Friday, December 12, 2003

Quantum String Tuning

My old high school chemistry teacher tried to explain the wave-particle duality of everything, including light itself to the class. The relation he stated was that the wavelength of something is equal to a universal constant divided by its mass multiplied by its speed. He said that this applied to electrons as well as bowling balls. In fact, he told us that it applied to ourselves, that each one of us has a wavelength. Because our mass is so large this wavelength is very small. He said that if we reduce our speed we can cancel out our high mass and perhaps increase our wavelength sufficiently for it to be perceivable. The trouble is the universal constant (Plank's constant h = 6.6256E-34 J sec) is very small itself. I like to picture it that each one of us has many wavelengths, and like strumming a guitar if one string is out of tune the whole chord will not sound right. We also cannot focus on only one string and need to tune all of them at the same time as the wavelengths relative to each other are important. Then we must play in the company of others to ensure that our E string is in tune with theirs (or vise versa). So I am trying to slow things down enough that I am able to hear myself better and more effectively tune my strings. Did you just hear that? Just sympathetic vibrations I guess.

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