Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Quantum mechanics and popular culture: Artist's kit offers chance to produce trillions of universes

But caution, aspiring deities: You will never know if you created a Heaven or a Hell - and do you really want that on your conscience?

"$20 kit produces trillions of universes," according to Boing Boing, a "directory of wonderful things". This instant universes kit is the brainchild of San Francisco conceptual artist Jonathon Keats, and it is based on the controversial Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics: Any measurement causes the universe to split in two, one in which the quantum particle was measured to be here and the other in which it was measured to be there. Short Sharp Science explains,
His universe creator uses a piece of uranium-doped glass to create a steam of alpha particles, which are then detected using a thin sliver of scintillating crystal. Each detection causes the creation of a new universe.
Get yours at the Modernism Gallery in San Francisco, courtesy Keats's Miracle Works: Art for Deities. Start making mini universes and surprise your friends with a truly unique pile of knick knacks ....

Here are some thumbnails of Keats's interesting work. Here's Wired's take on the multiverse generator.

See also:

Can reincarnation save Schrodinger's cat?

Could God live in an infinite sea of universes? It depends ...

Quantum mechanics: Could cosmic microwave background show that it is wrong?