Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
This comic refers 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 at the field of grain behave like particles of grain when observed.
In order to create a laser, as mentioned in the title text, the movement of the grain has to be interpreted as a wave motion.
- [Megan and Cueball stand in a field of wheat. The figures are drawn in the typical black and white stick figure style, but the field is immensely detailed, with the grain coloured a rich amber and stroked such that individual stalks can be picked out, with a few dark bands providing contrast. In the distance a low mountain range is visible and in the sky a few scattered fluffy white clouds float low over the horizon.]
- Megan: Well, when we observe them, they become amber particles of grain.
add a comment! ⋅ add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ 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. 126.96.36.199 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.--188.8.131.52 20:36, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
"There is a long running joke in the Rocky Mountain West of completely obliterating nearby states, and in particular Nebraska."
Can someone explain this? Maybe it's just because I'm from the east coast, but I have never heard anything about this. Where does the joke come from? How does it go? Leafy Greens (talk) 23:26, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
- First you kill all the bison then eradicate the remains of the population and replace them with a people who have no knowledge or respect for the land.
In one generation the waves are harnessed to destroy.
HTH. I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk)
No I don't think it's one of your best ones either. I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 20:25, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
One thing to note, the Greeks used the word ēlektron to designate amber, which they observed to have an attractive effect on small objects when rubbed with fur. The electron was the subatomic particle observed in the famous double slit experiment to exhibit properties of both particles and waves. Grizzly1 (talk) 06:46, 19 February 2015 (UTC)