Friday, 13th – qubit drawing session!

Got up at 8:30 am. Went to CQT right afterwards. Björn enters my office – he wants me to explain the dimensions of the cabinet. Jessie joins us – she is responsible for all safety-stuff at CQT. We go upstairs. Björn seems to get excited about the whole story. He makes plans what could happen with it afterwards. Suggesting, that Berges chessboard could possibly go into the show as well. He hasn’t got a place for it yet. I like the idea a lot!

Also, Björn is the first one that I ask to ‘model a model that you are working with’. He has some ideas and seem to have fun, to think about it. He makes word-jokes between Austrian and German. Words that need translations can only remember ‘Eierschwammerl’ (AT) vs. ‘Pfifferlinge’ (DE). Funny – I never thought about, that he might speak German at all. As far as I know, he is originally from Sweden.

Now, I start to my small qubit-drawing-session in the Quantum-Café. The first one, that I see – I ask. His name is Cord – he is German too. He takes a sheet of paper, promising to bring it back by Monday – with a drawing. I go to the bridge in between the two buildings. Again, I ask two persons at the water-supply, if they would draw me a qubit – some moment of confusion than the girl starts to draw. A cherub with an arrow. I do not comment it – knowing, that apart from physicists, few people would know, what is it about. I liked the story, that it is enough, to move 5 m from one door to the next, that the whole concept changes! Interpretation is related to space and sites. The two people, probably molecular biologists (that’s the department next to CQT) draw me a ‘cubit’ – as it turned out. They had never heard of a ‘qubit’ before – neither know what it could be about.

I went through some offices at 6th floor. Got some rejections and some drawings. Decided to go for lunch. Met Debashis at the canteen – we speak about various topics beginning from that Indians would never put the rice in the soup – as I did – to Nazi-Germany and psychology.

Went back to 6th floor – next qubit-drawing action. Met a group around Libby and Giovanni – they seem to be interested – at least five people took a sheet of paper. They suggest to have lunch with me – but too late, pity.

I continue at 3rd floor. Meeting Valerio at the Quantum Cafe – asking if he would draw me a qubit or model a model he is working with. He starts first thinking about it – and than doubting. I show him the sculpey-offer. He complains, that he can not effort to have time for all ideas of all visitors. I say, that he isn’t force to do it- if he doesn’t want to – it is fine with me. I was just asking! He says, he’ll bring back to me, what he can do in 15 minutes. I agree. Paul and Agata escaped. Troy has to go to a meeting and hasn’t time today. Uff, I need a break. It becomes hard now. I make myself a decaf coffee and sneak back into office to do some orga-stuff and recover.

Went to Johannes lab in the evening. He shows me his latest findings concerning the laser-installation. He explains, how a crystal can turn the light from red into green! I have to say, I never thought so much about the direction and colour of light before! We also came into speaking about earning money, nothing, John Cage and what one can learn from art-works. Since some days Johannes got advice from Kai to get the laser working, before doing art!

Since Christian announced an expedition to ‘Newton Circus’, will have a look in which state of development it is. Going to 2nd floor. Meeting Christian and Dzimitry in Alexander’s office. One of Alexander lab-books is opened, since the three of them are discussing something about it. I am amazed by the graphic-design of Alex’ book. He uses a metallic-purple pen to write some his numbers. The three laugh, when I say, that is nicely done. It seems to be hard for them, to take my praise serious. I know, I want to do something with one of these ‘drawings’. What they are actually interested in, is a metallic device that shall go inside a small satellite. I tell them, that some friends of mine do a satellite project, called mur.sat in Graz, too.

By the way, since today is qubit-drawing- and model-modelling-day, I take all the stuff to the hawker center-expedition. We leave CQT with Dzimitry, Christian and Stan – a new PhD of Christian. While we wait for the taxi – we introduce each other. Dzimitry is originally from Belarus, studied also in the US. Stan is from Russia. Both of them know about Cabinets of Curiosties, since there is a big one in Piter (St. Petersburg) – ‘Кунсткамера’ (Kunstkamera – one of these funny Russian words, token from German). I tell them from my experience some years ago, when I went by bus from Tallinn to Piter. I couldn’t speak Russian that time, since I was the first generation, that learned English instead of Russian. Dzimity and Stan laugh, when I explained, that I thought it would be enough that half of the Cyrillic alphabet looks the same as in Latin and how discovered, that it isn’ttrue. I guess at that time, I couldn’t imagine, that I would laugh about it – six years later.

We arrive at Newton Circus – the owners of the food-stands are happy to see Christian. Evon, Esther, Jed and Esther’s boyfriend slowly occurs. We have nice food and – as promised frozen beer. Esther brought a thermometer with her – it turns out, that if the beer has -1,7 °C, it starts to freeze in the glass. I guess this is an entertainment for all beer-drinking nations; I am glad, that Singapore finally has beer too. When I was in France, it was incredibly expensive and not really good, I have to say.

