Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Only six of you are going to find this funny...

Some of you may have noticed that my posts this week have been unusually pointless. There is, believe it or not, a good reason for this, which is that I am currently out of town attending the wedding of your friend and mine, Slag. During my journey to this wedding, however, I came across a sign in an airport that just speaks to me. Specifically, when it speaks to me it asks, "What would happen if a quantum physicist was moonlighting as an airport administrator?"

I think this is the answer:



This sign is obviously an oblique reference to a little known bit of physics history. Initially, Erwin Schrodinger developed a thought experiment known as "Schrodinger's Carry-on" to explain certain principles of quantum mechanics. In brief it read:

"Imagine a piece of hand-luggage to be used on a transatlantic zeppelin ride. The luggage is of a certain size and may or may not be able to fit in the overhead compartment. Until this hand-luggage is placed in the appropriate apparatus and observed, however, it is both too big and small enough simultaneously. Only when observed does the wave function collapse into a single state and the hand-luggage becomes either a check-bag or a carry-on."


Most students had a difficult time relating to this explanation, however, so he replaced it with his now better known experiment referred to as Schrodinger's Cat.*

And that's as far as I'm prepared to go to make a joke that only six of you will find amusing.


* Fun Physics Fact: This is the REAL cat from the thought experiment "Schrodinger's Cat":



His name is Fluffy and he collaborated with Schrodinger on several early, but revolutionary, papers. Fluffy's contributions to our understanding of particle spin states were particularly notable. Their relationship ended as a result of their disagreement about Nazism. Schrodinger detested Nazi anti-semitism but Fluffy supported the new Deutsche Physik and eventually worked on the Nazi atomic bomb program. His fate after the war remains uncertain but sources close to him report he was trying to learn Spanish.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous alan said...

Okay, I thought it was funny.

Five to go.

Thursday, February 22, 2007 8:54:00 PM  
Blogger Practicing Idealist said...

Drek, I hope this isn't the way you treat our hypothetical future children. Really!!! His name is Simon, NOT fluffy. - Your Sainted Fiancee

Thursday, February 22, 2007 9:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Drek's Officemate said...

DSF--Having heard some of Drek's other names for the cat I think you should be happy that fluffy is the one that he decided on for the blog. Because, y'know all the others are much, much funnier.

Drek--I couldn't help but wondering if zeppelins actually had overhead bins. I mean, how many passengers ever actually rode in a zeppelin? Would you balance the amount of luggage that you brought with the likelihood that you would die in a giant ball of fire?

Oh, and I found it funny, too. Just have 4 more to go now.

Friday, February 23, 2007 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Drek's Officemate said...

And to add to the earlier comment--now I've got to start looking for a swastika tag for fluffy. I'm sure it won't be too hard to find given the number of meanings that particular symbol has.

And I know Drek's Sainted Fiancee would just love it...

Friday, February 23, 2007 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best thing all week. Totally got it.
3 to go?
~FHR

Friday, February 23, 2007 5:37:00 PM  

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