Four Invitations Into the Unknown

Invitation 1 for ” The Environment as a Witness” exhibition.

(in Hebrew “הסביבה כעדות”).

The four different invitations I issued for my coming up exhibition  ” The Environment as a Witness”, borrowed their title  from a preprint on quantum mechanics by the same name, with the secondary title:  “Selective Proliferation of Information and Emergence of Objectivity in a quantum Universe”. see here.

A  perhaps somewhat tricky quotation from  the abstract may convey the  flavor of the article and his resonance on the exhibition:

…”We study the role of the information deposited in the environment of an open quantum system in course of the decoherence process. Redundant spreading of information — the fact that some observables of the system can be independently “read-off” from many distinct fragments of the environment — is investigated as the key to effective objectivity, the essential ingredient of “classical reality”.”…

However, in plain English, the meaning is: how we the common humans, aka this article, agree together to see what seems to us the same objective reality made  from ‘ .. many distinct fragments of the environment “….

As someone whose trade is to making pictures from what he sees, this allover passing agreement on a reality based on an unseen quantum substrate is an intriguing mystery.

So, if I want to marry human mysteries with quantum mysteries in an art gallery,  for the human side of this marriage, a good story is  Night Watch (Russian: Ночной дозор, Nochnoy Dozor) a fantasy novel by Russian writer Sergei Lukyanenko:

…”The story revolves around a confrontation between two opposing supernatural groups (known as “Others”): the Night Watch, an organization dedicated to policing the actions of the Dark Others—and the Day Watch, which polices the actions of the Light Others.”..

Additional story details can draw a speculative parallel between the human  reality and the underlying quantum mysteries:

“In the story’s worldline there exists a magical realm beneath the surface of all things—referred to as the Twilight (or Gloom in other translations). The action in the novel centers on a group of people referred to as the Others—human beings who tapped into the Twilight and gained supernormal abilities. The Others were the humans (shamans, soothsayers, and wisemen) from long ago who figured out how to step into the Twilight. However, the Others are different from humans, they are born as Others. Humans are not able (at least in the first part of the tetralogy) to become Others.” .. see here.

The novel was made into a movie in 2004 by by the Kazakhstan-born film director Timur Bekmambetov, see here.

The movie was my visual source for the human side drawings I made in a pseudo comics style. The ‘performed  marriage’ on the invitation  is best seen in invitation 2 (below) where the left hand side is in pixelike form hinting to the quantum mysteries and the right hand side hint to the human mysteries.

Is it a happy marriage or not ? Where mysteries are involved who knows..


Invitation 2 for ” The Environment as a Witness”.

Invitation 3 for ” The Environment as a Witness”.

Invitation 4 for ” The Environment as a Witness”,


Israel. Tel Aviv. ‘The Kibbutz, Art Gallery’.  The exhibition is through May 14. Curated by Yael Keni. ‘

Mother’s Imprint on the Environment


I remember having read a book by SF author Greg Egan named “Quarantine” where incredible things occur: …

“This mod allows the user to stop being an observer in the sense of quantum mechanics and consequently to “smear”, i.e. to exist in a superposition of different states at the same time and to pick eigenstates of personal preference from the range of possible states, when the personal wave function is collapsed.”….see here.,

This seems a little bit perplexing if meanwhile not feasible, but is actually a good start to no lesser perplexing matters like the following story..

…I always asked myself what is there beyond the things I am witnessing in my everyday life? Or perhaps… am I being witnessed by some dark force, you know those monsters looking at you from the nowhere darkness, for whom I am their everyday life..

Apparently there are such little monsters, they are named photons not looming from the darkness but creating light. They are the true members of the  ‘quantum mechanics’ theory and they look and monitor  me from my birth until my last  breath.

Now what has  this  Film Noir preamble to do with my future exhibition at the Kibbutz Gallery in Tel Aviv?

Well it has. By some metaphorical magic, if  my drawings and prints  are to have a meaning about the emerging  of my mother Gitel into my everyday life and about their emerging before your eyes as visitors in the gallery, then the exhibition “Mother as an Imprint on the Environment” has to point to the underpinning weirdness named decoherence, telling us how such an appearance is made possible with the help of those  little monsters.

To put us in the mood of what these little photon monsters do, I quote from the article  “Decoherence is our ticket out of the quantum world”  published in 1999, see here,  giving the big picture of this emerging in a nutshell :

…” ‘We live in a sea of photons, for example, and interact with some small fraction of them. So the environment is in some sense in a constant process of monitoring objects,’ Zurek said… …’Decoherence provides a menu of allowed states; it’s a selection process that disallows flagrantly quantum states of macroscopic objects,’ Zurek said.”…

W. Zurek one of the most  prominent theoretical physicist is trying to elucidate the weirdness of the  transition from the quantum world to our everyday classical world. He  propose a very captivating view,  where the little quantum monsters  as the mysterious agents of  quantum physics cause our apparent  perception of reality, and  in particular, how and why I perceive my mother Gitel after her ‘transition from the quantum-to-classical world’…a very weird phrase for describing her motherly earthiness..,  for more see here

So if I take his words for granted then my mother, as a macroscopic person (state), cannot be in a quantum state of many possibilities and indeed, without to much surprise, I see her definitely classically as photos and prints in one place and not in a paranoid simultaneous two place position.

