NOVA intern Sarah Charley ’11 starts with a joke
intern for NOVA, Sarah Charley ’11 explains the Heisenberg uncertainty principle using an old joke and a few apt similes that explain how an electron can sometimes be like a “sheet crumpled into a ball” and other times like a “quilt spread across a bed.”
Here’s the joke. Professor Werner Heisenberg is speeding down the highway when a cop pulls him over. The cop walks up to his car and asks, “Excuse me sir, do you know how fast you were going?” And Heisenberg responds, “No, but I know exactly where I am!” (Read Charley’s post to see the humor.)
Entering the field of science journalism has been Charley’s career goal for some time. For her chemistry senior thesis last year, Charley produced a full-length magazine about the faculty and student research happenings in the chemistry department. And last winter, she gamely used a snow sculpture to explain the concepts of potential barriers and quantum tunneling.