Schrodinger's cat

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starsinmyeyes44

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<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="500"><tbody><tr><td valign="top">&nbsp;
 
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Saiph

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awesome picture! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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Is that one cat in superposition?<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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doublehelix

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Seeing the picture above made me review Schrodinger's theory.&nbsp; Thought I would post it for everyone.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> Posted by starsinmyeyes44</DIV></p><p>Thanks, starsinmyeyes!&nbsp; I saw that picture the other day and wondered if it would make it onto here.&nbsp; <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-smile.gif" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /></p><p>-dh&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#3366ff">doublehelix, Community Manager<br />Imaginova </font></p> </div>
 
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siriusdogstarone

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<p>well that picture is a good example , but I didn't know that the cat had to be set up to be poisoned .</p><p>Thought Schrodinger's cat experiment&nbsp; was basically an example of&nbsp; time travel.</p><p>Like a cat travelling through&nbsp; a wormhole&nbsp; through time to get to the other side of the universe would wind up dead .</p><p>That's how much I know of Schrondger's experiment . Like what was the poison for ?</p><p>What does that have to do with traveling through space and time ?</p><p>I'll have to reread that .<img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-cool.gif" border="0" alt="Cool" title="Cool" /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="3" color="#339966">E To The Square</font> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>well that picture is a good example , but I didn't know that the cat had to be set up to be poisoned .Thought Schrodinger's cat experiment&nbsp; was basically an example of&nbsp; time travel.Like a cat travelling through&nbsp; a wormhole&nbsp; through time to get to the other side of the universe would wind up dead .That's how much I know of Schrondger's experiment . Like what was the poison for ?What does that have to do with traveling through space and time ?I'll have to reread that . <br />Posted by siriusdogstarone</DIV></p><p>Schrodinger's cat is a thought experiment, not a real one.&nbsp; It has nothing whatever to do with traveling through space and time.&nbsp; It involves interpretations of the quantum mechanical notion of collapsing of the wave function.&nbsp; It is not a particularly useful thought experiment these days.<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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siriusdogstarone