….. From here on, with the help of an amnesiac state of mind and  with some extrapolation I imagined and imaged a metaphorical  quantum-to-classical voyage with the benevolent help of the underpinning  decoherence story,  depicting the  transition of my quantum mother to her earthly classical mother form.

So,  the whole thing lives now in about 45  drawings and prints on paper made with inkjet printer, pencils, colors and other accessories..  look at the following pictures as a sample:

To view the full images, please qlick on the pictures,

Mother in a flagrant superposition of  two of her possible states,,, reduced to classical pencils paper ocher…prints states.

…. my young mother beyond my everyday life depicted in a sea of  little photon monsters, presumably in one of her possible quantum states  and being monitored by the yellow head until instantly she decohere into a classical definitive state…… reduced to Rives print paper, inkjet colors, monitor pixels as representing the little photon monsters…

…. And finally mother emerge in my classical everyday classical life….Photos, 110 year old, from my mother in Zdunska Wola in Poland. Sepia color, staged in the light of a real gallery in Tel Aviv.

‘Bon Voyage’…

Parallel Worlds

Harry Potter

In my work as a visual artist I was always intrigued by the Many Worlds (Parallel Worlds) interpretation of quantum mechanics. It was  highly controversial because the impossible science fiction connotation of a constant splitting of our world into many branches, identified as other worlds, containing among other things our ‘own’ self’s.. but it was very inspiring for trying to invent drawings representing them.

On September 21-24, 2007. Perimeter Institute host’s a conference to mark the 50th Anniversary of Everett’s paper proposing an interpretation of the universal quantum wave function. ( see here)
One of the presented works  by David Deutsch, Wallace and Saunder, shown that key equations of quantum mechanics arise from the mathematics of parallel universes.
Here is a review of the work from the “NewScientistSpace” via a secondary source.

..”In the mid-1990s, Deutsch set out to put the uncertainty we see in quantum mechanical experiments back into the many-worlds scenario.

Now, with additional work by Simon Saunders and David Wallace, also at Oxford, he believes they have succeeded. The trick is to examine a quantum experiment while excluding probability theory and accepting the many-worlds interpretation.

The multiverse has a branching structure, created as the universe splits into parallel versions of itself. The thickness of the branches can be calculated solely using deterministic equations, getting around the uncertainties usually associated with quantum physics.

What the Oxford gang found is that the branching structure exactly reproduces the peculiar probabilities predicted by the Born rule. The branching also gives the illusion of probabilistic outcomes to measurements.

Deutsch believes this solves the problem of the origin of quantum probability once and for all. “Probabilities used to be regarded as the biggest problem for Everett, but ironically, they are now its most powerful success,” he says.”, see the full review.

Another source here.

The accompanying pictures:Harry Potter at King’s Cross train station, a parallel wizard world; and King’s Cross station before many years.

train station


Music from Dark Matter

  dark matter

On September 21, 2007 I stumbled on an article named “Imaging Quantum  Entanglement”:   ….”An international team including scientists from the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) have just published findings in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ (PNAS) demonstrating the dramatic effects of quantum mechanics in a simple magnet.” ….”The key result is that  the researchers demonstrate that neutrons can detect entanglement, the key resource for quantum computing”.The article was published on   ‘DailyScience’ a popularization site of science news.

  I asked myself, is the average news reader interested in science news without an attractive story, something like “Cambridge makes music from ‘dark energy’ “… An invisible force so mysterious that it has yet to be understood by even the most eminent astronomers is being turned into music at a new Cambridge University exhibition… “If you can interest people in the sounds of space, they start to engage with where those sounds come from and thus the scientific ideas the artists are responding to. Hopefully by turning the data into sound art, we can take this particular bit of science to a much wider community”, see here.

he sees

The article I found, “Imaging Quantum Entanglement”, has no music to propose and introduce directly to his audience hard core science whose content presuppose some knowledge on neutron beams,  ghostly entangled states of the quantum world, magnetism, uncertainties of quantum mechanics, classical (world), quantum (world) etc.
  Lubos Motl, a theoretical physicist, address the same subject of science news in his blog “The Reference Frame”,..”Laymen have a good idea what scientists think, what principles they find reliable, and why they do so”. He continue on the negative side  ..”Unfortunately, it is not the case. Laymen typically not only misunderstand what are the correct answers to technical questions. They also fail to get a correct sociological picture of science – what questions are important, how difficult it is to work on one problem or another, who is believed or respected and why, what is “normal” to say in different contexts, and so on.
  This failure of laymen to get a realistic picture of science is not just a fault of the media  and science communication: it is largely a fault of the laymen themselves who often prefer colorful conspiracy theories about the interactions of people over the actual technical content of science. The truth found by science is OK but it is arguably too boring for too many people. Myths are sometimes better even if they are entirely untrue.” see here, (the concluding paragraph).

  Lubos complains about the layman not paying attention to the technical content of science. Now, for this specific article,  what are those technicals aspects  ? To cite only a few , the layman has to know  that  between Classical an Quantum there exist a spooky ‘boundary’, and  crossing this boundary  replace the classical ‘OR’ (left picture)   with the quantum state equation ( right picture) of the form  |w>= a|00> + b|11>,( from here the difference between the two pictures).  


   Respectively, the ‘OR’ of the classical world, our everyday world, (in the left picture) tell us there are only one of two possible outcomes for the alignment of the magnets, and the quantum state equation, the hidden quantum world, (right picture) encapsulate the entangled state of the magnets, having no  knowledge of their individual states, so that the measurement of one state  instantaneously influence the second state ,( in the general case ‘a’ and ‘b’ are probabilities amplitudes allowing one of many possible independent outcomes). And further, why is it so important to be able to find entangled states in ordinary matter? because the entanglement of the magnets ( their spins in superposition ) are today considered as a natural physical resource just like crude oil and coal, and can be the ‘fuel’  to use and build  quantum computer.. And so on, and so on.

The layman has the arduous task to put all this together, and if he does, perhaps is he not a layman. Scientific technical news cannot properly be translated in plain language and is not well fit for the media. Metaphorical language and imagery is only a palliative, a very impressive one (..the Cambridge dark-matter-music..), but leading to story telling, leaving the core of the scientific achievement buried in the math and the physics. What is left in the mind of the great public is something like the myth of Einstein’s icon:           c=mc2

(BTW,Perhaps few people know that the equation existed before Einstein see here)

datk matter


Gordon Moore predicts end to Moore’s law in 10 years


       The quantum limit, with all his weirdness, knocks on our door.

After more than 40 years of empirical truth, Moores law — the maxim which declares a doubling of transistors on a computer chip roughly every two years — is under attack… by Gordon Moore himself. Ok, he’s just the messenger in this case; it’s the laws of physics that will render Moore’s Law obsolete in “another decade, a decade and a half” according to the co-founder of Intel. Fact is, space on a chip is finite so eventually, (this isn’t the first time he’s predicted the end) he’ll be right. Still, in perhaps a divination of future processing leaps, Moore noted that “the interface between computers and biology now is a very interesting area.” Yes Gordon, we’re all waiting for a quantum computer powered by a teaspoon of bacterial goo. Well, that, jetpacks and flying cars.

Dvid Deursch

Add Photos & Videos NP NowPublic


The search mania or “What Google Won’t Find”


Here is a (tricky) story that in an unexpected way links Google search machine to theoretical physics, and in particular to news and media, for isn’t journalism somewhat of a search problem of physical events?

The first phrase of Google’s corporate and Company Overview is:….”Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”…see here.

In his blog (August 2007) Benwhalter tries to answer just how much information is Google organizing?…..”A googol (Google’s namesake), is a number that is a one followed by 100 zeros”…”in scientific notation: 1.0e+100 bits (or 1 times 10 raised to the power 100).”…Benwhalter compare  a google to 4.8771e+80 bits,  the total information ever contained on Earth, and quite obviously, a googol is 20 orders of magnitudes greater(100-80) than earth can ever contain. He conclude that merely containing all the information on Earth is just a tiny fraction of Google’s eventual plans.


To evaluate Google’s plans Benwhalter calculate a lower and upper limit.
A lower limit for Google’s plan is the surface area of the entire solar system: 1.0527e+95 bits, still 5 orders of magnitude below a googol.(100-95) An upper limit for Google’s plans is the surface area of the entire galaxy: 6.6993e+110 bits, only 10 orders of magnitudes above a googol (110-100). So Google wants to organize somewhere between an entire solar system and an entire galaxy, see here

But Scott Aaronson, an assistant professor at MIT, focusing on the limits of quantum computers, (31 August 2007)…ask in a talk held at at Google Cambridge about “What Google Won’t Find.”…. …”what have we learned over the last 15 years or so about the ultimate physical limits of search — whether it’s search of a physical database like Google’s, or of the more abstract space of solutions to a combinatorial problem?”, see here….

 And a few paragraphs latter he says….”As it turns out, this question takes us straight into some of the frontier issues in theoretical physics. In particular, one of the few things physicists think they know about quantum gravity — one of the few things both the string theorists and their critics largely agree on — is that, at the so-called “Planck scale” of about 10 -33 centimeters or 10-43 seconds, our usual notions of space and time are going to break down. As one manifestation of this, if you tried to build a clock that ticked more than about 1043 times per second, that clock would use so much energy that it would collapse to a black hole . Ditto for a computer that performed more than about 1043 operations per second, or for a hard disk that stored more than about 1069 bits per square meter of surface area. (Together with the finiteness of the speed of light and the exponential expansion of the universe, this implies that, contrary to what you might have thought, there is a fundamental physical limit on how much disk space Gmail will ever be able to offer its subscribers…), see here (at the concluding paragraph).

This means that if we approach the quantum scale and Google wants nevertheless  to store All the information, then in a paraphrase on “Thou shalt not eat of the Tree of Knowledge” (Genesis), if  you want to eat the whole Tree, think it over, it is better for you to remain infinitely hungry than to collapse with Google into a black hole.

uir paradeis