Friday, 4 June 2010

The Quantum Tunnelling Telescope

by Tim Hunkin
There’s never much to look at out to sea, so why waste time with an ordinary telescope?
Indeed. This Quantum Tunnelling Telescope, created by Tim Hunkin (yes, the designer of Pink Floyd’s flying pigs and sheep), is installed at the end of the Southwold Pier. Apparently, many believe this inscription on behalf of “England Heritage” and European Onion:
England Heritage is delighted to present the Quantum Tunnelling Telescope, first tested here on Southwold pier in 1968. It was developed by the Royal Radar Establishment in their secret East Anglian laboratory at Orfordness. An astonishing achievement for the time, it exploited the latest advances in particle physics and quantum dynamics. The project was led by Dr Tim Hunkin, ably supported by Graham Norgate, Gavin Morris, Patrick Bond, Will Jackson, Ben Bourne, and Mimi Ling Yan Leung. Without such an extraordinary team the telescope would never have succeeded. In use at the government’s GCHQ, it completely changed the course of the cold war, monitoring activity in communist territories. Recently declassified, the telescope has been restored to full working order by Quinetiq, with a generous grant from the EUs crossing boundaries fund.

So, what’s on offer?
Absolutely everything you could possibly want to view through a pier telescope!
  • World leaders on jet skis
  • Oil rig raves
  • Sizewell emergencies
  • Shark attacks
  • Beachuts washed out to sea
  • Oil slicks
  • Mermaids and dolphins
  • Climate change
  • Southwold’s property boom

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