Both Roads Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And caused me no small amount of panic
For traveling both of them would be good
But there simply was no way I could
Until I remembered quantum mechanics.

So half my wavefunction I sent left
And rightward steered the other half
Both pieces of me with equal heft
And thanks to calculations deft,
I knew the end would sum both paths

Plenty of physicists claim to know
Or at least will confidently speculate
That collapse, or a pilot wave's flow,
Or decoherence act to make it so.
Me, I just shut up and calculate.

So in the woods I went two ways
To return together some distance hence
And through the passing of many days
My branches accumulated differential phase
Which in the end makes interference.

With apologies to the estate of Robert Frost. Credit and/or blame for inspiring this silliness goes to this Stephen Curry tweet.

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Excellent! I'm going to send EVERYONE here to read this.

Plus: in high school, we sang a choral version of the Frost poem. So, I cannot read your poem without singing it in my head...

By Rosemary Kirstein (not verified) on 09 Mar 2015 #permalink

The Yannkee great Babe Ruth must have a quantum intution, when he said
"when you come to a fork in the road, take it"

Wasn't that Yogi Berra?

Yes, that one is a Yogi Berra quote.

Berra definitely had some kind of quantum intuition, because he also came up with these gems:
-You can observe a lot just by watching.
-You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there.
-I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question.
-The future ain't what it used to be.
-Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 09 Mar 2015 #permalink

*blink* *blink* Oilcan? Wow. Long time.

It was Yogi Berra, and it made sense because the fork in the road was actually the two ends of a loop road. So you got to his house no matter which fork you took.

If you know this, the "To return together some distance hence" line will be even more appropriate.

By CCPhysicist (not verified) on 10 Mar 2015 #permalink