Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quantum Ukulele


Ukulele used for quantum experiments
Effects of a wave form nature can be created, duplicated, and simulated to explore the quantum world using the sound from a musical instrument.

One musical instrument is like a tiny guitar - the Ukulele, which has origins from Hawaii. They are available with four strings in various sizes (soprano, concert, tenor, baritone), generally one of the smallest sizes is called a Soprano. The Soprano Uke obtained for the Big Brain Project is 21-inches long and has a 13.5-inch bridge rating. It resonates with a mahogany wood construct, and is especially well designed for stability and a more humid environment.

The project begins with an acoustical uke and some preparations to convert it into an electronic instrument. The first step is to install a pickup to transfer the sound into an amplifier or computer (or other machine for processing. There are several ways to create an electronic pickup - some work and some will not work with gut strings. Magnetic induction pickups work with metal strings, however a piezo based pickup, which is based on acoustical vibrations, will work. Another method which is quick and simple is to place a directional quality microphone near the resonance aperture. Waves are then captured, and can be recorded, modified, and transformed. Techniques such as capture, transforming, reflecting, modulating and applying effects can have designs and introductions into the system.

String tuning is accomplished with a modern electronic tuner. This is a small electronic battery operated device with a display that shows the key note of the plucked string and the direction to tune it.

It's possible to apply and connect the QuadLyzer and introduce the study of Quantum worlds simulated with the Uke.