Meet the Scientist: Dr. Jon Harrison Shares About Quantum Chaos at the Mayborn Museum

December 4, 2021

On Saturday December 4 there was the chance to meet a mathematician at the Mayborn Museum. Dr Jon Harrison from the department was talking to visitors about quantum chaos and its connections to slinkies, Facebook, billiards and internet security.

By far the biggest attraction was the chance for lots of kids to shake multicolored networks of slinkies in the name of science. This demonstrated that standing waves on the springs only occur when you shake at particular speeds. This type of phenomena is the origin of the word quantum in quantum mechanics. Particles at the nano scale also behave like waves which can only have particular energies; their energy is quantized.

The Mayborn organizes regular meet the scientist events, a collaboration with the Baylor science departments that is part of the NSF funded Portal to the Public Network. So if you are in the Mayborn look out for a scientist at large!

Jon Harrison standing with a multi-colored slinky in front of his Meet the Scientist display at the Mayborn Museum.