“As I have said so many times,
God doesn’t play dice with the world.”
Albert Einstein got panics
From quantum mechanics;
He would have found the world far nicer
Had God not been a dicer.
Image: digitally manipulated detail from Decaying dice 2, Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles, by Cory Doctorow, published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.
Einstein famously said of quantum mechanics… several times, in various contexts… that he didn’t believe that God played dice with the world. He meant, not that quantum mechanics was “wrong,” but that he didn’t think the theories of quantum mechanics could possibly be complete, because really? Randomness? And so he spent a great deal of time coming up with predictions of absurd results that would necessarily follow from quantum mechanical ideas–predictions whose failure, he believed, would falsify the theories of how stuff worked. Instead, observations bore out his predictions.
Turns out God probably does play dice. (Whatever that means.) Nowadays, quantum mechanics is like the weather: everyone complains about it, but nobody does anything about it.
There are lots of people at CERN,
Scratching their heads looking stern.
One day, they’ll get those big machines
To tell us what everything means
And there’ll be nothing left to learn.
I meant that to sound funny but it didn’t quite work out… Oh well. Yay for science and yay for poetry anyway!
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What rhymes with “Large Hadron Collider”?
Needs time to do his talking
So how he wrote his Short History
of Time to me is a mystery
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