please help me on paradox's

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Tom, Oct 25, 2001.

  1. Acerbus Wanderer of the Wastes Registered Senior Member

    there is a theory that if you go back in time and kill your great-grand father then in one time you would cease to exsist but the timeline would split creating a "knot" in the the timeline where you would keep repeating that same event of you killing your grand pappy over and over and over but you wouldnt know it since you ceased to exsist after you did it. if youve ever seen the movie "groundhogs day" that is a time paradox except he wouldnt remember it.

    their is a cat, the cat is in a sealed solid non-see through box. In the box with the cat is a vile or capsule containing just enough cyanide gas to kill the cat. the vile has a 50/50 chance of breaking or staying unbroken. you wont know if the cat is dead or not untill you open the box and see. so the cat is purely theoretical a "figment of your imagination" if you will... if you open the box and the cat is alive

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    then you have "created" one timeline but it would also create an alternate timeline where you opened the box and cat was dead

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    this "locked-room" paradox was divised by an Austrian physisist, Erwin Schrodinger.
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  3. my_notebook wild hamster Registered Senior Member

    I heard that cat one before. The way I see it, the cat is either alive

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    or dead

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    , and the perception of a person as to which is true is only perception. There is an absolute truth though.. the actual state of the cat inside the box. Just like the cliched unwitnessed falling of a tree, there is sound regardless of who is there.

    That said, I agree that the IDEA of a cat is a figment of our imagination. There are models of AI that use that very concept to define intelligence. When you think "bird", a generic idea of a bird appears in your mind. Maybe it is a blackbiord, maybe it's a robin. Maybe it's portions of both. What is definitely is not is an actual bird. But I don't think that changes the fact that real birds exist. Our awareness of the universe, however, is based entirely upon perception and ideas. What we think of a "real" could arguably be only perception, but that's a whole 'nutha thread.

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  5. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    I'm not sure if you forgot to mention this or was never told.

    The original "Schrodingers Cat Experiment" also involved a Radioactive atom and a Geiger counter.

    The idea of the cat being either alive or dead was due to Radioactive decay. You see eventually the atom would cease to exist through it's decay (A flatline) the capsule containing the poison was under a hammer attached to the geiger counter, so that when this flatline occurs the hammer would drop breaking the capsule.

    But since a Geiger counter needle bounces back and forth from the radioactive atom it's not still and pointing to 0. So the hammer isn't allowed to drop.

    The cat exists and is alive while in the box and pulled from the box alive only for this reason. Of course in time the Decay would occur and the cat would meet it's end.

    Schrodinger really developed this notion to explain his theory of wave functions since through the frequency of resonance of the radioactive atom the cat is split into possible realities. One of them being death where the frequency stops.

    There was another version of this experiment that was mentioned to me, but the capsule was sewn to the cats limb (a glass capsule) and their was no radioactive atom as the box was bombarded by frequency. (Probably a Neutron bombardment.)
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I think you need to maybe read up on the Schrodinger cat thought experiment a bit.

    The aim of the experiment was to show the apparent absurdity of extending the idea of a quantum superposition of states to the macroscopic realm. It seems weird that according to quantum mechanics an object like a cat might exist in a superposition of two states (e.g. alive and dead). In such a superposition, the cat would, in a sense, be <b>both</b> alive and dead at the same time.

    This type of superposition state is common at the microscopic level. For example, an electron can spin "up" and "down" at the same time by being in a quantum superposition of the two states.

    In fact, the Schrodinger problem is probably solved by the decoherence at some point of the quantum state, which causes the cat to fall quickly into an eigenstate (either alive or dead but not both together).
  8. Porfiry Nomad Registered Senior Member

    Russell's set theory paradox

  9. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    James R

    I don't think I need read it again, I think I just have a nasty habit of not going to the full extent of an answer on some subjects due to my sketchy insertions. (namely I lacked information so as not to be incorrect)

    But I have read about the experiment from more than three sources, and been involved in a Wigners Assistant experiment, (Which was no fun, as guess who got the short straw)

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