Jan 23, 2010

Schrödinger's cat

This was a thought experiment to show how Schrödinger thought of the way in which the quantum world influenced the our world.

The interpretation he disagreed with was that particals exist in all states until acted upon, or measured. For an example, an electron would exist in all possible places around an atom at the same time. Only when you measure/observe does it actually show up in one place. Hence the "superpostion" of existing in all states at once.

Schrödinger disagreed with this view on quantum mechanics. He found them to be absurd. To show how absurd this is, he created the cat in a box experiment. Which has been misinterpreted to be a real experiment in which the cat, unobserved, would exist in all possible states at once.

The mechanics of the box, are controlled by a quantum event, the decay of an radioactive atom, which is subject to the rules of quantum mechanics. Thus tying the quantum conditions to the macroworld and the cat would be in all states at the same time.

It doesn't matter weather or not there is any one to hear the tree fall, it still falls and all the physical interactions that would make "noise" still happen. The cat is either dead, alive or dying, regardless of the cat being observed.

Schrödinger's cat thought experiment was not to be taken as if the cat really was in a quantum state but that the inherent uncertainty of the quantum world does not make the world above the quantum level uncertain as well.

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