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cavefrog
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Schrodenger's cat
      #5839355 - 05/03/13 11:56 PM

I know I am in way over my head here, but I gotta ask someone! what is it that I am not seeing about this cat? If an atom decays, the cat is dead. well , that's easy enough. and if an atom does not decay, the cat is not dead. that seems to be another easy. so where is the overlap of the cat being BOTH dead and alive at the same time? is it the speed in which an atom MIGHT decay?
as I said, I am trying to understand something probably way over my head, so if someone cares to answer, please try to use layman's terms.

Thanks, Theo


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llanitedave
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: cavefrog]
      #5839399 - 05/04/13 12:28 AM

Because the state of decay is not determined until you open the lid to check. According to the way it's usually explained, the two states of the atom are in superposition until observed, not either decayed or not, but both decayed AND not. Therefore, the cat is to be considered simultaneously both dead and alive until you open the box to check.

Since nobody has actually done the experiment, the example is a bit metaphorical. Schrodinger would probably be charged with animal cruelty if he really tried it.


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StarmanDan
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5839494 - 05/04/13 02:44 AM

Indeed. The trick is that we are seeing the experiment from our perspective not the cat's or the atom's. Since we can't make an observation of the result of the experiment without looking into the box, we can't say anything about the state of the cat or the atom. Therefore we say that the cat is both alive and dead and the atom has both decayed and not decayed until we open the box to find out how the thing played out.

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JAT Observatory
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: StarmanDan]
      #5839827 - 05/04/13 10:01 AM

Ah...it all makes sense now.. the light is both on and off in the refrigerator until we open the door to check.

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llanitedave
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #5839847 - 05/04/13 10:18 AM

What Shrodinger neglected to consider, though, is that the cat is also an observer.

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TVG
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: StarmanDan]
      #5840087 - 05/04/13 01:01 PM

I never understood how the experiment would know it was being observed. A simplified way of indirectly observing would be a video camera, would there be a difference? How about a sensor of some kind that only picked up biological decaying gases in dead animals? Would one be able to measure a difference initially or could the cat be measured as both dead and alive after the sensor registered but not after an observer read the sensor?

Todd


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TVG
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Reged: 05/03/12

Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5840089 - 05/04/13 01:03 PM

Doesn't the "double slit" experiment address a similar paradox in a much more humane way?

Todd


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dickbill
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: TVG]
      #5840188 - 05/04/13 02:19 PM

Ah, the video camera issue! first, to see anything you'll need light, and with a gas sensor you'll need something coming out (gas, odor, sound) from the cat. These would make the wave function collapse, as 'they' say.
So maybe a more usefull description of the system would be a cat enclosed with a geiger and a radioactive element with nothing else that coud leak information about the cat: no light, no gas leaking out of the cat etc., before we open the box.
Second, a video camera per se is not an observer. It takes some intelligence in front of the screen to decide if the set of colored pixels displayed onscreen actually means anything informative or represent a cat, dead or alive. Without this intelligence, pre-programmed or not, the camera just project pixels without any signification or information.
Then, maybe we should introduce some entropy considerations. The system enclosed with the cat is entirely described by a set of bits. Without an observer or a program capable to analyse the image on the camera, the bits displayed on screen are not really extracted and are still part of the cat system. Then, since no information is extracted, the entropy of the system does not change.
If the entropy does not change, isn't the arrow of time frozen?
The problem is that, as Dave said, the cat is an observer too and extract information from itself: he changes the entropy of its own system and that ruins the experiment. So the cat, or any living/thermodynamic machine is very inapropriate for this experiment in fact.

Now, what happens when the image is analysed by a human or a computer program a posteriori? does the change in entropy goes 'back in time'...?


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Sean Cunneen
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5840298 - 05/04/13 03:29 PM

Quote:

What Shrodinger neglected to consider, though, is that the cat is also an observer.




False(in my best Dwight Schrute voice)

Dead cats cannot observe anything but dead mice.


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JAT Observatory
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: TVG]
      #5840480 - 05/04/13 05:30 PM

Quote:

Doesn't the "double slit" experiment address a similar paradox in a much more humane way?

Todd




Yes but each single particle can only be observed once per slit, with the cat you have at least 9 opportunities if the cat was new at the start of the experiment!


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jchaller
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Sean Cunneen]
      #5840535 - 05/04/13 06:11 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Wouldn't we have to open the box 9 times to see if the cat was really dead?

