Two physicists have mapped out a way to create “quantum music” with the probability of two members of the audience hearing the same thing at the same time only infinitesimal.
Karl Svozil, a theoretical physicist at the University of Technology in Vienna and his friend Volkmar Putz, who developed the idea, call it “quantum parallel musical rendition”.
“A classical audience may perceive one and the same quantum musical composition very differently,” MIT Technology Review reports them as saying.
An audience listening to such a melody would have a bizarre experience. In the classical world, every member of the audience hears the same sequence of notes. But when a quantum musical state is observed, it can collapse into any one of the notes that make it up. The note that is formed is entirely random but the probability that it occurs depends on the precise linear makeup of the state.
The pair also consider the quantum phenomenon of entanglement – the connection between paired quantum objects whereby a measurement on one immediately influences the other, regardless of where they are.
Exactly what form this might take in the quantum musical world isn’t clear. But it opens the prospect of an audience listening to a quantum melody in one part of the universe influencing a quantum melody in another part.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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