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Quantum Physics T-Shirt (Double Slit Experiment, Fear the Electron)

Quantum Physics T-Shirt (Double Slit Experiment, Fear the Electron)


Quantum Physics T-Shirt (Double Slit Experiment, Fear the Electron) Quantum Physics T-Shirt (Double Slit Experiment, Fear the Electron)
Quantum Physics T-Shirt (Double Slit Experiment, Fear the Electron)
 
Quantum Physics attempts to describe the point at which physics becomes philosophical. Einstein was more of a philosopher than a mathematician, and that's why he loved Quantum Physics. This shirt and the idea behind it marks that turning point: When technology fails to explain what philosophy might.

Case in point, the beautiful image displayed on the shirt demonstrates in concise format one such unexplained mysteries - that when electrons are fired through two slits they form a particle pattern. But when you look away and don't see them go through it, they form a wave pattern.

Hence, in observing the experiment closely, at the exact point when we can see why the electrons would become a wave rather than particles, they revert to behaving as particles again, as if they know they are being watched.

Note that the phrase 'Fear the Electron' is printed around the neckline on the back of the shirt.

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Animated Quantum Video

  Here's a short video explaning this (for those of us that don't want to read it below):


Double Slit semi-complicated stuff

  The double-slit is a piece of steel (or whatever) with two slits in it. Stuff is then shot through it, and scientists see what pattern is created on a wall on the opposite site (like a shadow). See that pattern at the bottom of the logo? That's an interference pattern. That's what happens when a wave is sent through the double slits.

Waves -> Interference pattern

See that pattern on the top 
of the logo? That's a normal pattern. That's what happens when particles (marbles, rocks, broccoli) are shot through the two slits.

Particles -> Normal pattern

The Fun Stuff
So, if you were to chuck a hundred bricks against a wall through two slits, you'd get a normal pattern. If you jumped in a pond and saw the water ripples go through two slits they'd create an interference pattern on the other side (since ripples are waves). Well, what these brainiacs did is rather than shoot marbles at a wall through two slits in a metal sheet, they made a miniature little electron gun and decided to shoot electrons through two slits at a wall. How they did this involves all kinds of crap we don't care about.

What we do care about is the facts: Electrons are particles, just like marbles. They have mass and they have size, except they are just really really small. So, you would expect them to create a normal particle pattern, right? But what happened is after shooting thousands of electrons through these two slits, they got an interference pattern on the other side. This was rather confusing. Why would particles behave as waves? Is it possible that as particles get smaller and smaller they begin to behave more and more like waves?

Well, they weren't sure, so what they did was rather than shoot electrons a million at a time, they shot them only one at a time, JUST in case the electron going through the top slit was somehow interfering with the one from the bottom slit. But even after shooting a million electrons one at a time, they STILL created a friggin interference pattern. This made absolutely no sense. The only way to describe this behaviour was that every individual electron was actually going through both slits at the same time, then acting like two waves on the other side.

So what these guys did next is observe the electrons as close as they could as they were traveling through the slits to see what exactly they were doing, and if in fact they were going through both slits at the same time. And here lies the frightfully confusing part of this entire mess: When the scientists actually watched the electrons go through the slits, the electrons behaved exactly like particles. They created an absolutely perfect normal particle pattern on the opposite wall.

What in the name of all that is sacred and holy?
The electrons behaved differently when they were being observed! They started acting exactly like normal particles, as if... yes... as if they were watching these dumb scientists watch them. So THEN what these crazy, desperate, and frightened scientists did is they figured that maybe the light they are shining on the electrons are causing some sort of disturbance. So they tried to reduce the light intensity, and interestingly enough, whenever the light intensity was just low enough so that no one could actually see what the electrons were doing, they behaved like waves. As soon as the light was made high enough to see the electrons, they behaved like particles again.

Some people think this is beautiful... that there's some deep theological meaning behind all this. Maybe all matter, particles, even us... we're made up of really small things and those small things are actually just waves. So our waves collide with everyone else and we are all somehow connected.

But that's not what we believe. We believe this is a sign. That electrons can see us. And that there is some mysterious evil force controlling these electrons. We don't know what it is, or what it's doing, but we know it's there. So warn your friends, your family, and anyone else you care about.

They have eyes. And they are always watching.

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