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<p>Well , the universe is full of dangeous things like chemical gases, ions, electrons , particles&nbsp; and the like.</p><p>My interpretation is that Schroidnger's Cat demonstrates the dangers of space travel&nbsp; with all the nebulas, supernovas, etc. That would incinerate a space ship traveling&nbsp; a year to reach it's objective&nbsp; target.</p><p>So if Schodinger's cat&nbsp;&nbsp; was in a box and it arrived to it's destination&nbsp; and&nbsp; got out of the box&nbsp; on the other side </p><p>of&nbsp; light year . It's likely it would&nbsp; die . I know it's a thought experiment I knew that all along&nbsp; for years .</p><p>sending a monkey into space first is an example&nbsp; of&nbsp; What&nbsp; Schronger's Cat&nbsp; is I think ?</p><p>What he is trying to demonstrate .<img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-cool.gif" border="0" alt="Cool" title="Cool" /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="3" color="#339966">E To The Square</font> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Well , the universe is full of dangeous things like chemical gases, ions, electrons , particles&nbsp; and the like.My interpretation is that Schroidnger's Cat demonstrates the dangers of space travel&nbsp; with all the nebulas, supernovas, etc. That would incinerate a space ship traveling&nbsp; a year to reach it's objective&nbsp; target.So if Schodinger's cat&nbsp;&nbsp; was in a box and it arrived to it's destination&nbsp; and&nbsp; got out of the box&nbsp; on the other side of&nbsp; light year . It's likely it would&nbsp; die . I know it's a thought experiment I knew that all along&nbsp; for years .sending a monkey into space first is an example&nbsp; of&nbsp; What&nbsp; Schronger's Cat&nbsp; is I think ?What he is trying to demonstrate . <br /> Posted by siriusdogstarone</DIV></p><p>Schrodinger's Cat was nothing more than an attempt to show the layperson the oddity of superposition of particles.&nbsp; Basically that the state of a particle can not be known until it is observed.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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drwayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Schrodinger's Cat was nothing more than an attempt to show the layperson the oddity of superposition of particles.&nbsp; Basically that the state of a particle can not be known until it is observed.&nbsp; <br />Posted by derekmcd</DIV></p><p>Or a superposition of states.&nbsp; I remember when I first learned some of the concepts of the use of special functions to solve DE's - the instructor, Dr. Tavel, did such a good job I have some images he gave in my mind decades later.</p><p>Wayne</p><p><br /><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Or a superposition of states.&nbsp; I remember when I first learned some of the concepts of the use of special functions to solve DE's - the instructor, Dr. Tavel, did such a good job I have some images he gave in my mind decades later.Wayne&nbsp; <br /> Posted by drwayne</DIV></p><p>Superposition of <strong><em>states</em></strong>... <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-embarassed.gif" border="0" alt="Embarassed" title="Embarassed" /></p><p>Thanks.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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drwayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Superposition of states... Thanks.&nbsp; <br />Posted by derekmcd</DIV></p><p>Thank Mort Tavel, a fine gentleman from whom I learned much in my years at Vassar.</p><p>The some heuristic idea is that the state of the cat can be described in terms of eigenfunctions that are essentially "Cat Alive" and "Cat Dead".&nbsp; Kind of like myself, who can be described in terms of the eigenfunctions "Dumb", "Dumber" and "Dumbest" (no, they are not orthoganal, its a joke, its not supposed to make sense)&nbsp; ;)</p><p>Wayne</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Thank Mort Tavel, a fine gentleman from whom I learned much in my years at Vassar.The some heuristic idea is that the state of the cat can be described in terms of eigenfunctions that are essentially "Cat Alive" and "Cat Dead".&nbsp; Kind of like myself, who can be described in terms of the eigenfunctions "Dumb", "Dumber" and "Dumbest" (no, they are not orthoganal, its a joke, its not supposed to make sense)&nbsp; ;)Wayne <br />Posted by drwayne</DIV></p><p>The eigenfunctions need only be orthogonal if the operator is Hermitian and the eigenvalues are distinct.&nbsp; You are merely saying that your unintelligent eigenvalue has multiplicity at least 3.&nbsp; It's OK, we understand,&nbsp;you are a physicist. :)</p><p>Perhaps we&nbsp;can salvage the situation with an ad hoc Gram-Schmidt procedure.&nbsp; Dumb and Dumber operate a hardware and lumber store about 135 miles south of me.&nbsp; They are brothers, but rather different so maybe they are orthogonal.&nbsp; My personal nominee for Dumbest is closer, and as near as I can tell is orthogonal to the universe,&nbsp;and&nbsp; that&nbsp;completes the process.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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<p><font color="#666699"><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Schrodinger's Cat was nothing more than an attempt to show the layperson the oddity of superposition....<br /> Posted by derekmcd</DIV></font></p><p>I think what it shows the layperson is the oddity of scientists.&nbsp; In this case I think the layperson's view that the cat is dead, or not, before the box is open is correct, and insisting that this is not the case stokes the view of scientists as being out of touch crazies.&nbsp; </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I think what it shows the layperson is the oddity of scientists.