Evon always takes photos from the food she consumes and post it immediately on facebook. I start to ask people to draw qubits. Dzimitry, Esther, Evon and Christian join. Again, I wonder why everyone starts drawing in the upper corner at the left side. Christian is the first one, that does perspective and places his figure in the middle of the paper. Also some ‘models are created. Esther tells a story, that back in Swiss, there came an artist and wanted her (and her boss) to draw a ‘Klein bottle’. In the end, when Esther went to the opening, the artist didn’t use any of the drawings. Which was disappointing for her. Klein bottle seems to be an extension to Möbius strip, what Dzimitry shows me on his smartphone. The speciality is, that you can not define inside and outside. I dsiagree, if you would fill water inside, it would stay in the belly. Become green and muddy after a while. It reminds me more on fly-traps especially the glass-versions. I am not really impressed. I like the ‘pure’ Möbiusband better.

Christian wrote me a list of expressions in my exercise-recording-book. I guess his first motivation was to look for other relevant abstract expressions apart from qubit. Later on, he just seemed to assembling words, that are somehow tied to CQT:

Jaynes-Cummings Model
Bose-Hubbard Model
Can you give me a Hamilton Ion?
Quantum Channel
Information Causality
Almighty Power
Alice & Bob
Frequency Comb
Quantum Key
Bell inequality
optical lattice
Atom chip
Dead Laser
Hello Kitty
Mr. I-Pad
Coffee Grounds … spent chemicals container
Black body
one day I’ll clean up this office
metric screws
other screws
SERIOUSLY Good Laksa (just go for the Best!)

Discussions becomes more dynamic after some beers. Jed wants to convince all of us to go to Clarke Quay Bridge. I am not sure- rather want to work. Esther tell a story, that she spent nearly one year on working on a paper, when it turned out, that one assumption was wrong. So all work done within that time – by more than two people was completely useless. Wow – that never happened to me. Must be a though situation.

Jed convinced us to go to Clarke Quay Bridge – except for Christian and Evon. Evon has another appointment. And Christian just wants to go home. We go by taxi. Pass through this crazy sheltered entertainment district. Esther points out, that the lamps resemble large penises. True! But, I am not sure, how to interpret that: I can’t believe, that they are so cool, that they did it on purpose (the rest looks like a upright shopping-mall) – on the other hand, I can’t imagine, that they NOT did it on purpose, no one could be so blind to not see it. We reach the bridge and buy more beer at a small shop. Jed met friends of him on the bridge. This scenery is the most home-feeling situation since weeks. Young people sitting in Public Space – drinking, chatting and smoking. After a while only Stan, Dzimitry and myself are there (I am often times one of the last people at a party – only, recently it starts to become insanely late in Dresden – people would usually show up for a concert around 2 am – party until 8 am – while I like to be back home before sunrise, otherwise I feel like a vampire creeping in the coffin). Again, we discuss the difference between Artists and Physicists. I am wondering about my impression, that a lot of these Principal investigators are unseizable. As soon as you see them, they are already gone. More like phantoms. Dzimitry is a PIs too, that’s why I asked. He explains what has to be done: All applications for seeking money – all bureaucratic paperwork and reports – running the lab, means to organize people working there – supervising students and reviewing the work of PhD-Students. Many PIs are not able to spend much time being in the lab and work there physically anymore – especially if they commute and teach at another place as well. But still, it seems to be not a tempting job to me, if there is no space for spontaneous actions and interesting occasions. Also I wonder, that Christian – who is PI and professor as well – seems to be the only one organising low-threshold offers for people to socialise – meaning something simple as to go out for dinner or beer together, that I enjoy a lot! Dzimitry assumes, that if people have family, they also what to spend their free time not only with colleagues. Sure, but for Artists, even if they have family it sort of belongs to ‘life’ to take some time off and socialise with colleagues – even if they have family. Of course not always, but from time to time and for occasions such as meetings, talks, openings and concerts. Sometimes this socializing happens on conferences, but also it could be, that it simply doesn’t belong so much to the requirement as physicist, Dzimitry says. This is actually the first point that I find really irritating.

At around 3 am we share a taxi back home. At 3:15 am I arrive at my apartment – try to open the door. It shows the green light – but the closing device doesn’t move. Oh no, please not now, not today, not at this time! But yes, today, now at 3:30 am the lock is done. It was not operating some time before, but now – it doesn’t move at all. I call the number written at the door. A man speaking very Chinese English wouldn’t understand me. I called two times, he gave up. After some minutes I got a call – from another person. Finally, I describe the place – U-Town-Campus, Cinemon College. He doesn’t know it. University town? No chance, he wants a proper address. I go downstairs: College Avenue East 22, says the sign. He can’t find it on GPS or map. I try to not despair. I leave the house to the next big road – him on the phone; Dover Road – corner Folkstone Road. I said that I will wait there for him – he promise to come in 10 minutes. I wait, since I have nothing better to do, now with hope to get into bed ‘soon’. He comes in time and I show him the way to the U-Town. Our telephone-conversation had been chirpy before, but now it is more nice.

After he tries to open the lock with my card – which didn’t work (so it was not the beers) – he drilled into it and after some movements the doors opens. He says, thatit is a copy of a German product. It will be alright if I lock from inside – from outside it has to be reviewed. I am just happy to be inside – the rest is not relevant to me by now. It turns out, that I have to pay him 150 S$, since he isn’t part of NUS. Strange, but I pay him, in the hope to get my money back. By 4:40 am I can finally go to bed. There I think, door-experience may have to do with it, that today it is still Friday 13th – at least in Germany!

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