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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

In the 2 September 2004 issue of Nature , Sarah Tomlin describes her recent cross-walk between physics and music. The opportunity came when she was invited to hear the product of Piers Coleman, a theoretical physicist at Rutgers University and Jeremy Coleman, a composer-in-residence with the Prague Symphony Orchestra. The two brothers, self-described as Renaissance men, had cooperated to produce a three part composition called Music of the Quantum. Each of the movements tries to embody different physical concepts: emergence and broken symmetry, phase transformation and criticality, and the duality of the quantum world.

Successful or not – the brainchild of these two brothers is a perfect example of something sift is deliberate about pursuing: innovation by recombination.

Successful examples of recombination are legion. Jazz (mixture of blues and classical). Alternative rock (musical equivalent of Impressionist painting). Yahoo messenger (solitude of the letter, immediacy of the phone).

Part of the research I do for sift involves combing learning from science, music, art, business, technology … whatever I can find to bring young companies new combinations of knowledge that might keep them innovating.

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