have made great strides in visualizing realities of Class ACS-5 and higher. It is made more difficult, however, by the lack of any realities of a higher ACS class being discovered.

On the other side of the spectrum, interactions with lower ACS realities have been incredibly numerous. As the development of the coherency scale at BTI began with research into dreams, many novices have found it useful to use the language of dreams to describe lower Anderson Constant realities. An Anderson Constant of ACS-3 is referred to as "Dream Level Coherency", or a level of coherency similar to most dreams. A Class ACS-3 reality will superficially resemble our own more coherent reality, but will be subtly inconsistent and surreal in a way that would just slightly unsettle the average ACS-4 human being. Often objects and spaces will not adhere to the apparent physical laws of the reality and interact in increasingly unpredictable or unstable ways. An Anderson Constant of ACS-2 is referred to as "Nightmare Level Coherency", wherein the given reality is incoherent to the point the average human would be fearful of the way in which it operates. ACS-2 realities have been described as "horrifying", "grotesque", and "malformed". Systems interact in such an unstable manner within ACS-2 realities that all objects and spaces become "corrupted" as described by researchers. The malignant nature of ACS-2 realities have limitd the amount of research that can be done with them.

Given that attempting to access ACS-1 realities led to Incident A8-035, it is somewhat obvious why similar research has been restricted by Authority officials. Observing the trend realities appear to follow as the Anderson Constant decreases, it isn't difficult to understand the consequences of working with realities of exceptionally low Anderson Constants. Dr. Anderson hypothesized that human minds enter ACS-1 realities on nights described as 'dreamless' and that "what we see there is actually too horrible for our brains to want to remember". While Anderson's theories on travelling to other realities during sleep have little evidence to support them, the events of Incident A8-035 imply that his description of ACS-1 realities is somewhat accurate.

The attributes of Class ACS-0 realities are hard to articulate. Like realities of ACS class higher than 4, realities of ACS lower than 1 have yet to be discovered, though that may be because they don't exist. Realities with Anderson Constants arbitrarily close to zero may exist, but like all reality classification systems, the ACS begins to break down around absolute zero. Such a reality would be so physically unstable that nothing coherent could form. Even conceptual objects are too internally consistent to exist in an absolute ACS-0 reality. The reality would dissolve into a continuously fluctuating haze of possible states with a net effect of complete nonexistence. It would be the closest approximation of a sheer void as there would be too much ontological inconsistency for any reality to establish itself. Research into hypothetical ACS-0 realities is ongoing.

Hopefully this summary has been helpful and informative to those previously confused by the Anderson Coherency Scale. Though, for those in more of a hurry, a more compact guide to the ACS classifications is available below.