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LEGO Turing Machine

From Wikipedia:

A Turing machine is a device that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules. Despite its simplicity, a Turing machine can be adapted to simulate the logic of any computer algorithm, and is particularly useful in explaining the functions of a CPU inside a computer.

Given enough LEGO blocks, you could play Angry Birds on this.

George and John’s Excellent Adventures in Quantum Entanglement

A clever video by Scientific American about quantum entanglement and Bell's Theorem. This is one of the better attempts that I have seen to explain the concept of hidden variables and the surprising nature of Bell's inequalities.

I have thought long and hard about the best way to explain Bell's inequalities. I would still prefer a less abstract approach, but I really like the way this video introduces the subject and I can't think of anything better off the top of my head. Up to now I have used1 a different card trick to illustrate the surprising correlations that exist between entangled particles and not attempted to explain Bell's work. Perhaps I can convince Marco and Robert to reprise their roles as Einstein and Bohr in a sequel.

Entanglement is such an awesome phenomena that has ramifications in philosophy, physics, cosmology, and biology. Sometimes I take for granted that I get to create entangled states of light in the lab every day.

  1. Technically it is Dan Trommater, my magician friend, who performed the card trick.