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Blog

Puppetry of quantum mechanics

The Bohr-Einstein Debates, With Puppets from Chad Orzel on Vimeo.

By Hamish Johnston

A few months ago physics blogger (and Physics World contributor) Chad Orzel promised his readers that if they stumped up at least $2000 for a charitable appeal, he would put on a puppet show about the famous debate over the interpretation of quantum mechanics between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein.

He raised over four grand…so raise the curtain and enjoy…

The action opens at the 1929 Solvay conference with Einstein (played by a bichon stuffed toy) expressing his concerns with quantum theory in an appalling German accent — ‘if vee detect zee electrons vun at a time…’

Bohr — a black Labrador retriever — responds and the debate is underway.

The supporting cast includes Paul Ehrenfest as a hedgehog and Paul Dirac as a “disinterested” elephant.

Oh, and Orzel’s dog (a real dog) plays the role of a sceptical audience.

The show is a delight — but I’m left wondering how Orzel got through it without contracting a serious case of the giggles! I suspect many takes were involved.

Why the canine obsession? Orzel has just published a book called How to Teach Physics to your Dog.

And you can read Orzel’s Physics World article on measuring the electron’s electric dipole moment here.

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4 comments

  1. David Latour

    is Orzel’s Dog anything like Schrodinger’s Cat? Is his well-being dependent on the outcome of the debate?

  2. is Orzel’s Dog anything like Schrodinger’s Cat? Is his well-being dependent on the outcome of the debate?

  3. is Orzel’s Dog anything like Schrodinger’s Cat? Is his well-being dependent on the outcome of the debate? Thank you information

  4. is Orzel’s Dog anything like Schrodinger’s Cat? Is his well-being dependent on the outcome of the debate? Thank you information

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