Home > My Life Musings > Dishwashers, mugs and Quantum Tunnelling

Dishwashers, mugs and Quantum Tunnelling

A few weeks ago I arrived at work to be told that my coffee mug had suffered an unfortunate dishwasher accident. Apparently the force of the water in the dishwasher had blown my mug apart! This mug had been with me for years, so understandably, the sight of the broken handle was almost too much to bear. But, accidents happen. Half of the handle was missing, and when the dishwasher broke down that very evening, everyone assumed that the handle was stuck inside somewhere.

The dishwasher was fixed and the incident forgotten. The handle was never found.

A couple of weeks later the handle turned up – in the mug cupboard opposite the dishwasher.

Now it’s Nobel Prize time – quantum tunnelling of a mug handle through two large barriers!

Quantum tunnelling involves teensy-weensy particles (for example electrons) tunnelling through a barrier, which classically, would be impossible.

We now see evidence of a large object, billions of times more massive than an electron, tunnelling through both the dishwasher door and the cupboard door! The probability of this, while finite, is so small to be mathematically impossible.

So I’ll write a paper on it and get famous.

Although, thinking about it, I guess the probability of someone telling a little fib after accidentally breaking the mug while putting it away in the cupboard it a bit higher, I suppose.

Hold the paper. More research required.

Categories: My Life Musings
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