Anil Ananthaswamy discusses Through Two Doors at Once - the intellectual adventure story of the "double-slit" experiment, showing how a sunbeam split into two paths first challenged our understanding of light and then the nature of reality itself--and continues to almost 200 years later.
Many of the greatest scientific minds have grappled with this experiment. Thomas Young devised it in the early 1800s to show that light behaves like a wave, and in doing so opposed Isaac Newton's view that light is made of particles. But then Albert Einstein showed that light comes in quanta, or particles. Quantum mechanics was born. This led to a fierce debate between Einstein and Niels Bohr over the nature of reality--subatomic bits of matter and its interaction with light--again as revealed by the double-slit experiment. Richard Feynman held that it embodies the central mystery of the quantum world. Decade after decade, hypothesis after hypothesis, scientists have returned to this ingenious experiment to help them answer deeper and deeper questions about the fabric of the universe.
How can a single particle behave both like a particle and a wave? Does a particle, or indeed reality, exist before we look at it, or does looking create reality, as the textbook "Copenhagen interpretation" of quantum mechanics seems to suggest? How can particles influence each other faster than the speed of light? Is there a place where the quantum world ends and the familiar classical world of our daily lives begins, and if so, can we find it? And if there's no such place, then does the universe split into two each time a particle goes through the double-slit?
Through Two Doors at Once celebrates the elegant simplicity of an iconic experiment and its profound reach. With his extraordinarily gifted eloquence, Anil Ananthaswamy travels around the world, through history and down to the smallest scales of physical reality we have yet fathomed. It is the most fantastic voyage you can take.
Anil Ananthaswamy is an award-winning journalist and former staff writer and deputy news editor for the London-based New Scientist magazine. He has been a guest editor for the science writing program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and organizes and teaches an annual science journalism workshop at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bengaluru, India. He is a freelance feature editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science's Front Matter. He contributes regularly to the New Scientist, and has also written for Nature, National Geographic News, Discover, Nautilus, Matter, The Wall Street Journal and the UK's Literary Review. His first book, The Edge of Physics, was voted book of the year in 2010 by Physics World, and his second book, The Man Who Wasn't There, won a Nautilus Book Award in 2015 and was long-listed for the 2016 Pen/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.
Aug 14, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, Pegasus Books Downtown, 2349 Shattuck Ave Berkeley
"THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO is both a cunning little comedy of manners and a sweet-tempered celebration of American roots music. It chronicles the sea change that took place in the black Creole music scene of southwest Louisiana with the deaths of both Clifton Chenier and Rockin' Dopsie, king and crown prince, respectively, of zydeco music. Who, then, assumes titular leadership of this righteously rocking, washboard-driven sub-genre of rhythm-and-blues? A colorful, engaging cast of disc jockeys, club owners, record dealers and other zydeco artists have their own opinions and biases in the matter. The Chavis-Jocque tussle is prototypical American status buffoonery painted in folk miniature. Both these men kick out the jams in thrilling performances filmed with blissful authority by Mugge, a specialist in roots music documentaries such as 1991's DEEP BLUES. It's Chenier's legacy - and Mugge's observational skills - that triumph in the end."
- Gene Seymour, New York Newsday
Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride at 8:00 pm / Film at 8:30 pm
Tickets are $7 in advance/$9 at the door
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Aug 14, 8pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
Bassist/vocalist John Lester heads up the Tuesday Jazzidency for August, as he brings his all bass and drums looping project, Bass Bureaucracy, back to Jupiter. John plays upright bass, as well as six string fretted and fretless electric basses, while utilizing loop recording to create deep grooves for his award winning songs. Back in San Francisco after over a decade living in Europe and two years in New York City, John has carved a niche touring circuit throughout the US, the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. As a solo performer, he has created a unique show featuring his 100-year-old upright bass named Sarah (after Sarah Vaughan, for her lovely vocal-like quality).