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cavefrog
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: TVG]
      #5840729 - 05/04/13 09:00 PM

Quote:

Doesn't the "double slit" experiment address a similar paradox in a much more humane way?

Todd




the double slit experiment I can somewhat comprehend. It tries to determine whether an item is a particle or a wave, and does not have anything to do with Shrodengers cat. I don't think.

If it is more humane or not is not relevant either because this is a THOUGHT experiment, and being thus, is not meant to be played out.

I still am not getting the point to it however... from what I see, what we are trying to determine is if the atom has decayed or not. so why the poison and cat? If the geiger counter can relay a switch, why can the switch not be just a mark or something to be seen as yea or nay? why all the complication with the cat and poison?

Somewhere this smells of observers effect, but opening the box and observing has no effect on the result. it is a 50 - 50 proposition, the atom will either decay or not, so there is no point to the experiment in the first place. I'm still missing something here.
with guessing about if ANYTHING could happen that has a 50 - 50 chance of happening or not and is equal odds.... does it make it both and neither untill a determination is made?

OK. what I think I am missing is that a particle can be in different states at the same time. so how is this? and are there more states than just two?

I think I stepped in too deep. maybe this can only be explained in mathmatics(?) that I have never (and never will) learned. I kinda did the same thing when I asked questions about absolute zero and entropy!
I do pick up a little here and there on the way through though, so its not a total waste.

Theo


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TVG
member


Reged: 05/03/12

Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: cavefrog]
      #5840786 - 05/04/13 09:37 PM

Yes, you have gotten about as far as I have with these paradoxal thought experiments. The main point being that particles can be in two different states simultaneously tears at the very fabric of my mind.
We humans love dualities, so for now let's just keep it simple with two states, alive/dead or particle/wave.
Nine different states of existence, or even infinite states of existence sounds a lot like "many worlds interpretation", which I simultaneously understand and don't understand.

Todd


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MRoedel
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: TVG]
      #5840943 - 05/04/13 11:42 PM

I don't see how this is any different than saying that a flipped coin is both heads and tails until it hits the ground.

Flipping the coin doesn't send you to the shed to get the shovel half of the time.


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TL2101
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Reged: 09/17/10

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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: MRoedel]
      #5841990 - 05/05/13 04:33 PM

In the double slit experiment it is the act of actually having the data that collapses the probability wave into the particle not the detector. If the detector is on slot A and the photon goes through slot B the wave will still collapse because we now have the data of which slot the photon traveled through.

I think it's pretty obvious we all live inside some huge quantum computer.


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deSitter
Still in Old School


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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: TL2101]
      #5842658 - 05/05/13 11:15 PM

This is one of those things about science popularization that is really annoying. The cat is a diversion, forget about it.

The point being made is that quantum systems are capable of yielding a range of discrete values for measured parameters. The actual value determined by a measurement may be any one of this range, with certain probabilities assigned to the each value. In classical mechanics it is 1 for one thing, and 0 for all the others. In quantum mechanics it is not so.

However, this does NOT apply to any random radioactive atom wandering the universe whose decay may lead to felicide. The rules and results of quantum theory apply to what are called "prepared systems". You cannot make measurements of sufficient accuracy to display the superposition principle (e.g. two-slit experiment) on unprepared systems. So the superposition principle, and its role in the "Copenhagen intepretation" of quantum theory, is worthless for describing individual events that are simply random chance.

The live/dead cat business is just another form of "if a tree falls in the forest..." Such things do nothing to explain quantum theory and are simply mind games.

-drl


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dickbill
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: deSitter]
      #5843221 - 05/06/13 10:32 AM

Apparently you are right. The system works much better without a cat, but how come Schrodinger could not see that?
I think he did. He probably thought that conscient observers have special power over the nature of reality.
Dean Radin has pushed the idea further, using a double slit experiment shielded from evereything oustide, he tried to observe if the wave function of photons collapsed by the sole concentration of human 'meditators', focusing remotely their attention on the slit. You can even do the experimemt online, I did. I don't know what are the results honestly and if he found a correlation between 'observers focusing their attention' and the diffracted or not diffracted figures. But I am pretty sure Radin said that 'trained meditators' show a positve correlation with much higher confidence that untrained meditators. Statisticaly significant or not, i don't know.


