Many scientific facts can find their analogy in the art of dance.  Is science truly objective and neutral, and art subjective? The indeterminacy prevailing in the results of measurements given by quantum mechanics can be seen as an adaptation of information visualised in our classical world.

A quantum measurement result depends on many parameters such as the measuring instrument, the interaction between the system with the environment, the observer and even possibly many other facts, but are almost impossible to explain rationally.

During a measurement, the superposition of states in which the system is found collapses into a classical result dependent on the observer.  Before the actual performance, the dancer does not yet know the final result of their sequence: will they fall down or meet the gaze of another person in the middle of their dance? These are answered when the performance is completed, collapsing all choreographic possibilities into one reality.

The association between emotion and the famous Bloch Sphere will now be explored. We can represent the state of a qubit by any point belonging to the surface of a unit sphere, giving us infinite possibilities.

This is how we can perceive a dance; each emotion released by the dancer, or spectator, is established from such a large number of parameters, making it impossible to recreate exactly the same state of emotion at a different moment. It all depends on the sensitivity of each individual, the history and experiences, the dancer’s intention and the spectator’s interpretation of each of the distinctive movements.

The dancer-spectator entanglement is so unique that there are states of intricate emotions that can be created. The amount of dancers or spectators can be compared with the amount of entangled particles, the greater the amount, the more complex the performance by both systems.

We can also compare the permanent vibrations of microscopic-scale systems, or even the undulation of waves to the ebb and flow of dance. The Pauli exclusion principle, originating from the electronic configuration of atomic orbitals, reminds us that if we raise one leg in arabesque, then the other leg must necessarily be in the opposite state: it is touching the ground and keeping the balance. If we want to swap legs, then the other leg must return to the ground… Except if you can levitate!

While only some links are explored here, both the quantum and ballet worlds are fascinating in their own way.

Léa Casse, Erasmus French physics student-ballerina

Did you know?

• Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon where different systems depend on each other regardless of the distance between them.

• One of the functions of cloud-based computing is the invocation of quantum simulators through the cloud providing access to quantum processing.

• 24 EU member states have committed to working together towards the development of a secure quantum communication infrastructure (EuroQCI).

• In March 1935, EPR, Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen, introduced, on the basis of philosophical consideration, the notion of “elements of reality”.

• In the notion of locality, the information is hidden inside each quantum system. This is called the local hidden variables theory.

For more trivia see:

Sound bites

• In London, a dancer and doctor named Merritt realised at the beginning of the pandemic that her only dance partner would be a cobot. Therefore, she created a remarkable and amazing performance with her robot partner. Have a look at this unconventional merger:

• Vortices create arbitrary configurations of polariton liquids and can be produced in bizarre fluids which are controlled by quantum mechanics, completely unlike normal liquids. The simulation results of such a phenomenon have a remarkably aesthetic side, similar to  dance during a scenic performance involving make-up, costumes, lighting, etc… The phase portraits of a double pendulum demonstrating quantum chaos, particle decay plates, the synthesis images of black holes or Higgs bosons present aesthetic and artistic visions.

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