Can Quantum Beat Classical? #poem #poetry #physics #computing

Hydrogen Wave Function Density Plots

Electron, electron, where’s the electron? Fun in chemistry as well as physics.

Up, down.
On, off.
Faster than paper and pen.
Zero, one.
Voltage, none.
I can imagine what’s happening.

Qubits are different.
Qubits are waves.
Qubits entangle
A frequency’s phase.

When glitches arise,
Coherency’s lost
And thousands of answers
Have to be tossed.

Errors arise
From incoming noise,
The world’s an annoyance
For physics’ new toys.

By Kate Rauner, with thanks to and Subhash Kak of Oklahoma State University. Prophet in his own land or Luddite? I can’t tell.

Interested? Here’s more:

Quantum mechanics often defies intuition. But this concept shouldn’t be couched in perplexing language. Think of a vector positioned in the x-y plane and canted at 45 degrees to the x-axis. Some might say that this vector simultaneously points in both the x- and y-directions. That statement is true in some sense, but it’s not really useful. Describing a qubit as being simultaneously in both ↑ and ↓ states is similarly unhelpful. And yet, it’s become almost de rigueur for journalists to describe it as such.

[Instead] things get weird. With the quantum bit, those two states aren’t the only ones possible. [Intrigued? Go read the article by Mikhail Dyakonov]

Cosmology #sciku #poem # poetry #cosmology #haiku

Milky Way spiral
A Local Group galaxy
Such a tiny place

Cosmic Microwave Background

Or, in longer form:

Once we thought the skies
Were calm and smooth above.
But that’s not true close to home.
Could it be uniform,
Sort of,
If extremely far
We roam?

Data now accumulates
Along an odd anomaly.
Something’s wrong,
We do not grasp
This provocative

With human eyes,
It’s hard to see
On a megaparsec scale.
With human minds,
It’s hard to know
The universal tale.

Expand our search,
Look farther still,
That’s the essential key,
Till finally we move in step
With dancing galaxies.

Kate Rauner

Thanks to astronomers led by Oliver Müller at the University of Strasbourg in France. “What I really like about this stuff is just that we are still at the pioneering phase,” said Müller. “That’s super exciting.”

Good Fences Do Make Good Neighbors #poem #poetry

Today’s poem hit me all at once, demanding to be posted. So, even though it’s not sciency, here it is:
Dog in tree

Who cares about fences

In my garden, his cat
Would make deposits
That I’d rather not discover.

Chasing mice, my dog
Would destroy
His wood pile cover.

Instead we wave and smile
And do each other favors,
Because it’s true, that saying old,
Good fences make good neighbors.

Inspired by Robert Frost’s poem, which is about walls, even though his neighbor gives me the quote, “good fences make good neighbors.” Maybe Frost didn’t know what his neighbor was thinking after all.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.

Australian Competition for the Whole World – Year of the Periodic Table – Vote for Your Favorite Science-Poem #poetrycommunity #chemistry #poem #poetry

Classical Japanese Poet

Poet of a classical Japanese style

Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars – mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night and feel them. Why do poets not speak of science? paraphrased from Richard Feynman

These poets do! Science isn’t the realm of robots, but of vibrant human beings, and therefore, of poets.

Celebrate The International Year of the Periodic Table with a poem about all 118 chemical elements (entitled ‘The Chemist’s Couplets’). It got an honorable mention from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s (RACI’s) Stories from the Periodic Table Competition. Today it’s part of an audience poll to determine the people’s favorite elemental story.

Read ‘The Chemist’s Couplets’ by my friend-in-poetry, Michael Leach, and find more science poetry at (The links are in the survey.)

Be sure to vote for your favorite.

Electron shell blocks on Periodic Table

Shape of electron shells as designated on the Periodic Table

Why is the periodic table worth a celebration? Because it’s laid out to show you how atoms are structured, how the shape of electrons’ probabilities lets you predict how chemistry will happen! When I realized this chemistry-stuff wasn’t just rules some grumpy, old teacher insisted I memorize – it was the shape and structure of reality – that’s the moment I groked chemistry. I hope you do, too.

UPDATE: the votes are in and ‘The Chemist’s Couplets’ won first runner-up. View the results with links to the winners here.

Is Your Garden Fading into Autumn? Here’s a Book to Feed Your Fantasies for Next Year #gardening #gardendesign #homegrown #recipes #giftguide

Cover of wonderful book - The Melon - Amy GoldmanMagnificent photos, fantastic tips, recipes – it’s time to bring back simple gardening pleasures. Here in the northern hemisphere, our gardens are moving into autumn. Harvest festivals dot the weekend landscape.

It’s time to reap the rewards of your summer efforts and dream of next spring. Will you plant melons? What variety? Can you save seeds from this year’s crop?

Here is a magnificent book on melons! The photos are worth the price alone, but there’s a lot more. Picking and choosing, gardening tips, how to save seeds, recipes, and an amazing array of varietal descriptions. It’s a Number 1 New Release in Vegetable Gardening on Amazon.

The Melon is a perfect gift for the gardener in your life. In addition to melons, Amy Goldman is the author to know if you’re interested in heirloom tomatoes, squash, and more historic garden treasures. And there, in the chapter titled Watermelon Portraits, you’ll find my ode to the ancestral desert watermelon. I’m honored to contribute to such a thoroughly wonderful book.

For our friends down-under, here’s the inspiration for starting your summer garden. Who could resist planting melons after reading this book?

Methane Dragon Sleeps in the Deep #poem #poetry #methane #oceans

deep ocean tube worms

Tube worms – one of the larger deep ocean critters

Microbial mats
Set the table
With poisonous sulfides
For those that are able.

Beyond sandy shores,
More hitchhiking beasts
Find methane gas
A sumptuous feast.

How odd to discover
These gases are forming
In deep ocean cold
To drive global warming.

The dragon sleeps,
Its bubbling snores
Provide the incentive
To learn something more.

by Kate Rauner

Thanks to

Haiku for Every Element – You’ll Love This Cool Site #haiku #sciku #chemistry #poetry #ChemHaiku

I just ran into this site and have to share. If you love science-inspired poetry, you’ll get a kick out of this.

A review of the Periodic Table composed of 119 science haiku, one for each element, plus a closing haiku for element 119 (not yet synthesized). The haiku encompass astronomy, biology, chemistry, history, physics, and a bit of whimsical flair. Click or hover over an element on the Periodic Table to read the haiku. Share these poems and add your own on Twitter with hashtag #ChemHaiku. From Mary Soon Lee

Electron shell blocks on Periodic Table

One of the cool things about the Periodic Table is that it organizes elements by their physical structure

Check out this site and then write your own poems.