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No. 22: The Wreck of the Heisenberg

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The Wreck of the Heisenberg

First | Previous | 2015-06-24 | Next | Latest

Strip by: Ian Boreham

{The airship Heisenberg is seen floating near its mooring-mast at Lakehurst, New Jersey.}

Announcer: We’re just witnessing the arrival of the standard model airship Heisenberg, now superposing itself on the United States after its trip from Copenhagen, carrying, among other distinguished guests, Professor Schroedinger and his Astounding Felines.

Announcer: The wave function stabilisers of the ship are getting ready to hold the gangplanck constant, relative to the mooring-mast—

{Two airships can be seen superimposed, one like in the first panel, and a fainter one dropping, with flames exploding from the side.}

Announcer: Something strange is—
One of its states has burst into flames! It’s crashing! I think the pilot must have misjudged the ship’s position or its velocity. I’m uncertain which. It’s become entangled in the mooring-mast...its symmetry is broken! This is one of the worst cat-astrophes in the world! Oh, the felinity!

{Now two airships can be seen with equal clarity, one in the air and the other half-burnt and hitting the ground.}

Announcer: Someone or something has just lepton to the ground; is it one of the cats? No, I think it’s the bosun, Mr Higgs, or perhaps one of the quantum mechanics.

{Only one airship is now visible, engulfed in flames on the ground.}

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, the airship has finally collapsed, along with its wavefunction. I can hardly breathe! This is the worst event I have ever observed.

The author writes:

What, too soon?

One day, I hope to understand quantum physics. But first, I hope they'll work out the simple explanation that makes all the complexity and near-mysticism that currently surrounds it go away.

But I never expect to understand the even greater mystery of the crash of the Hindenburg. The Maldives issued a series of postage stamps called "Mysteries of the Universe". One of the mysteries was the crash of the Hindenburg, so clearly it is so great a mystery that we cannot hope to comprehend it. The other stamps showed the Loch Ness Monster, Stonehenge, UFOs, Nazca, Atlantis, Black Holes, Crystal Skulls, The Yeti, The Bermuda Triangle, UFOs again, Ghosts, Chernobyl, Crop Circles, The Marie Celeste, and the Pyramids. Hmmm.

Compiled in Inkscape. Of course, my copyright statement only applies to the arrangement of the images and the rather trivialising text I've added to them. The images themselves are available all over the internet, and it's hard to determine who, if anyone, owns them. I'm fairly sure it's not me, though.