Max Planck (1858-1947) was a German theoretical physicist who first discovered quantum effects. In an act of abandoning his convictions, he proposed that electromagnetic energy (light) could be emitted only in quantized form, as a multiple of an elementary unit E = hv, where h is Planck’s constant. He had a strong distaste for the idea, but it fit the data well.
This led to the birth of quantum mechanics, where we now describe the universe in Planck’s terms. Part of that is the observer effect, where, for example, the universe exists in a superposition of states until it is observed, and then single outcome is selected.
Yet, if we consider it, Planck observed the first quantum mechanical constant (called Planck’s constant), and this is perhaps the most fundamental constant of the universe. What if he had observed a different number? What simultaneous universes existed, before he killed them by observation?
This piece represents Planck’s observation in a simultaneous universe where the value of Planck’s constant is somewhat larger than in our universe. In that world, visual observation would be fuzzier, and so the universe would have to be larger in order to be consistent with our universe.
Materials: steel, cast acrylic for the lenses, rope. The nose is an ℏ.