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Rick Woods
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: deSitter]
      #5843337 - 05/06/13 11:36 AM

Quote:

The live/dead cat business is just another form of "if a tree falls in the forest..." Such things do nothing to explain quantum theory and are simply mind games.





That's how it seems to me. It's saying that the observer's degree of ignorance of the state of things somehow affects that state.
I think it's more germane to ask: if you get up in the middle of the night, has or has not the cat honked up a hairball where you will step in it? (You'll soon find out.)


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5843596 - 05/06/13 01:29 PM

The simplest case of a prepared system is light that has passed through a polarizer. Stacked polarizers exhibit all the essential features of quantum theory. If you can get a handle on those, then you are well on your way to being freed from the bogus mysticism of popularizers.

http://www.users.csbsju.edu/~frioux/polarize/POLAR-sup.pdf

http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/experiments/dirac_3-polarizers/

-drl


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Pess
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: deSitter]
      #5843876 - 05/06/13 03:59 PM

In the simplest terms, the math of Quantum theory states that a quantum particle sits in a state of superposition.

Since quantum particles can be describes as waves or particles the math states that they exist as both until the are measured (observed).

This state is called 'superposition". Since the 'final' state is determined by how the measurement is made.

Schrodenger looked at that and said, 'Well what if we link a non-quantum sized outcome to the outcome of that single quantum particle?' In other words, if the quantum particle decays it triggers the death of a Cat....

Since the end event is triggered by a particle in a superposition state, it follows that the Cat itself exists in a superposition o state (ie: both dead and alive) until a measurement is taken.

Pesse (Schrodenger failed to take into account the nine lives of cats) Mist


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Pess]
      #5844002 - 05/06/13 04:56 PM

...yes, until a measurement is taken. That means the geiger itself is enough to impose a single state out of the other possible states, since it makes the first measurement when a decayed particle interact with the detector.
It is however interesting how the quantum indetermination vanishes 'instantly'.


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Pess
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: dickbill]
      #5844138 - 05/06/13 06:23 PM

Quote:

...yes, until a measurement is taken. That means the geiger itself is enough to impose a single state out of the other possible states, since it makes the first measurement when a decayed particle interact with the detector.
It is however interesting how the quantum indetermination vanishes 'instantly'.




I don't think the terms 'instant', 'now', 'then' 'before' after' have the same meaning at the quantum level as in the macro level.

I believe the proper linguistic description is that the 'waves of probability collapse into a certainty once a measurement is taken'.

So in your slit experiment if you look for the photon behaving as a wave its probability function (wave vs particle) collapses into a wave. If you detect it as a particle its probability function collapses into a particle.

But before the measurement the photon is in both states.

Pesse (Quantum objects have 'nuthing on Sybil) Mist


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deSitter
Still in Old School


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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Pess]
      #5844385 - 05/06/13 08:30 PM

Quote:

In the simplest terms, the math of Quantum theory states that a quantum particle sits in a state of superposition.

Since quantum particles can be describes as waves or particles the math states that they exist as both until the are measured (observed).

This state is called 'superposition". Since the 'final' state is determined by how the measurement is made.

Schrodenger looked at that and said, 'Well what if we link a non-quantum sized outcome to the outcome of that single quantum particle?' In other words, if the quantum particle decays it triggers the death of a Cat....

Since the end event is triggered by a particle in a superposition state, it follows that the Cat itself exists in a superposition o state (ie: both dead and alive) until a measurement is taken.

Pesse (Schrodenger failed to take into account the nine lives of cats) Mist


ve

You have forgotten how the initial state is prepared. You cannot calculate anything in quantum theory without specifying the initial state. All the stuff about superposition is meaningless without knowledge of the initial state.

-drl


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: deSitter]
      #5845200 - 05/07/13 09:53 AM

"Since quantum particles can be describes as waves or particles the math states that they exist as both until the are measured (observed)."
The first measurement is when a decayed particle interacts with something, therefore the geiger detector is doing the first measurement. The quantum indetermination is lost long before the cat 'status' can be influenced and in no ways this indetermination can be transfered to a macroscopic cat.
Is it true?
Does the wave function of probability collapse completely? or is there a tiny remnant of quantum indetermination that could be transfered to a macroscopic system, either the geiger or the cat? so that instead of saying the cat is 50% dead or 50% alive, we'd say he is 99.999% dead or 99.999% alive.


