Monday, August 12, 2013

Doodle: Erwin Schrodinger's 126th Birthday

Erwin Schrodinger was a physicist, most people know him by his theory called "Schrodinger's Cat".  I am one of those people, and having never taken a physics class, I knew absolutely nothing beyond that!   Not wanting to run the risk of writing math/physics gobbledy gook, I consulted someone at Google who knew physics (about 99% of the company), who explained to me the meaning behind Shrodinger's cat.  My first pass at a reference sheet looked like this:

My attempts to explain quantum physics failed spectacularly.

Not a lot of understandable material for me to work with, but a start!  After some more back and forth between the physics consultant and the doodle team, I came up with a solution that was fun, creative, and informed by actual knowledge without alienating people who knew physics and people who didn't.  This is the sketch:

It looks like the cat is farting, so I knew I had to move it around a lot...

The next challenge was, how do I stylize this?  What's the artistic and stylistic inspiration behind the visuals?  I don't like making uninformed design decisions, so I did some more research.  Since "Schrodinger's Cat" is a term used to explain something very complicated theory in quantum physics, it made me think of how very complicated things are explained in children's science books.  I looked up some graphics from some old science books and really liked the graphic treatment and fun illustrations and decided to use that as a starting point.  If you look carefully, you can probably see how I selectively stole from my reference to create the final image: