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The blog’s title makes reference to an angry blackboard, but also to the RAGE Theorem, named after the mathematical physicists D. Ruelle, W. Amrein, V. Georgescu, and V. Enss. Imagine an electron moving in some material, like a metal surface or block. Mathematically, one can describe how the movement of the particle evolves in time and space, using a wave function to represent the probability that the particle is somewhere at a given time (the quantum analog of its position in space), and using a linear operator (called Hamiltonian) to represent its energy, where the effect of the environment on the particle is encoded. The RAGE theorem relates, roughly, the time evolution of the wave function with the spectrum of the operator. More specifically, with the spectral measure, an object that encodes the nature of the spectrum.
This theorem is a beautiful example of how something more concrete and “physical”, like the dynamics of the particle (will the particle stay or will it go?), is associated to a more abstract notion as the spectral measure of a linear operator acting on a Hilbert space. In this blog, we want to explore the relation between physical reality and the abstract world of ideas by talking to the people who make a bridge between them, scientists and artists.
Texts by Constanza Rojas-Molina.
Illustrations by E. A. Casanova.
Thanks to: C.R.M would like to thank the support of the European Community Seventh Framework Programme FP7, Grant Number 329458, during the period 10.2013-09.2015. E.A.C. would like to thank Sophie Schmid and the Freie Kunstwerkstatt München.