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Is the cat alive or dead?

We are probably familiar with Schrödinger's cat.
If not, see here:

"Schrödinger pointed out the ridiculousness of expecting a quantum superposition to collapse just because we look at it." In other words, it is ridiculous to say that you cannot say whether the cat is alive or dead until you "open the box" and look inside.

This is the most sensible statement I have heard (IMHO) about Quantum Mechanics!

Why not just say the truth. The cat is in an indeterminate state. It is neither alive nor dead.
Its state of life mathematically is approximately 50% depending on the details of the experiment. (The actual mechanism might be biased).
Apr 5, 2020
You know, the Schrodinger's cat paradox is really weird. It's like light. The cat is either dead or alive or mathematically, it is neither of them. Or rather say, we don't know.

By logic, it will take at least some seconds for the cat to die. And, if the predator is sleeping then it will take much more time.
Feb 7, 2020
right :)
sometimes we search for a black cat in a dark room where it is not there ... addendum to schrodinger's cat problem
in this case cat's being alive or not is immaterial ...
IG, the reference is quite good on this point. The precise lethal act is not really important to the principle. One is a hammer being released at random to smash a poison container.

Why choose a cat? We have lots of Norwegian Forest Cats. Why could
Schrodinger not have chosen a rat?

akashrao Yes, I think it is a question of the status of the cat being unknowable.
Change the scene and let us postulate intelligent life on alpha Centauri. Let us imagine that one day we receive a letter in English saying:
"We have been studying you for two of your centuries and have learned your language. We are only contacting you to warn you of imminent danger. Beware the Red Moon. (OK I pinched the plot from Dan Dare). Then . . . . . . . . . nothing. The years begin to pass.
Are they alive or dead? What is the menace which may have destroyed them?

There you have a different Schrödinger's cat. Are they alive or dead?
What was the menace which may have consumed them? If this menace can travel at 0.25c it can be here in 18 years. At 0.1c, then in about 46 years from the time of their message. Are they all right, and have resumed a non-interference policy? Are they exterminated? What is your take on this very real cat?

Apr 5, 2020
Look, we don't yet know whether they are dead or not. Now, I am gonna talk about all your guesses. (Spoiler: I do not know much about probability as you all know because I am just a child.) It's quite difficult to know whether they are alive or not, but I would say that they are dead or almost dead because the letter says that they have been watching us for 200 years. Otherwise, they might have sent us the letter the moment they had discovered us. Maybe, they had a non-interference policy before because of which they hadn't contacted us before and now they are meeting their doom which is why they have contacted us to forewarn us, because we are their closest neighbour and the "Red Moon" is planning to target us after them.

And, if we are talking about speed, then it must have been sent before the Red Moon destroyed them. Or, there are just a few people still there who have sent us the letter. If the former is true, then we have no reason to believe that the speed of the letter is close to the speed of light (for those who didn't understand Cat's "c"; in Physics, c is the constant for the speed of light in vacuum). If the latter is true, then, maybe we can compare c with the speed of the letter.

I would like to hear something from Cat.
I am here at your command!

If you go back to Schrödinger's cat for a moment, IIRC the hammer was rigged to have a 50% chance of breaking the container. Come on, it is only a staged example. The only real point is that you don't know the answer to a yes/no question. It can only be resolved by observation. Then, as reported, Schrödinger thought about the ridiculousness of expecting a quantum superposition to collapse just because we look at it." In other words, it is ridiculous to say that you cannot say whether the cat is alive or dead until you "open the box" and look inside. But that is the case.

Now don't get all hung up over the details of the alien story. I was just re-telling the cat story in a different setting. The only thing that matters is that you don't know the answer without receiving information. In this case a letter saying all OK, or an alien warship in your back yard (OK or a red moon with a killer virus) - anything you like.

Does that help? Don't ask me the colour of the box the cat was in, or the weight and handle length of the hammer, or the weather when they did the experiment. Or the same or equivalent information about the aliens.



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