Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cartoon Physics

I've been flipping through this physics comic book Nancy lent me, along with a companion CD.

Combining with other stuff, I have this image of buckyballs vanishing here and getting tuned in there, with a mediating field described by a kind of ray tracing (a Feynman superposition) of all possible routes in between.

One maybe needn't imagine the energy in transit, since to see it at all is to detect it i.e. is to tune it in. Imagining a little ball going through either slit is unrealistic, is like spending money you don't really have. When some photographic emulsion registers a ping, that's when the energy reappears and a possibility gets actualized (maybe in two places at once -- nonlocality).

You might not think buckyballs (C60 molecules) are small enough to behave like photons, i.e. are too big to constructively / destructively interfere through a double slit apparatus. But they do so behave. This was the subject of Julian's research before he became an artist.