It is an interesting thing, that physicists have two different ways of thinking about what is going on in this experiment: the quantum and classical views. Each model visualises quite different happenings though both must yield the same measurement outcomes.
In this lino cut print I outline the imagined quantum picture. Even if you don't speak any physics, I hope you enjoy the abstract landscape pure red and the symbols and texts which are mostly standard ways of expressing ideas in physics (with one or two exceptions, such as the sunburst around the symbol for the electron dipole moment (de) which relates to the shape of the electron and is what we are measuring and the interwoven double helix form which indicates that the electron is in two energy states at the same time).
Making this design led me to think of the abstracted landscapes of Japanese prints, where mountains inhabit voids and streams flow wherever the artist chooses. The format of this image is designed to sit alongside the experimental set-up depicted in 'What matters', so that the two prints can be read together with events unfolding in the same space and time as you travel from the bottom of the page to the top. Please see the short film 'Explanation to a Scientist', to explore both prints in more detail.
For those who speak a little physics, I'd like to share the the aspect I find most beautiful in this experiment and that is the wonderful interference pattern essentially formed between the evolving possibility of the electron being in one spin state and it being in the other.
I thank physicists, Mike Tarbutt and Jony Hudson who helped create this picture.
Oil lino cut print on Japanese paper, 54 x 17 cm
Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 4:15PM