Quantum Mirror (2005)

A reactive video installation as a metaphor for the quantum uncertainty and the tunnel effect

by Hans H. Diebner, Florian Grond and Lasse Scherffig

Hans H. Diebner, Florian Grond, Lasse Scherffig: Quantenspiegel.
ZKM Media Lounge Karlsruhe 2005.

Since June 2005 the enhanced version of Micro Relativity, called "Quantum Mirror" is available. It allows for the interaction between two separated half spaces mimicking the tunnel effect.

The installation shows phenomena of quantum mechanics (QM) on our macroscopic scale of perception. Usually, the impact of the uncertainty relation can only be recognized on a microscopic molecular level. For example, this principle says that the simultanous measurement of velocity and positions of objects, respectively, entails a contradiction. Both entities cannot be precisely measured at the same time.

A glance into the "Quantum mirror" reveals this seemingly absurd logic applied to the own image. The spectators must move in order to see themselves which, however, is counter productive for the morning toilet, for example. The laws of QM yield occupation probabilities for one object at several positions simultaneously. This leads to ghostly apparitions that can be observed as multiplications and superpositions of objects in the "Quantum Mirror".

In addition, partial information on objects that are located at apart positions may tunnel into the own mirror image and interfer with it. For sure, the uncertainty in our daily decision making processes obey other mathematical laws. Phenomenologically they are, however, so similiar to those of QM that many scientists in the fields of social studies and politics have been led to arguments by analogy.


  1. INM@Night of Museums in Frankfurt upon Main on Sat. 07 May 2011. On the occassion of the "Night of the Museums" all users of the cultural bunker at SchmickstraƟe 18 (cultural bunker in Frankfurt's East harbor) joint to organize a common programme for "The Night".
  2. New media make sense | Context INM: performative science and vireality An exhibition within the scope of "Forum Science and Art" of the HMWK-Hessian Ministery for Science and Art. Curated by Michael Klein and Hans H. Diebner, Institute for New Media, Frankfurt upon Main. Duration: 9 March - 16 April, 2011. Venue: HMWK Wiesbaden Rheinstr. 23-25. Vernissage: 8 March, 2011, 19.30h.
  3. 51:49, in the Media Lounge of the Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe. From June 04 - Oct 03, 2005.