DANCE OF THE LITTLE SWANS

WHICH EXPERIMENTAL DEMONSTRATION OF QUANTUM PRINCIPLES WAS DESCRIBED BY ‘PHYSICS WORLD’ AS “THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EXPERIMENT” OF ALL TIME?
In the course of my career as a particle physicist, I have performed lots of beautiful experiments. Surely, Physics World Magazine were referring to one of them. When I still was at Columbia, for example, I trained four electrons to choreograph the Dance of the Little Swans from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”. What took me the most work was that they learned to walk on their toes. But they did it, and received a rave from Physics World. In view of this, I tried to make them debut in a Broadway theater, but each spectator had to bring their own particle microscope and producers were not willing to take the risk. On another occasion, together with a group of Caltech physicists, we performed an experiment with photons consisting of matching them with fireflies. It was about demonstrating how photons interact with matter. But you never know when a photon will decide to behave like a wave or like a particle, and this time the “Physics World” review was not so favorable. Also, the fireflies had trouble keeping up with the photons.

Quora.com/q/physicsfordummies

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