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llanitedave
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: dickbill]
      #5845243 - 05/07/13 10:15 AM

Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.

What's that?

Go through his clothes and look for loose change.


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star drop
contra contrail
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: cavefrog]
      #5845405 - 05/07/13 12:06 PM

Quote:

I know I am in way over my head here, but I gotta ask someone! what is it that I am not seeing about this cat? If an atom decays, the cat is dead. well , that's easy enough. and if an atom does not decay, the cat is not dead. that seems to be another easy. so where is the overlap of the cat being BOTH dead and alive at the same time? is it the speed in which an atom MIGHT decay?
as I said, I am trying to understand something probably way over my head, so if someone cares to answer, please try to use layman's terms.

Thanks, Theo



If I may run with the question further I would like to delve deeper. In general terms very large atoms don't hang around very long. They sometimes emit multiple alpha particles at the same time. When these particles are in the process of forming in the large nucleus just before being emitted, what makes them special from the rest of the nucleons, can quantum theory explain why the helium nuclei are not ejected one by one as is the customary case? As they form are they quasi dead in respect to both the parent nucleus and the forming helium nucleus? Particle or wave, explain it either way in layman's terms if possible.


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TVG
member


Reged: 05/03/12

Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Pess]
      #5845961 - 05/07/13 03:37 PM

What would happen in a similar experiment to the double slit if the same particle was measured multiple times with different expectations for a wave or a particle each time. In other words does the wave of probability collapse only once per particle per observance and that particle must remain in that state forever or does each new observance of the particle bring about a new state of existence. Sorry if that is a stupid question, but I am enjoying this thread immensely, even if it is way over my head.

Todd


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: star drop]
      #5846006 - 05/07/13 04:09 PM

The 'cat in the box' is not the best example, it's probably the slit experiment that examplifies best the problem, according to the physicist Richard Feynman.

Take a single photon moving in the direction of a screen with 2 slits before he finally hits a screen or a camera.
If this photon is like the bullet of a gun, it will go through one slit since it cannot be at two different places in the same time. If instead the photon behaves like a wave, like we get on water, it will go through both slits at the same time and produce an interference pattern on the screen and camera.
Now, even if a photon is a particle, in quantum theory it can be in two places at the same time (with a probability given with a function), and produce an interference pattern like a wave. Even if you send photons one by one, one at the time, they will still produce an interference pattern, that is, until you don't 'observe' them.
If you put a detector under each slit to detect which slit the photon went through, the interference figure is destroyed. But as long as the photon is not observed, his position in space is really a superposition of possibilities, or states. That's because of the quantum nature of the photon, as opposed to a macroscopic object like a bullet with no quantum indetermination. That is, whether you observe a bullet or not, it will go through one slit only, not both.

Anyways, in the story with the cat, the quantum undertermination is supposed to be transfered to the cat which in this case, can be in a superposition of states dead or alive, as long as you don't observe it. The cat has become entangled with the original quantum event.

it's better described here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement

For those interested in the nature of the mind, we could ask if a quantum entanglement could somehow be transfered to 'brain activity'? the experiment i was refering above (human meditators focusing their mental attention on a remote slit apparatus), came from a blog site called 'Entangled Minds'. Now you understand the connection. Whatever we can think of it (of the Mind, forget the cat), i think it's a valid question to ask, and valid to test it by experimentation.

PS: i'm not the author of the blog.


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Mister T
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Reged: 02/01/08

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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5846628 - 05/07/13 09:08 PM

he's not dead yet

he's almost dead

actually I'm feeling better


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llanitedave
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Mister T]
      #5846937 - 05/08/13 12:11 AM

You're not fooling anyone.

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cavefrog
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Mister T]
      #5846973 - 05/08/13 12:45 AM

well at least I got it that the cat can be let out of the box , fed, and sent on his way because he is only a distraction.
some things said are starting to fall in place. superposition is something I have not come across. this is my first exposure to it. the double slit experiment, I have read about before. I think I came across it in ham radio, but I seem to have a misconstrued understanding. I had the belief that the slit experiment was supposed to determine if "something" was a particle or a wave. I do think that something was a photon. again, a photon in my understanding has not been determined to be a particle or a wave, which makes it unknown whether it has mass or not. or maybe both?
fluctuating back and forth? is this where the superposition comes in? to add to this is a statement that I came across lately, that Heisenburgs uncertainy principle has often been confused with the "observers effect". again, as I understood, Heisenburgs uncertainy principle says something like a particles speed and position cannot both be determined at the same time. one can only know either speed OR position , but not both.
so... maybe none of this has anything to do with the subject, but if determining a particles state is dependent upon being observed at a particular monent... sure sounds like obsevers effect to me.
the way a lot of this stuff is linked together makes it all very confusing. I was running in circles with absolute zero questions too. but like I said, I grasp alittle here an there.
does any of this make any sense? or am I totally discombobulated?

