Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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.
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.
[Megan and Cueball are standing in a wheatfield]
Megan: Well, when we observe them, they become amber particles of grain.
add a comment! ⋅ refresh comments!
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)
- It actually works out better than you think, because a laser requires an external energy source to pump it. Colorado is also shaped like a laser cavity. 220.127.116.11 06:36, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
- Purple Mountains Majesties
The song America the Beautiful was written by Katharine Lee Bates, originally in the form of a poem entitled "Pikes Peak", which is a 14,000+ foot peak in Colorado Springs. I changed the phrasing of the article from "which may
in fact allude to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado" to "which does
in fact allude to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado." There is no question of whether the song refers to the Colorado Rocky Mountains.--18.104.22.168
20:36, 29 May 2014 (UTC)