Entangled – physics, music and art

21 February 2018

The Institute of Physics brought quantum physics, art and music together to celebrate Belfast physicist, John Bell, who grew up in Tates Avenue.

His vision and integrity, which opened the door to new quantum exploration and led the way for a quantum revolution in the 21st century, was commemorated with a unique audio-visual performance entitled ‘Entangled’ at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Queen’s University, Belfast as part of the NI Science Festival.

John Bell proved that in the quantum realm, particles are entangled in a ‘spooky’ way. Quantum entanglement was first visualised using a camera developed by Belfast-based Andor Technology. Andor sponsored a reception at the event.

Electro-acoustic composer, Matthew Whiteside, was commissioned by IOP to write this new piece for string quartet, electronics and film, which explores the work of John Bell - Matthew's great uncle.  The piece was performed by the Aurea Quartet accompanied by a film made by Marisa Zanotti.

The performance followed by the annual IOP John Bell Lecture given by Professor Winfried Hensinger of the University of Sussex,  in which he looked at the development of a quantum computer.

The evening concluded with the Aurea Quartet performing a concert of music linked to physics.

Matthew Whiteside is a composer based in Glasgow, named ‘One to Watch’ at the Herald’s Culture Awards 2017. Entangled is his 4th string quartet, Little Black Lies a short opera commissioned by Scottish Opera Connect and he is currently working with filmmaker/choreographer Marisa Zanotti developing a new installation piece with Magnetic North.

He has received international performances by ensembles such as the RTÉ NSO, Red Note Ensemble, the Aurea Quartet and Diagenesis Dup at venues such as Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Glasgow City Halls, Salem Artworks in New York and the Belfast International Festival at Queen’s.

Dr Marisa Zanotti is an award winning filmmaker who has been exploring ideas around bodies, screens and perception through analogue and digital technologies since the 1990s in different kinds of projects. Her work is informed by her background in performance, choreography, theatre and installation practices. Recent projects include The Pan’s People Papers with choreographer Lea Anderson and We are all made of stars, a mixed reality installation with Matthew Whiteside commissioned by the theatre company Magnetic North.  She is a Reader in Choreography and Digital Technologies at University of Chichester.

Professor Winfried Hensinger heads the Sussex Ion Quantum Technology Group and  is the director of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies. Hensinger’s group works on constructing a trapped-ion quantum computer demonstrator device, a quantum simulation engine as well as portable quantum sensors in collaboration with a number of academic and industrial partners. He has devoted much of his life to utilising the strange nature of physics to solve the world’s problems.