somehow I feel its all connected!!!! :>)

Theo


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Rick Woods
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5846998 - 05/08/13 01:19 AM

Quote:

You're not fooling anyone.




Look, isn't there something you can do?


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Pess
(Title)
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: TVG]
      #5847344 - 05/08/13 09:00 AM

Quote:

What would happen in a similar experiment to the double slit if the same particle was measured multiple times with different expectations for a wave or a particle each time. In other words does the wave of probability collapse only once per particle per observance and that particle must remain in that state forever or does each new observance of the particle bring about a new state of existence. Sorry if that is a stupid question, but I am enjoying this thread immensely, even if it is way over my head.

Todd





You are reading far too much into the thought experiment. One event=one outcome.

All The Cat Thought Experiment was meant to show that if you link a quantum event to a macro event than superimposition applies equally to both the quantum AND macro world.

The implications of this idea is staggering. What it means at its most core level is that the physical world as we we perceive it doesn't exist until we sense some portion of it.

In other words, we form the Universe by our observation of it....

Pesse (I see it, therefore I am it) Mist


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Pess]
      #5847677 - 05/08/13 12:31 PM

"..All The Cat Thought Experiment was meant to show that if you link a quantum event to a macro event than superimposition applies equally to both the quantum AND macro world..."
Yes, that's the point of the tought experiment, except my understanding is that you cannot link a quantum event to a macro event and therefore a macroscopic system cannot be in a superimposition of states.
I mean any macroscopic system which entropy will change will provoke the probability function to collapse. And if the entropy has changed, the arrow of time has been activated.
If the entropy has not changed, it's because nothing has happened.
I wonder if it could be reworded as: as soon as the quantum event 'feels' the arrow of time, it ceases to exist as a superposition of states.


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Pess
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: dickbill]
      #5847690 - 05/08/13 12:37 PM

Quote:

...except my understanding is that you cannot link a quantum event to a macro event




The entire point Schrodeniger was making is that you CAN have a macro object in a superimposition state.


"arrow of time has been activated' Hunh?

Time is not an arrow, nor can it be described in isolation any more than you can talk about the length of an object and ignore its width and height.

Pesse (Spacetime is a better nom de plume) Mist


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dickbill
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Pess]
      #5848278 - 05/08/13 05:31 PM

I was refering to the definition popularized by Stephen Hawkins:"the arrow of Time points in the direction of increasing entropy".
That's in his 'Short History of Time' If i recall.

Schrodinger wanted to play games with this story with the cat. When he invented the story, maybe he was frustrated, or just drunk. Beside, the endresult of the experiment could be used to make a reductio ad absurdum: since not cat can be dead or alive, then no macroscopic system can be in a superposition of states and no macroscpic system can be entangled with a quantum event, and you might say it was exactly THAT point Schrodinger wanted to make.


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Pess
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: dickbill]
      #5848353 - 05/08/13 06:00 PM

Quote:

I was refering to the definition popularized by Stephen Hawkins:"the arrow of Time points in the direction of increasing entropy".
That's in his 'Short History of Time' If i recall.

Schrodinger wanted to play games with this story with the cat. When he invented the story, maybe he was frustrated, or just drunk. Beside, the end result of the experiment could be used to make a reductio ad absurdum: since not cat can be dead or alive, then no macroscopic system can be in a superposition of states and no macroscpic system can be entangled with a quantum event, and you might say it was exactly THAT point Schrodinger wanted to make.




I certainly can't argue with you. What you say might be valid. But regardless of Schrodenger sobriety at the time, his logic is not flawed: If superimposition as a state of a quantum particle is a valid state, then it follows that if you link a quantum event with that quantum particle to a macro event than both MUST be in superimposition states.

So what was Schrodeniger being absurd about? Superimposition of quantum particles in general?

And if it is so absurd, why has the world of physics so embraced the analogy?

