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A Snapshot is an exact re-creation of a specific day in the past but must be made within a few weeks of the day being recreated. Everything down to a molecule is the same as the day being re-created. Snapshots are made up of raw matter and energy in the system and anything left in the system will be recycled into the system for use in the next Snapshots.
Snapshots are made overnight with some computer code wired to some creature that is unconscious and dreams the Snapshot. Then at the end of the day, it can be ended with the press of a button.
The fake people inside a simulation are referred to as dupes. These dupes aren't aware they are in a Snapshot unless they see a Reality badge. If the dupes exit the boundary of the Snapshot they instantly disappear and if they are scheduled to enter the city they will immediately appear.
Real people can enter a snapshot to investigate but since they weren't there on the original day they cause Deviations. Entering and exiting a Snapshot can cause huge Deviations so detectives enter at the beginning of the day when the Snapshot is being created and exit only when they've completed all of their cases. When exiting a Snapshot dupes won't be able to see the door that real people use. Since everything is an exact recreation, real people can be killed in a Snapshot.
It is possible to create a Snapshot of a Snapshot.
The ability to create Snapshots was developed in the Snapshot Project, which was run by the Restored American Union. When the Americans left Clipperton, they "allowed" the New Clipperton government to buy the Snapshot Project, for a large fee. The underground Snapshot facility in New Clipperton is the only official one in the world.
A court order must be issued to use a Snapshot in any official business. This was made law after the mayor was discovered using the Snapshots for personal uses.
Films about detectives investigating in a Snapshot are popular in the Restored American Union, although they never show the Reality badge, probably because it works better in your head. 
- ↑ a b c Snapshot chapter 5Summary: Snapshot/Chapter_5#
- ↑ a b c d e f Snapshot chapter 1Summary: Snapshot/Chapter_1#
- ↑ Snapshot chapter 2Summary: Snapshot/Chapter_2#
- ↑ Snapshot chapter 6Summary: Snapshot/Chapter_6#
- ↑ Snapshot chapter 10Summary: Snapshot/Chapter_10#
- ↑ Snapshot postscriptSummary: Snapshot/Postscript#
- ↑ /r/brandonsanderson
— Arcanum - 2017-07-18Cite: Arcanum-2959#
|Characters||Anthony Davis · Chaz · Enrique Estevez|
|Other||Snapshot (event) · Deviation|