967: Prairie

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Prairie
Colorado is working to develop coherent amber waves, which would allow them to finally destroy Kansas and Nebraska with a devastating but majestic grain laser.
Title text: Colorado is working to develop coherent amber waves, which would allow them to finally destroy Kansas and Nebraska with a devastating but majestic grain laser.

Explanation

This comic is a reference to the song America The Beautiful, which contains the line "...amber waves of grain...". In Quantum mechanics, the wave-particle duality explains that particles can act like both particles and waves depending on the context. Using a comedic adaptation of quantum theory, the waves of grain behave like particles of grain when observed.

In order to create a laser such as the one mentioned in the image text, the movement of the grain has to be interpreted as a wave motion.

Transcript

[Megan and Cueball are standing in a wheatfield]

Megan: Well, when we observe them, they become amber particles of grain.

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Discussion

Except it's not a perfect analogy because each grain is a separate entity, and it's an external force, the wind, that produces the wave motion. Davidy²²[talk] 08:24, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
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