Aug 14, 8pm to 11pm, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
18 year old Singer-songwriter Sawyer Fredericks, hailing from his family's farm in central New York State, is fast establishing himself as an authentic, original, Americana artist with an old soul. His deep, beyond-his-years lyrics and melodies, raw, soulful vocals, and powerful live performances have attracted an ever growing number of devoted fans of all ages, selling out shows throughout the US. As a folk/blues singer-songwriter, who cut his teeth at local farmers markets, open mics, and iconic New York venues like Caffe Lena, the Towne Crier Cafe, and The Bitter End, Sawyer seemed an unlikely match for reality tv, but quickly won over broad audiences with his genuine delivery and unique arrangements of classic songs, going on to win season 8 of NBC's The Voice. Fresh from that whirlwind, Sawyer went forward with the release of his major label debut, A Good Storm, with Republic Records, an impressive blend of soulful Folk, blues, and rock, entirely written or cowritten by Sawyer. His 2016 A Good Storm Tour included 62 shows across the US.
Parsonsfield"WE is not about you and me or even `us,' the band. It's about finding our way in the world one day at a time trying to live out each moment until the sun goes down." Parsonsfield has been through the wringer of ups and downs and decided for the first time since the band's 2011 conception to take a two-month break from touring to focus solely on recording. The result is WE, a contemplative EP filled with real life struggle and excitement. The album takes us from the joys of childhood discovery to the depression and confusion of a quarter-life crisis, and ends with dancing your way toward the darkness at the end of days.
"Everyone finds themselves searching for this theoretical `thing' that is supposed to make them happy. Whether it's a relationship or financial comfort, there's a goal in our minds that once achieved, we'll be able to start enjoying life," says singer/songwriter and banjo player Chris Freeman. "Our circumstances, whether we're rich or poor, are only half of what determines happiness. The rest is our thoughts, habits and connections with other people," adds songwriter and mandolin player Antonio Alcorn. "WE is an inner journey to appreciate what you have, and to find happiness no matter what your lot in life."
In a concise five songs, WE captures the band's maturing sound, winding its way through a full range of emotions. It has as much influence from 90's rock and 70's R&B as it does the folk-pop material that fans have come to expect from the western Massachusetts based outfit. The album opens with a forlorn mandolin that grows into the groovy "Light of the City," a song about profound loneliness in the most crowded place on earth. "Go Find Yourself" captures the fading of childhood excitement as you tumble down a prescribed path toward the rest of your life, realizing it won't bring you happiness. The song takes a cosmic step back and pleads, "when love comes to find you, don't run and hide." The danceable, invigorating "Kick Out The Windows," written in reaction to Dylan Thomas' poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," is a resonant anthem of defiance and redemption, showcasing Parsonsfield's enduring vein of passion.
Leading up to the recording of WE, Parsonsfield built a home studio where they retreated to workshop song ideas and experiment with recording techniques. "There were more demos and versions of these songs than any other songs we have written. It was a much more thoughtful process with 90% of our ideas not sticking. Since recording our last album, Blooming Through The Black, we scored a film and wrote instrumental music for the first time, which opened new horizons for this record."
When it came time to go into the studio with producer Dan Cardinal (Josh Ritter, The Low Anthem, Darlingside), Parsonsfield had more material than ever before. "Dan challenged us even further to play with sampled drums and more effected sounds giving the music more depth and mood. Although this was our first time working in a traditional recording studio, we didn't want to lose the space that our demos had. So we made sure that songs like `Light of the City' and `Take Me Back' maintained that minimalism that we fell in love with on our demo."
WE is the highly anticipated fourth release from Parsonsfield, a quintet praised for making "the most jubilant and danceable indie roots music this side of the Carolinas" (NPR). The band continues to push the boundaries of their harmony driven grassroots origins creating their own distinctive Americana, integrating pop and bold rock flourishes along the way.
Just remember, WE is not about you and me. Freeman continues, "It's about struggling with depression and anxiety from living in a divisive world, yet we have so much to be grateful for. It's about being at the crossroads of yesterday's dreams and tomorrow's plans."
Aug 14, 8pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley