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Phase Revival: An Optical Harmonica

An immersive kinetic installation, inspired by the physics of spectroscopy and molecules with music composed based on the oscillations of the installation itself.

“The motion of molecules in chemistry is governed by the rules of quantum mechanics, the hidden world of wavefunctions, probabilities and unobservable oscillations.Ultrafast spectroscopy involves femtosecond (one millionth of a billionth of a second) pulses of light and makes use of phase and oscillations to reveal these hidden structures and patterns in frequency and time.

In this installation, you are the spectroscopist, observing the oscillations with your eyes and ears, through light scattered from the optical harmonica and audio derived from the same physics, on a timescale a billion, billion times slower than that of a molecule. Patterns and structures reveal themselves as time elapses, showing layer upon layer of detail, hidden within a seemingly simple system.“


Becs Andrews | Dr. Mike Nix | Prof. Ben Whitaker | Jon Hughes


Opera North | Leeds | UK | Apr 13

City Museum | Light Night | Leeds | UK | Oct 13

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