February 25, 2007

What shocks me about an electron in a Penning trap is...

via videosift.com

I saw this the other night and laughed fairly hard. It was inserted directly into the middle of an interview, which was proceeding not unnormally up to this point. I wish people really talked this way. I also wish I could find the article it is from.

Seconds later, this happened.

Update: Some goons took down the YouTube video but it is still available here.

Update II: I think that previous update no longer works. Now it is here.

Update II.V: As of Jan 2010 the only place I can find it is here.

Update III: The link in update II may still work, but either way, here is the transcript, courtesy of mettadata.

Jim Carrey: I was just reading this incredible paper on the stochastic phase-shifting of the parametrically-driven electron in a Penning trap; and apparently, a bistability arises dynamically in the specific parametrically-driven systems, because the phase \psi of the electron’s steady-state oscillation can either have the two values separated by \pi.


Conan O’Brien: You know, it’s funny, what shocks me about an electron in a Penning trap is that most amplitude collapses are accompanied by a phase flip. Given that the rate of escape from the trap depends exponentially on an activation energy \textit{E} as the diffusion constant \textit{D} approaches \textit{T}_{n} and \rho approaches \epsilon^\textit{-E/D}.

JC: Absolutely. No question there.

Max Weinberg: I don’t know about that, Conan. Have you considered that the parametric driving force excites a nearly-resonant electron oscillation at the drive frequency, \omega_{d}/3=\omega_{z}+\epsilon? It’s a classic example of the period-doubling that occurs when a linear oscillator is strongly driven.

JC: Max. Did you just say that \omega_{d}/3=\omega_{z}+\epsilon?

MW: Yeah.

CB: (Laughs). It’s actually \omega_{d}/2=\omega_{z}+\epsilon! Wow, Max. Max, you know nothing about quantum physics!

MW: You’re right.