Remember British chef Heston Blumenthal’s liquid nitrogen antics in the Masterchef Australia kitchen? A recent segment on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert saw another experiment using the same dramatically mystical substance that made objects levitate.
You read that right.
The star of the show was physicist Brian Greene, who was there to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the double-slit experiment with a lesson in quantum physics that ended in actual levitation.
“For more than 50 years, science has driven innovation, prosperity, and look, if you want to make America great again, you make America smart, you make America think and you keep America at the frontier of science,” said Greene at the start of his segment. There was furious applause from the audience.
The double-split experiment confirmed in 1927 that light and matter, like electrons and photons, have the qualities of both waves and particles – a revolutionary concept which lead to breakthroughs in the understanding of reality.
“That represents the single greatest upheaval in our understanding of reality that the species has ever encountered,” said Greene.
After all that theory, it was time to get down to the actual experiment, as Colbert’s studio turned into a science lab. Greene (in the video above) stunned the audience and his host by demonstrating a fascinating act of levitation using a super conductor (“which detests magnetic fields”), a strong magnet and of course, liquid nitrogen. Colbert, meanwhile, donning blue gloves, played the keen science student part to the hilt.