&nbsp; In this case I think the layperson's view that the cat is dead, or not, before the box is open is correct, and insisting that this is not the case stokes the view of scientists as being out of touch crazies.&nbsp; <br />Posted by centsworth_II</DIV></p><p>This is a beautiful example of </p><p>1) Total misunderstanding of the thought experiment.</p><p>2) Why laypersons opinions in questions of science are not worth spit in the ocean.</p><p>Yes, your opinion probably represents the majority.&nbsp; And that is sad.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>This is a beautiful example of 1) Total misunderstanding of the thought experiment.2) Why laypersons opinions in questions of science are not worth spit in the ocean.Yes, your opinion probably represents the majority.&nbsp; And that is sad. <br /> Posted by DrRocket</DIV></p><p>Just so I understand it properly.&nbsp; The though exp. is not so much about the cat, but rather the vial of poison.&nbsp; The vial of poison represents the particle.&nbsp; Not being able to observe the particle, you can state that the particle can be in different states simultaneously (the vial is both broken and not broken at the same time).&nbsp; Hence the conclusion the cat is both deat and alive.</p><p>Sound about right?&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Just so I understand it properly.&nbsp; The though exp. is not so much about the cat, but rather the vial of poison.&nbsp; The vial of poison represents the particle.&nbsp; Not being able to observe the particle, you can state that the particle can be in different states simultaneously (the vial is both broken and not broken at the same time).&nbsp; Hence the conclusion the cat is both deat and alive.Sound about right?&nbsp; <br />Posted by derekmcd</DIV></p><p>That is the general idea.&nbsp; It is meant to illustrate the strangeness of the notion of susperpositoin of states and collapsing the wave function, and to perhaps cast doubt on it.&nbsp; But the cat and vial are both involved.&nbsp; The cat is in the experiment to drive home the point.</p><p>To my mind the question is somewhat resolved by replacing the word "observed" which seems to imply some sort of willful measurement with the word "registered" which in principle could be accomplished by an inanimate object, like the vial -- but to me any reaction that is in principle measurable would do.&nbsp; Then I think the cat is either dead or alive and not in some superposition of states.&nbsp; Bohr used the term "registered", at least according to a book by Wheeler.&nbsp; So in my mind&nbsp;Schrodinger's cat is illustrative, but&nbsp;ought not be taken too literally.</p><p><br /><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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drwayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>The eigenfunctions need only be orthogonal if the operator is Hermitian and the eigenvalues are distinct.&nbsp; You are merely saying that your unintelligent eigenvalue has multiplicity at least 3.&nbsp; It's OK, we understand,&nbsp;you are a physicist. :)Perhaps we&nbsp;can salvage the situation with an ad hoc Gram-Schmidt procedure.&nbsp; Dumb and Dumber operate a hardware and lumber store about 135 miles south of me.&nbsp; They are brothers, but rather different so maybe they are orthogonal.&nbsp; My personal nominee for Dumbest is closer, and as near as I can tell is orthogonal to the universe,&nbsp;and&nbsp; that&nbsp;completes the process. <br />Posted by DrRocket</DIV></p><p>Actually, I was admitting in public to being a degenerate.&nbsp; ;)</p><p>Wayne</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Actually, I was admitting in public to being a degenerate.&nbsp; ;)Wayne <br /> Posted by drwayne</DIV></p><p>It's about time you take a position and tell us what state you're in.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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<font color="#333399">"In this case I think the layperson's view that the cat is dead, or not, before the box is open is correct." -- <strong>centsworth_II</strong><br /></font><p><font color="#333399">&nbsp;"Then I think the cat is either dead or alive and not in some superposition of states." --&nbsp; <strong><font color="#333399">DrRocket</font></strong></font></p><p>How is it that my statement is so much spit in the ocean compared to your rephrasing of the same idea? Scientists are ignorant as to how the quantum world transforms into the physical world that we know on a human scale.&nbsp; Ignorance and arrogance do not go well together.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>"In this case I think the layperson's view that the cat is dead, or not, before the box is open is correct." -- centsworth_II&nbsp;"Then I think the cat is either dead or alive and not in some superposition of states." --&nbsp; DrRocketHow is it that my statement is so much spit in the ocean compared to your rephrasing of the same idea? Scientists are ignorant as to how the quantum world transforms into the physical world that we know on a human scale.&nbsp; Ignorance and arrogance do not go well together.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />Posted by centsworth_II</DIV></p><p><br /><br /><strong>I think what it shows the layperson is the oddity of scientists.</strong>&nbsp; In this case I think the layperson's view that the cat is dead, or not, before the box is open is correct, and<strong> insisting that this is not the case stokes the view of scientists as being out of touch crazies</strong></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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drwayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>It's about time you take a position and tell us what state you're in.