The adventures of the little physicists

Looong time ago there was a physicist writing a blog. Then he got occupied with loads of stuff and experiencing adventures at university. Now before the next exam he takes a break and tells some of the maybe funny adventures. ;)

(c) Homepage CERN
One day four little physicists gathered in the basement of the chemistry building to look at some funny images produced by a million dollar scanning electron microscope. After two hours of carefully observing stuff you usually cannot observe (too small ...) in dim light in a small room with insanely expensive and complicated scientist toys they packed their bags and started the long journey home. Soon they encountered a mysterious crossing where their only thought was "I have no memory of this place!". After some considerations (of course including serious looks to all of the exits) and calculating the crystal orientation of the building they decided to follow the 0 -1 0 direction, meaning "minus x" in a right handed coordinate system and "left" in a language that not-crazy people speak. So the four little physicists entered an ominous corridor that started to seem familiar after some meters. But behold! It was on level too low, the corridor leading back to daylight was one level up! The physicists returned, trying to correct their mistake but - oh dear! - the door was locked. The same door they just had passed! Great confusion. This had to be an asymmetric potential barrier! (Physicists hate asymmetries.) After dealing with the first shock knowing something about tubes and particle currents the physicists quickly decided that if they moved towards the other end of the corridor-tube there should be an exit as well! Only - oh dear again! - this door was locked as well! After laughing their a**es off the four little physicists decided to accept their fate as bound state in a finite quantum well (locked corridor) and waited for someone to lower the energy barrier (door) to free them and transform them back to plane waves in free space ...

A few days later there was a second lab exercise, this time looking at even funnier images of a transmission electron microscope - bigger microscope (actually it filled a whole room), way more expensive microscope, smaller images ... Same building, same basement ... Ok, this time the physicists were prepared, having used a mapping function to remeber the way ... ;)

(Just by the end: Seriously, who builds corridors where you can get but not out?!?)

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