Newton’s rings

Newton’s been quite the fellow.

FICTION AND DICTION:

Life consists of stories. Science is part of life. Don’t deny that. Enjoy it. 🙂

TRANSCRIPT:

Think of the quintessential exuberant kitten. Then think of the quintessential timid mouse. What do you think the interaction between those two will look like?

The exuberant kitten will chase her prey, for example, along the wall to a room inside a house.

Unfortunately for the mouse, there is only one possibility for escape from that room: A crack in the door. The mouse does not remember how she got into this position, but, as she conceded to herself in her tremor earlier, fleeing into a corridor was now the only viable option left.

One should perhaps mention that the kitten chases the mouse away from the door at this particular moment. The mouse runs towards the humongous, but closed windows, around pieces of human debris, you know, over and under cables, into and out of socks, erm, well, you know, stuff like that. 

The kitten simply has fun. This is bad for the mouse. And it gets worse, too.

In her frenzy, the mouse does not notice the trap she runs into in front of a crate full of toys. The cat pounces, but misses. The cat’s temporary disorientation gives the mouse the chance to recover.

Still, the mouse is no longer quite in good shape herself. The kitten has a few more near-misses. Then, as the cat steps on a switch, physics happens…

…in the form of a lamp. On its stand Newton’s rings appear. They seem to follow the cat’s movement.

The cat attacks the rings for a while, then realizes that this is a futile game. Natural selection can be weird sometimes.

As for the mouse, she keeps running, until she reaches the door. In her euphoria of knowing that she may escape the cat, if not the humans in the corridor, she turns her head – and stops.

She sniffs the air, too. There has to be something in the air. Why would a cat attack the stand to a lamp if there is nothing in the air?

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