We exist in a sea of unformed energy.

I actually don't have any problem embracing this concept. Eastern disciplines have long talked about the energy of the Universe. Even Motivational speakers understand the idea of positive thinking.

The Universe is a blank slate of energy. We give it form and function by our perception of it. Viewing things in a negative light can lead to negative views of our own unique universe (bad karma, bad energy, Poison Qi).

Physics is just now seeing this in the concept of quantum uncertainty. Certainty can only come AFTER perception (measurement).

Pesse (To control the Universe, one only has to see it in the proper light..) Mist


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Rick Woods
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Pess]
      #5848418 - 05/08/13 06:36 PM

Quote:

The Universe is a blank slate of energy. We give it form and function by our perception of it. Viewing things in a negative light can lead to negative views of our own unique universe (bad karma, bad energy, Poison Qi).

Physics is just now seeing this in the concept of quantum uncertainty. Certainty can only come AFTER perception (measurement).




I'm sure I'll be shot down here, but it seems to me that certainty is merely a function of our own perception of things. Things are what they are, whether we perceive them or not. If the cat is dead, it's dead whether we're sure of it or not. The falling tree made noise. Our perception of these events does not affect their objective reality (or lack of it). Why on earth would it?

I know, I know: We change the fact by observing it. But why do we think this? What makes us think things were one iota different before we observed them, than they were afterward?

What am I missing? It's been nearly 20 years since I read "Brief History of Time", and I've lost whatever edge I had back then on this stuff. But the cat, etc; it all just seems like sophistry to me.

OK, open fire. I can take it.


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deSitter
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Pess]
      #5848425 - 05/08/13 06:38 PM

The problem is, the cat does not have a prepared state. For example, the cat may be genetically resistant to cyanide. Classical statistical mechanics may cause the cyanide atoms to accumulate in the corner while the cat breathes free. Et cetera - I can invent a billion scenarios in which the cat is not connected to the microstate. There is no actual connection. The cat is simply a distraction. The states that are connected by superposition in an observable manner, must both be capable of being put into a prepared state - an eigenstate of the corresponding observable - and there is no operator of liveness or deadness. It's simply a pointless mind game. You can play the very same mind games with any logical system, including classical mechanics (tree falls etc).

-drl


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dickbill
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: deSitter]
      #5848733 - 05/08/13 09:10 PM

Quote:

...and there is no operator of liveness or deadness. -drl




WHAT !, what are you waiting for?


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David Knisely
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5849234 - 05/09/13 03:03 AM Attachment (6 downloads)

I would hang old Schrodinger for the way he treated that cat! As for me, I long ago concluded that the photon is a particle whose behavior is dictated by the statistical probabilities given by quantum electrodynamics. In large numbers, statistically the distribution of photons does display some wave light properties, but individually (or in individual single-photon events), I consider them to be particles. That ended all my headaches about trying to make it into both a wave and a particle. Clear skies to you.

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dickbill
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5849621 - 05/09/13 09:36 AM

Clear skies to you too, but that's not correct. Photons sent one by one towards the two slits will still produce an interference pattern on the projection screen. To do that, the single particle photon must have been through the two slits at the same time. Same thing for single electrons sent one by one to the slits, they will produce an interference pattern....as long you don't try to find out which slit they went through.

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jchaller
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5850001 - 05/09/13 01:01 PM

Looks like my cat - who prefers to sit on my lap when I have something better to do. He might disagree with me referring to him as "my cat".

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TL2101
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: jchaller]
      #5850189 - 05/09/13 02:49 PM

Is it true that on the double slit that if the detectors are on but the data is never collected that you will get an interference pattern.

In other words it is the data not the detector collapsing the the wave?

If this is true (must be I read it on the Internet) its implications are mind bending.


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dickbill
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: TL2101]
      #5850677 - 05/09/13 07:00 PM

No it's the detection. It also makes sense, or let's say it's not surprising, since to detect the photon or electron, you need to make it interact with something, like another photon.

But let's go ad absurdum again, if the quantum event could be entangled with a macroscopic system, first the geiger, then the cat, when or when would that stop?
There is no reason the entanglement would stop at the cat, the box should be entangled as well, then the outside observer and everything else that is causaly related. An infinite chain of observers is then absolutely necessary: You know the cat is alive because you watch him, but how do YOU know that YOU are alive? somebody must be watching you and so on...


