Capturing the Impossible: Scientists Catch Schrödinger’s Cat with Quantum Physics
Schrödinger’s cat, the famous thought experiment devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, was a way of illustrating a bizarre phenomenon of quantum mechanics called superposition. The experiment proposes a situation in which a cat might be simultaneously alive and dead—until we try to observe it, in which case it appears as either alive or dead. The concept demonstrates the apparent conflict between what quantum theory tells us is true about the behavior of matter on the microscopic level and what we observe to be true on the macroscopic level. Recently, however, scientists at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna have found a way to actually capture these simultaneous states and make them visible to the human eye. They created a combined image (GIF-ified here) where a cat-shaped stencil was bombarded with “entangled” photons. When two separate particles are entangled, their physical properties appear to correlate and they share a single quantum state (the simultaneous states described above). This means that the photons that generated the image never actually interacted with the stencil; instead, separate photons (which shared the same quantum state as the ones that hit the camera) arrived there. When the researchers, who created yellow and red pairs of entangled photons, fired the yellow photons at the stencil, only the red photons were sent to the camera. Spooky. Interestingly, this mysterious behavior could offer a huge array of benefits, including highly advanced data security and quantum communication.
I think I may need to immortalize my city of birth with special locations because who doesn’t like urban geographic crafts?
Haptic Lab City Map Quilt Kits
Olafur Eliasson’s “Riverbed” Converts a Museum into a Natural Landscape
Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, known for his large-scale installations employing elemental materials like light, water, earth, and even atmosphere, transformed an entire wing of Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art into a riverbed for his first solo exhibition. The work, which uses rocks, soil, and running water to precisely emulate a natural landscape, stands in stark contrast to the white walls of one of Denmark’s most important Modernist buildings. Originally designed in 1958 by architects Jørgen Bo and Wilhlem Wohlert, the Louisiana’s staggered, irregularly sized portals create an experience that highlights movement through space. By filling the Louisiana with a landscape its galleries might have replaced, Eliasson heightens the haptic qualities of this experience and points to the reality of the museum as an institution and a physical locality. The work raises the question of how natural and built environments might intersect, though it is up to the viewer to decide whether this tension is constructive or destructive.
Olafur Eliasson keeps impressing. I miss the waterfalls.
Nothing. Really. Nothing.
Hair Embroideries, Sula Fay
"The great wave of Kanagawa" (1831) by Katsushika Hokusai
One of my favorites. Love Hokusai.
Um, hello Cousin Matthew.
Double hello, Cousin Matthew. I’m suddenly ok with your tv series death. Like poof! All better. Lady Mary will be /just/ fine. I’ll take things from here, M’kay? (Yes this is not a usual post, but hot f*cking damn)
Jean Nouvel’s Responsive Solar Facade at Institut du Monde Arabe
In the early eighties famed architect Jean Nouvel, in conjunction with Architecture-Studio, won the competition to design what would become the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA). It was conceived during the Grands Projets, a major development initiative headed by the French government, as a forum to explore the relationship of the Arab culture with France. Jean Nouvel, known for his innovative façade detailing, proposed an advanced responsive metallic brise soleil based on an archetypal element of Arabic architecture, the mashrabiyya. Drawing inspiration from the traditional lattice work that has been used for centuries in the Middle East to protect the occupants from the sun and provide privacy, Nouvel created a modular system of mechanized panels that could react dynamically to changing sunlight. Each made of several hundred light sensitive diaphragms, the panels could sensitively regulate the amount of light allowed to enter the building. During the various phases of the lens, a shifting geometric pattern of squares, circles, and octagons are formed and showcased as both light and void. As a result, the IMA’s interior spaces are dramatically modified, along with the exterior appearance, throughout the day. While these ocular devices create an incredible aesthetic, they are perhaps most innovative for their environmental performance. Since solar gain is easily mitigated by closing or reducing the aperture sizes, the building can be climate controlled efficiently without relying on energy-intensive air conditioning systems. Though completed almost three decades ago, the building remains a powerful example of alternative ways of imagining an “ecological” and culturally-aware architecture.
I studies this building in grad school. Amazing building concepts that don’t work are always so disappointing because the building or project owners so rarely fix amazing concepts due to money or apathy. This is one of them. Light reactive apertures? Love zen perfection.