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Quantum Parallelograph [Processing, Arduino, Objects]

The Quantum Parallelograph is an exploratory project by Patrick Stevenson Keating examining the scientific and philosophical ideas surrounding the theory of quantum physics and multiple universes. The device delves into the multiverse, and allows users to glimpse into their “parallel lives” – to observe their alternate realities. The device uses online sources to find the “parallel lives” of users, and prints out a short statement about their “simultaneous” life in a parallel world. The dial and knob you see in the photos are used in selecting the intensity level of the search. The button sends a single photon through the glass tube and performs Young’s Double Slit experiment.  At this point the readings are taken for the particular person’s parallel lives, and printed out from the slot.

Today I went back down to the Physics Department in University to speak to Dr Gary Callon who has been brilliant at helping me with the practical physics of my project.  I had told him about my project, and that I wanted to use Young’s famous double slit experiment in it.  Dr Callon had no problem in making me a new double slit slide I could use.  Whilst I was down there, I experimented with other slit slides (different numbers of slits and different spacings) which produce different results.  The closer the slits are for example the more dispersed the resulting interference pattern will be. more..

The project originally included two components, the device you see in the photographs and a computer running Processing connected to Arduino with Xbee connection back to the device. At later stage Patrick was able to streamline the electronics and remove the need for Processing. Instead the final model uses a WiFly shield with arduino which can connect directly to the internet and use PHP to extract the online information about different people’s “parallel lives”. The salvaged printer was also used in the device, striped back as far as possible to fit within the custom made casing. The casing for the model was created using SolidWorks and 3D printed by CA Models workshop in Stirling.

I have always loved physics for its capacity to alter how I view the world around me, and its ability to excite. Quantum Physics, and particularly Professor Deutsch’s work, are perfect examples of this. Some of the concepts are almost impossible to imagine, but through experimentation it becomes possible to see how they are true. Aside from the intrinsically fascinating nature of the science itself, I am very interested in how scientific principles like the Hugh Everett theory, translate into everyday life and impact our lives subliminally.

For more information on the making + technical details see Patrick’s blog.

Project Page

/found via yankodesign

    • http://profiles.google.com/moyshekapoyre Joel R

      I don’t quite see how googling my name has anything to do with actual parallel universe versions of myself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/HarrisonTotty Harrison Totty

      Agreed…this is exactly what I thought when I stumbled on this…