Jazz and Quantum Entanglement

As regular readers of this blog (Sid and Doris Bonkers) will know, among the various things I write about apart from The Universe and Stuff is my love of Jazz. I don’t often get the chance to combine music with physics in a post so I’m indebted to George Ellis for drawing my attention to this fascinating little video showing a visualisation of the effects of quantum entanglement:

The experiment shown involves pairs of entangled photons. Here is an excerpt from the blurb on Youtube:

The video shows images of single photon patterns, recorded with a triggered intensified CCD camera, where the influence of a measurement of one photon on its entangled partner photon is imaged in real time. In our experiment the immediate change of the monitored mode pattern is a result of the polarization measurement on the distant partner photon.

You can find out more by clicking through to the Youtube page.

While most of my colleagues were completely absorbed by the pictures, I was fascinated by the choice of musical accompaniment. It is in fact Blue Piano Stomp, a wonderful example of classic Jazz from the 1920s featuring the great Johnny Dodds on clarinet (who also wrote the tune) and the great Lil Armstrong (née Hardin) on piano, who just happened to be the first wife of a trumpet player by the name of Louis Armstrong.

So at last I’ve found an example of Jazz entangled with Physics!

P.S. We often bemoan the shortage of female physicists, but Jazz is another field in which women are under-represented and insufficiently celebrated. Lil Hardin was a great piano player and deserves to be much more widely appreciated for her contribution to Jazz history.


3 Responses to “Jazz and Quantum Entanglement”

  1. Phillip Helbig Says:

    “We often bemoan the shortage of female physicists, but Jazz is another field in which women are under-represented and insufficiently celebrated.”

    Other fields: chess, fancy chefs, dustmen (is “dustwomen” even a word), rock music (take away those who are singers, who are part of an all-girl band, or who are romantically involved with one of the boys in the band and you are left with practically none)*, computer programming, crime, many types of sports.

    Interestingly, in other types of music I listen to, in particular English traditional (i.e. “folk”) music, mediaeval music, and baroque music, women are not at all under-represented and often over-represented. These all involve playing music someone else has written long ago, whereas jazz and rock don’t. However, in most rock bands most members don’t contributed at all to the writing; I’m not sure how it is with jazz. (What the official credits say is not necessarily a good description of what happens in practice.)

    *There is nothing wrong with any of these, but most male rock musicians are neither singers nor part of a boy group nor romantically involved with someone in the band.

  2. brissioni Says:

    Dancing with the Stars!

  3. Gary Mathlin Says:

    Another example of Jazz and Physics combined – and feamle – is Deirdre Cartwright’s 2005 album ‘Dr Quantum Leaps’, which contains tracks ‘Dr Quantum’, and ‘String Theory’. (I realise that may respectable physicists do not accept string theory to be ‘physics’ in its proper sense). I first heard ‘Dr Quantum’ when Humphrey Lyttleton played it on his Tuesday evening BBC Radio 2 show at the time of its release – and found the CD a week later in a record shop just off Charing Cross Road. A decade later and it still gets a regular outing in in-car CD player while driving home from work.

    Deirdre may be better known to some as the presenter of the BBC’s Rock School in the early 80’s and also the composer of most of the pieces for the electric guitar grades 1 – 8 which, coincidently, can contribute to UCAS points for university admissions to study, amongst other things, physics.

    The Deirdre Cartwright Trio normally play at Jan’s Bar in Stoke Newington on the last Friday of the month.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: