Thursday, September 06, 2007

Quantum Explainings

So I've always found it very difficult to explain Quantum Mechanics in layman terms. It's so mathematical and heady that it often takes quite a while for ANYONE to understand, let alone someone who has little or no scientific exposure. So when I saw this picture, I found it to be a perfect visual representation of superposition. For those of you who don't know, a superposition is something that particles and waves (since they are the same thing, right?!?) do all the time. Only upon observation, does the particle (wave) "choose" (this is in quotes because there's quite alot of debate about how a the wave collapses in actuality, but this has always been my favorite version because it give the little buggers a modicum of conscience) which state it is in, and that state is what we measure. After the observation ends, the waveform dissolves back into its superposition of states.

So this double cube, called Necker Cubes, is a beautiful example of a superposition of FOUR states. Can you see them all?
(Original article discussing quantum computing basics!)

1 comment:

Liz said...

I think I saw them! I was staring at it going no fucker I don't see anything but the 2 boxes right next to each other and then POOF! all of a sudden it was 3d and flip flopping all over the place. It was a wonderful 5 seconds.