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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Thursday (5/28/09) 10:04pm - ... wherein Peter writes draft one of a sketch for Friday Sketch War.

I'm posting a first draft of my Sketchwar entry, mainly so judovitch can look at it and perhaps cure it of some of its desperate inaccuracy.

This week's Sketchwar theme is "Twisted Children's Shows."

               Sketch War
               Children's Shows Edition
               "Quantum Physics"

               FADE IN:  



               INT. LAB - DAY

               Note:  this is all animated.  Think "Schoolhouse Rock."

               VINH, a little boy, approaches DR. PHYSICS, an old scientist
               in a lab coat.

                                   VINH
                         Dr. Physics?

                                   DR. PHYSICS
                         Yes, Vinh?

                                   VINH
                         I heard about something called
                         "quantum physics" -- but I don't
                         know what it is!

                                   DR. PHYSICS
                         Well, then, Vinh -- let me
                         introduce you to a friend of mine!

               The HAMILTONIAN -- an excitable little poofball of fire with
               arms, legs, and googly eyes -- appears.

                                   HAMILTONIAN
                         Hey, Vinh, let's start by looking
                         at the finite barrier quantum well!

                                   VINH
                         The what?

               He takes Vinh's hand and they start flying away --

                                   VINH
                         I don't want to go in the well!

               *poof*

               They appear in --



               INT. FINITE-BARRIER WELL - NIGHT

               -- a deep well illuminated by glowy shapes.

                                   VINH
                         Who *are* you?!

               Music starts up.  (It will continue throughout.)

                                   HAMILTONIAN
                             (singing)
                         I'm a Hamiltonian, the system's
                         energy
                         Potentials and derivatives together
                         equals me!
                         And if it never changes, then the
                         answer's gonna be
                         Somethin' that we're about to see!

               Meanwhile, Vinh bangs on the walls.

                                   VINH
                         Stupid!  Finite!  Barrier!

               Some unseen BACKGROUND SINGERS start singing.

               This frightens Vinh.

                                   BACKGROUND SINGERS (O.S.)
                         The wavefunction's time derivative
                         Equals the wavefunction's space
                         derivative
                         Plus the wavefunction times
                         potential e-ner-gy!
                         It's as easy as that!

                                   VINH
                         Where are those voices coming from?

                                   HAMILTONIAN
                         No time for that, little Vinh. 
                         We've got to introduce you to my
                         friend!

                                   VINH
                         I don't want to meet your --

               A little matrix appears -- the EIGENVECTOR.  Again, it has
               arms, legs, and googly eyes.

                                   EIGENVECTOR
                         Hi, Vinh!

                                   VINH
                         What is that?!

               The screen stretches, skews, and distorts.

               Everything but the eigenvector stretches with it.

               Vinh does not like being distorted.

                                   VINH
                         AAAAH!

                                   EIGENVECTOR
                             (singing)
                         I'm a math solution, eigenvector is
                         my name!
                         And under transformations, my
                         direction stays the same!

                                   VINH
                         Stop stretching me!  Ow!  OW!

                                   EIGENVECTOR
                             (singing)
                         I solve the Hamiltonian, and that's
                         my claim to fame,
                         But that's just part of the game!

               The screen stops distorting.

                                   EIGENVECTOR
                         And that solution is called
                         "eigenenergy."

                                   VINH
                         Eigen-what?

                                   EIGENVECTOR
                         Now you're getting it!

                                   VINH
                         No I'm not!

                                   BACKGROUND SINGERS (O.S.)
                         The eigenergies are quantized
                         solutions
                         To the reduced eigenequation
                         Of the original Hamiltonian
                         It's as easy as that!

               Vinh looks around in vain for the singers.

                                   VINH
                         What's a reduced -- what?

                                   HAMILTONIAN
                         I'd say he's still confused.

                                   EIGENVECTOR
                         Time to bring in the big guy.

                                   VINH
                         I don't want to see the big guy!

               A giant mass of mathematical symbols -- Schrödinger's
               EQUATION -- floats down.  Again:  arms, legs, googly eyes.