&nbsp; <br />Posted by derekmcd</DIV></p><p>Florida!</p><p>;)</p><p>Wayne<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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<p><font color="#666699"><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>"<strong>I think what it shows the layperson is the oddity of scientists.</strong>&nbsp; In this case I think the layperson's view that the cat is dead, or not, before the box is open is correct, <strong>and insisting that this is not the case</strong> <strong>stokes the view of scientists as being out of touch crazies</strong>" -- centsworth_II<br /> Posted by DrRocket</DIV></font></p><p>I think we are in bitter agreement.&nbsp; You yourself say that the case of Shroedinger's cat is not to be taken literally.&nbsp; I am just saying that any scientist that does suggest that it be taken literally can be, justifiably, seen as out of touch with reality. And to the extent that the views of one can reflect on the group, this can affect the public's perception of scientists as a group. </p><p>Most times when I see a reference to Schroeder's cat, the fact that it is a <u>nonsensical</u> example of the quantum world is not stressed enough.&nbsp; </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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drwayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I think we are in bitter agreement.&nbsp; You yourself say that the case of Shroedinger's cat is not to be taken literally.&nbsp; I am just saying that any scientist that does suggest that it be taken literally can be, justifiably, seen as out of touch with reality. And to the extent that the views of one can reflect on the group, this can affect the public's perception of scientists as a group. Most times when I see a reference to Schroeder's cat, the fact that it is a nonsensical example of the quantum world is not stressed enough.&nbsp; &nbsp; <br />Posted by centsworth_II</DIV></p><p>There is an element of timing here.&nbsp; Depending on when one went to school, and went through classes on Modern Physics and Quantum Mechanics, this may have been presented as an important "philosophical" question regarding whether QM was a literal description of reality, or just a mathematical description of our understanding thereof.</p><p>In&nbsp;a way, this may be a bit of a fingerprint for the timeframe when one went to school, much like the units one uses to describe the wavelength of light.</p><p>Wayne<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>There is an element of timing here.&nbsp; Depending on when one went to school, and went through classes on Modern Physics and Quantum Mechanics, this may have been presented as an important "philosophical" question regarding whether QM was a literal description of reality, or just a mathematical description of our understanding thereof.In&nbsp;a way, this may be a bit of a fingerprint for the timeframe when one went to school, much like the units one uses to describe the wavelength of light.Wayne <br />Posted by drwayne</DIV></p><span class="body1"><span style="font-size:10pt;line-height:115%">There was a time when the newspapers said that only twelve men understood the theory of relativity.<span>&nbsp; </span>I do not believe that there ever was such a time.<span>&nbsp; </span>There might have been a time when only one man did, because he was the only guy who caught on, before he wrote his paper.<span>&nbsp; </span>But after people read the paper, a lot of people understood the theory of relativity in some way or other, certainly more than twelve.<span>&nbsp; </span>On the other hand, I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. &ndash; Richard P. Feynman in <em>The Character of Physical Law</em></span></span> <p><br /><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p>While I believe that the cat is either alive or dead and not in some alive/dead superposition, one must remember two things: 1) This "paradox" was put forth by a first-rate physicist to illustrate real issues with interpretations of quantum theory, and those issues are absolutely valid.&nbsp; 2)&nbsp; The paradox was put forward long before Bell's theorem and before EPR experiments had been done showing action at a distance through collapsing of the wave function.&nbsp; Schrodinger was most definitely not just being silly.</p><p>My position that the cat is alive or dead is based on my knowledge of quantum theory at this point in time and my interpretation that the detector in the box will collapse the wave function for the nuclear decay and result in a clearly alive or clearly dead cat.&nbsp;&nbsp;I have accepted the weirdness of superposition of states, but that aspect of quantum mechanics was not accepted in all circles at the time that Schrodinger put forth is thought experiment.&nbsp; Einstein thought Schrodinger's example was quite ingenious and served to bolster his position in opposition to the non-determinism of quantum mechanics.</p><p>The paradox might look silly to a layman.&nbsp; But I stand by my earlier statement, an opinion that this merely represents lack of common sense on the part of scientists is not a well-informed opinion and is not worth spit in the ocean.&nbsp; Such an opinion may well be ubiquitous in the population, but that is merely a sad commentary on the scientific literacy of the population.&nbsp; Everybody has a right to their opinion, but not every opinion is worth considering.</p><p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrodinger%27s_cat</p><p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell's_Theorem</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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