Monday, January 28, 2013

Schrödinger's Cat, Chavdar Yordanov, 2012

One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter, there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small that perhaps in the course of the hour, one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges, and through a relay releases a hammer that shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat mixed or smeared out in equal parts. It is typical of these cases that an indeterminacy originally restricted to the atomic domain becomes transformed into macroscopic indeterminacy, which can then be resolved by direct observation. That prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a "blurred model" for representing reality. In itself, it would not embody anything unclear or contradictory. There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks. —Erwin Schrödinger, Die gegenwärtige Situation in der Quantenmechanik (The present situation in quantum mechanics), Naturwissenschaften (translated by John D. Trimmer in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society)

another recommendation from Paul Kirby.


  1. Here Sheldon from the The Big Bang Theory explains.....

  2. (everyone pretend those last two comments are in the opposite order. The comment moderator has gotten a stern talking to.

    Yeah, I have to moderate comments. Unless you guys are interested in working from home, that one weird tip for weight loss, Viagra, or hot Russian ladies who want to meet you. If you do, I know a guy.)

  3. Don't worry you have the comments the right way round. I was trying to be a smart ass. And how did you know I was out of work, overweight, impotent, lonely and learning Russian? Spooky.