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deSitter
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: dickbill]
      #5850720 - 05/09/13 07:17 PM

dickbill, good point.

-drl


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TL2101
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: dickbill]
      #5851134 - 05/09/13 11:20 PM

Quote:

No it's the detection. It also makes sense, or let's say it's not surprising, since to detect the photon or electron, you need to make it interact with something, like another photon.




That makes sense but what about the delayed choice experiment. Doesn't it hit a detector but is then erased showing an interference pattern?

The only reason I ask is there is a NASA physicist with a book that claims it is the act of knowing the data that collapses the wave function. He goes into quite a bit of detail about it.

Are all these physicists like Greene and others that write books for the general public a bunch of charlatans who can't be trusted? I am too old to learn physics so I have to trust someone for whats going on in the science community.

And why do physicists pick on cats? Shouldn't they use rats like other scientists?


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David Knisely
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: dickbill]
      #5851324 - 05/10/13 03:38 AM Attachment (6 downloads)

Quote:

Clear skies to you too, but that's not correct. Photons sent one by one towards the two slits will still produce an interference pattern on the projection screen. To do that, the single particle photon must have been through the two slits at the same time. Same thing for single electrons sent one by one to the slits, they will produce an interference pattern....as long you don't try to find out which slit they went through.




Nope, a single photon sent towards a two slit setup will appear at a single location on the screen behind the slit, and not as a "pattern". The next photon sent through the 2-slit system will hit the screen behind the slits at a different location on the screen, and the next one after that at a still different location, and so on. If one keeps this up and keeps track of where each one hit the screen, eventually, you will see a banded distribution of photon locations on the screen which mimics the two-slit diffraction pattern seen for wave mechanics. This is the probability distribution for the two-slit experiment. If you have a whole huge stream of millions of photons going towards the screen, then the two slit diffraction pattern does appear, but for single photons, all you can see are single tiny impact spot locations and all you can calculate is the probability that a photon will hit a given location on the screen. More will hit certain locations than others, and if you do the statistics, the distribution of the photon impact locations looks just like the double slit pattern for wave mechanics. Clear skies to you.


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freestar8n
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5851346 - 05/10/13 04:32 AM

I'm not sure how you get comfort viewing individual photons as "particles" when they don't follow ballistic trajectories. Those individual photons land in completely non-classical locations. The fact that individual locations behave according to the overall distribution expected from classical wave interference, and yet each one appears to "hit" at a single location, is what particle/wave duality is all about.

As for Schrodinger's cat - I view it as using words and analogies way outside the intended scope. A "particle in a box" with a separate observer "opening" it is an abstract and well defined concept - but a macroscopic cat in a macroscopic box with a macroscopic observer opening it is totally different. It is all a single system and there is no separation of the experiment from the observer and the observation. It's a single system "in a box" and there is no clear description of it that makes the observer distinct from the system being measured.

So if any conceptual paradoxes arise from pondering it - it doesn't really matter since it isn't following the rules of the game in the first place.

Frank


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Charlie B
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5851605 - 05/10/13 09:14 AM

Two-slit experiment 2012!

I believe I would go with David on this point.

Charlie B


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dickbill
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Charlie B]
      #5851743 - 05/10/13 10:41 AM

David, i understand that there is a need to send more than one photon. The point here, it's impossible to say one photon interacts with another photon to create the distribution pattern. In the link that Charlie posted, the comment from 'Blueyes' about the 'quantum eraser' just add more to the weirdness of all that.
I am not a quantum physicist but this 'superimposition of states' can be worded in different ways, some more accurate than others, but in any cases, in the 'slit experiment' versus 'Schrodinger's cat', the 'cat' is more about the possibility of having a macroscopic system entangled by just using a macroscopic causal link with a quantum event. As I said above, I don't think it is possible, however, Penrose (yes, Roger Penrose)and Hamerhoff (a neurobiologist) suggest that the deep nature of the mind might be just that.
I quote Hameroff website: "In this (their) model, quantum-superposed states develop in microtubule subunit proteins ("tubulins"), remain coherent and recruit more superposed tubulins until a mass-time-energy threshold (related to quantum gravity) is reached".
I don't understand the quantum gravity point, and i don't think the 'tubulin' thing is a big deal, there is enough other stuff in a neurone that could potentially be in a quantum entanglement at a microscopic scale. But that's it, 'at a microscopic scale only' is my personnal opinion. For one, these molecules all interact with each other, which is like a measurement that will destroy any quantum effect.
But who knows, human consciousness is obviously very special, but can it be that special? does anyone has an interest in this issue? have a look:
http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/penrose-hameroff/consciousevents.html


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freestar8n
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Charlie B]
      #5851755 - 05/10/13 10:48 AM

I guess I'm not sure when anyone is saying. A single photon appears on the other side at a single point - sure - but that point has some arbitrary location that lets you know it was no ordinary particle following a ballistic trajectory through one or the other slit. It's something very weird and non particle-like.

