SoN01R is a realtime dynamic artistic visualisation and sonification of the quantum vacuum, more specific quantum fluctuations.

SoN01R is a new media artwork that focusses on artistic data visualisation. How can one visualise something immaterial, short lived and universal as quantum fluctuations? In classical physics (applicable to macroscopic phenomena), empty space-time is called the vacuum. The classical vacuum is utterly featureless. However, in quantum mechanics (applicable to microscopic phenomena), the vacuum is a much more complex entity. It is far from featureless and far from empty. Quantum fluctuations are the temporary appearance of energetic particles out of nothing, as allowed by the Uncertainty Principle. For example, a particle pair can pop out of the vacuum during a very short time interval, and then annihilate one another in accordance with the Uncertainty Principle.

SoN01R is using a realtime data feed from the Australian National University, Department of Quantum Science lead by Dr. Thomas Seymul. By tapping into a physical quantum source they can generate true random numbers in realtime which drive the audiovisual work.

SoN01R proofs that one can generate something out of (almost) nothing in the quantum vacuum, in this case quantum fluctuations translated into strings of true random numbers.

The quantum vacuum is a source of unlimited energy as proven by the outer space experimental EM drive. The concept of an EM Drive is that electromagnetic microwave cavities (the design works by having a magnetron push microwaves into a closed truncated cone, then push against the short end of the cone, and propel the craft forward.) might provide for the direct conversion of electrical energy to thrust without the need to expel any propellant. If, by some miracle of physics, EM drives work spectacularly well, they could replace chemical rocketry for orbital insertion completely and make space access trivial. Recently NASA has successfully tested their EM Drive in a hard vacuum. With this design, a mission to Mars would result in a 70-day transit from Earth to the red planet, a 90-day stay at Mars, and then another 70-day return transit to Earth.


◊ SoN01R is project by Frederik De Wilde in collaboration with Frederik Vanhoutte.