                                   EQUATION
                             (singing)
                         I'm Schrödinger's equation, Vinh,
                         and here's what I equate:
                         How a system over time will change
                         around its quantum state
                         I can tell you where it started and
                         I know about its fate
                         Quantum physics is great --

                                   EVERYONE BUT VINH
                             (singing)
                         And it's as easy as that!

               *Poof!*  The well and its denizens disappear.



               INT. LAB - DAY

               Vinh falls down to the floor next to Dr. Physics.

                                   VINH
                         Ow!

                                   DR. PHYSICS
                         Do you understand now, Vinh?

                                   VINH
                         No!  It's weird!  And it makes no
                         sense to me!

                                   DR. PHYSICS
                         Don't worry, Vinh.

               He pats Vinh on the back.

                                   DR. PHYSICS
                         Quantum physics makes no sense to
                         scientists, either.

                                   BACKGROUND SINGERS (O.S.)
                         It's as easy as that!

                                                              BLACKOUT.

Tags: , ,
Mood: [mood icon] amused, but I suspect this isn't everyone's cup of tea · Music: none
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Comments:

[User Picture]
From:jefpeanutbutter
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 9:28pm
(Link)
It's my cup of tea. I think it's hilarious.

One thing-- I was hoping for an ending more along the lines of:

VINH
No! It's weird! And it makes no sense to me!

DR PHYSICS
That's okay, Vinh. After all, [SOMETHING ABOUT HOW QUANTUM PHYSICS BRINGS VINH'S VERY EXISTENCE INTO QUESTION, SO HIS QUESTIONS ARE MEANINGLESS.]

BACKGROUND SINGERS
It's as easy as that!
BLACKOUT.

But I like dark stuff.
(Reply to this) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:judovitch
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 9:43pm
(Link)
The Copenhagen Interpretation wins again! MuhuhuhaHAHAHAHA!!!!
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[User Picture]
From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 9:45pm
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I have no idea what this means, and yet the sentence is still inherently hilarious. :)
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[User Picture]
From:judovitch
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 10:27pm
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Nobody expects the Copenhagen Interpretation!!!
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[User Picture]
From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 9:46pm
(Link)
Thanks, jefpeanutbutter!  And now, I commence mulling over last-line possibilities....
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From:judovitch
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 9:41pm
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Dude you nailed it, I was loling. I especially liked the eigenvector bit and the last line of Dr. Physics. I wonder if it'll be as funny to everyone else... A couple small points - first, was I wrong to be thinking of Dr. Tran when Vinh was talking? Secondly (and this is really nitpicking now) the wavefunction's time derivative actually equals the wavefunction's *second* derivative in space plus V*wavefunction. Not sure how to work that in so it scans - if not I wouldn't worry about it, the term "spatial derivative" could be considered generic enough to cover higher order derivatives as well. Dude, I'm such a huge geek - I'll shut up now. :)
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[User Picture]
From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 9:45pm
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woo-hoo!

Thanks!  And yes indeed, I'm trying to remedy the world's sad lack of any Schoolhouse Rock/Dr. Tran crossovers.

Thank you very much for the derivative into -- I'll see if I can clean it up without compromising the rhyme/meter....

ETA:  actually, if we're talking about the background singers' part, I was pretty fast-and-loose with rhyme/meter there anyway, so it should be easy to fix.
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From:jefpeanutbutter
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 9:53pm
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I say judovitch's insight trumps the importance of rhyme and meter. Isn't that even MORE confusing for a little kid if they can't even fit their explanation into a proper song? :)
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From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 10:17pm
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Yeah, and that's definitely the direction I was going in with those background singers -- just piles of information shunted into stanzas that don't make any lyrical sense or properly reiterate what the characters said....</overexplain-y>
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From:judovitch
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 10:14pm
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V.O. "Now kiddies, watch as Vinh solves the Schroedinger equation by giving it a DEEP HARD DICKING!"
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From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (5/28/09) 10:18pm
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Ah -- so *that's* what students did in those upper-level physics courses....
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From:jrtom
Date:Friday (5/29/09) 9:47am
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Screw that, I'll stick with CS and machine learning, thanks. :)

This is indeed funny; I'll pass it along to Alex and Jeff.

(here c/o judovitch)
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From:britbrizat
Date:Friday (5/29/09) 8:06am
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HA hahahahahahaha!

That is all.
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