The Limits of Analogy

Dr Leah Kelly
Chrissie Abbott

“Light and matter are both single entities, and the apparent duality arises in the limitation of our language.” Heisenberg

Imagine a cat, in two dimensions. Picturing a cartoon? Above the cat is a light bulb. What were light bulb moments called before light bulbs? Not candle moments. Flashes or sparks maybe. The cat has been illuminated and/or it has seen the light.

Newton thought light was a particle. Huygens had thought light was a wave. Young’s double split experiment demonstrated that light, like everything, interfered with itself, producing the casual rainbows of soap bubbles and oil puddles. Foucault showed water slowed light. For Maxwell, light was electromagnetic radiation. The cat is not looking at the light bulb. The cat is both alive and dead, until we look at it.

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