When I first heard about the Quantum Parallelograph I was not completely sold on the idea. It didn’t make sense to me that a box could explore multiple universes and show glimpses into “parallel lives”. After doing some research and watching the video for the project, I am a little more persuaded.
The Quantum Parallelograph is an exploratory public engagement project that examines the scientific and philosophical ideas surrounding the theory of quantum physics and multiple universes. The machine simulates the experience of users being able to glimpse into their “parallel lives” or observe their alternate realities. It does this by sending a single proton through a glass tube and performing Young’s Double Slit experiment. It then uses online sources to find the “parallel lives” of users and prints out a short statement summarizing the information.
The project uses a WiFly shield with Arduino to connect directly to the Internet, as well as PHP to extract the online information about different people’s parallel lives. It raises questions about the nature of our reality and our lives, and has been very useful in communicating modern theories in physics.
Despite the hypothetical nature of the project, the results from the Parallelograph are very intriguing. The glimpses only reveal small portions of people’s lives in the different universes but can be very disturbing. Be warned, you might not like what you find!