Schrödinger's cat

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by John Connellan, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

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    What is your favorite interpretation of/solution to this famous thought experiment?

    Please explain your thoughts as briefly as possible
     
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  3. draqon Banned Banned

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    care to tell us, what the experiment is about. plz.
     
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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  7. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

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  8. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

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    Well, if you want a picture than this one explains it a little better than Cosmic's

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  9. draqon Banned Banned

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    ok the 50/50 chance of radioactive material...that figure comes from where?
     
  10. draqon Banned Banned

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    well the quantum scale existence of dead and alive cat cannot work on such macroscale.
     
  11. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

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    But this experiment has cleverly shown the dependence of the macro world on the quantum world.

    so tell me, what state do you think the cat is in before the box is opened?

    P.s. you might want to check the wiki article for more information if this is all completely new to you
     
  12. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Personally I think that the whole usage of Observers is slightly wrong. I've kind of got a doctored variation of the thought experiment, it's quite simple.

    We take a well structured game like Fallout 3 (Which incidentally has 2 main endings through the storyline, along with a multitude of slightly different outcomes and of course "unexpected ends") The Player doesn't Observe outcomes, the Player is actually a Protagonist to Events.

    Obviously you could question "Why such a Protagonist chooses particular events?", in the Fallout universe all Events are directly related to the player, unlike those other games that might be "Multiplayer" which introduces multiple outcomes from events unforseen by other players. Occasionally players can "Team" up together so as to try and create a single outcome, a "one goal". Although a goal can be achieved, not all players will necessarily see the same outcome (some might "die" along the way etc).

    I guess you could suggest a duality if you were to take into the consideration of a player, playing Dungeon's and Dragons against a Dungeon Master, since a Dungeon master rigs the dungeon how they see fit and the player plays with the intent of winning but both "observations" or protagonists rely upon the chance of the roll of dice (Which in turn weigh heavily upon other variables that would equal a superposition).
     
  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    A set of mixed quantum states, describing one or even many particles is transformed to one macro state by and "observation" but that "observation has nothing to do with humans or even ants, etc. looking. An Observation occurs when the mixed quantum states particles interact with a “large amount” of matter. ("Large" meaning that the total energy, position, velocity, momentum, etc. of that matter are well defined simultaneously. For example, a driven golf ball has these well defined as a function of time and is in a “classical,” not quantum state.)

    For an example of 100 year old observations never looked at, not even by an ant, consider:
    Some of the glass plates covered with photographic emulsion film and carried high up in the atmosphere 100 years ago in cosmic ray experiments were developed, but not all were examined (processed by humans back then or more recently). The quantum events that classically interacted within these films were made into macro events (definite electron tracks etc in the film) 100 years ago. They are NOT still in a mixed quantum state waiting for some graduate student to look at them under a microscope.

    Schrödinger's cat is a paradox only because so few know what is an "observation."
     
  14. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

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    nice example BillyT! So can you expand then? Do I take it that you believe that the cat is either definnitely dead or alive in the box (even before observation)? How would you explain wavefunction collapse then such as seems to occur in the slit experiments with electrons?
     
  15. crazyfreespirit "Custom User Title" Registered Senior Member

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    We have a running joke in my chemistry class that when ever the teacher starts trying to explain things with bizarre analogies, we say "oh, ya its just like the cat in the box."
     
  16. disease Banned Banned

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    'chuckle'
     
  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Of course the cat is either dead or alive inside the box prior to anyone opening the box to look.

    I will assume your question is that single electrons (low current/ one at a time) are in a mix of two pure states. (One pure state passing thru slit A and the other thru slit B.) Yet when it reaches the florescent screen, only one very well defined crystal of the screen emits a flash of light. That mix of two pure states did collapse into a classically state with that crystal excited. I.e. an observation occurred even if the human running the experiment had stepped out for a smoke and did not see the flash of light. Even a single tiny crystal is always in a classical state. Which can be determined by the interaction with energy (particle or photons, etc.) in a mixed quantum state.

    If this is not what you were asking, ask again with more details of the set up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2009
  18. gluon Banned Banned

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    There is no paradox.

    whether one looks at the cat or not, the cat is still a part of a body made of entangled particles, connected by forces and very defined. If the gas was released, it's more than sure the cat would be dead.
     
  19. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Lord have mercy, gluon is 100% correct!
     
  20. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Wouldn't you hear the cat meowing inside the box?
     
  21. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Not if it is eating!

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  22. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    I think Schrodinger was afraid of monsters hiding under his bed.
     
  23. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Then you'd hear it crunching and purring.
     

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