You don't need to look at a whole bunch of them to know that individual ones hit in very non-particle locations.

Frank


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Pess
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: TL2101]
      #5851926 - 05/10/13 12:35 PM

Quote:



The only reason I ask is there is a NASA physicist with a book that claims it is the act of knowing the data that collapses the wave function. He goes into quite a bit of detail about it.





More accurately, it is the measurement itself that collapses the wave. For the case of the electron, in order to measure some aspect of it you have to force it to interact with your measuring tool (say another electron, photon, etc).

There are a couple collaries to quantrum functions that are equally as absurb (from a Newtonian viewpoint)

For example, for entangled particles they are said to collapse together despite being light years apart (measure one, the other is instantly at FTL existing in the opposite state.)

But you can never use entanglement for FTL communication because the observer stationed at particle #1 can never measure the state of particle #2 at anything but slower than FTL speeds.

Also consider the implications of quantum distribution. We all know about electron tunneling but it also follows that an electron orbiting that proton right in front of you can be found next to the proton (high probability) but there is also the probability that at any given moment that particular electron is on the other side of the galaxy (low probability). Highly improbably yes, but not statistically possible.

Which begs the age old question I have been posting here for years: What exactly defines a particles position in the Universe? What is it about a quark that, let's say puts it near Earth as opposed to an identical quark out around Pluto?

Is there some inherent coordinate system inside quarks that determines its position in time and space?

Pesse (And, more importantly, is that what powers the TARDIS??!) Mist


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Charlie B
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: dickbill]
      #5853779 - 05/11/13 12:51 PM

The full article about the experiment is here.

You may want to read the full article about the experiment.

Regards,

Charlie B


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freestar8n
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Charlie B]
      #5853876 - 05/11/13 02:08 PM

I view that article as making things even weirder than particle/wave duality. Even when you can in fact determine which slit a "particle" "went through" - it still can hit in a non ballistic and very wave-like location. It's bad enough - for a single particle - to hit in a non ballistic location when you have no idea which - or even both - slits it went through. But in this experiment you can get info on which slit it "went through" - and still a single hit can happen in a non ballistic - but very "interference wave" like location. Again all it takes is one hitting in a non-ballistic location to know they aren't normal particles - individually or collectively.

Frank


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HiggsBoson
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5854485 - 05/11/13 10:20 PM

An amusing thread…

Two points:

When physicist refer to ‘particles’ they include those that have mass like the electron and those without mass such as the photon. The word does not imply a small object that has the characteristic of location or size. These are the characteristics of ‘classical particles’.

QM provides a description of photons, electrons and other ‘particles’ that have predictive value. These QM descriptions do not impose a requirement that they fit the classical definitions. Therefor the question is a photon a (classical) particle or a wave is obsolete. Our best description of a photon is silent on the question. The same is true for the electron. Both can exhibit behavior classically associated with classical particles and waves.


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CounterWeight
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: HiggsBoson]
      #5854730 - 05/12/13 01:43 AM

Maybe the cat in the example is composed of instantons?

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freestar8n
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: HiggsBoson]
      #5854805 - 05/12/13 03:53 AM

Quote:

Therefor the question is a photon a (classical) particle or a wave is obsolete.




Just to be clear - I'm not calling anything anything, except maybe "weird." Apparently at least some people in this thread want to view photons as individual particles that behave collectively as waves - and I don't understand the motivation.

I don't find quantum paradox talk very interesting because it's usually based just on words disconnected from the formalism. I think the paper mentioned does have a surprising result - but I don't see it helping give a "feel" for particle vs. wave.

All I can say about the cat is that it will be alive until the particle decays, and I have a sense for how long that will be based on the half life of the particle.

Frank


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llanitedave
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5855186 - 05/12/13 10:43 AM

What I want to know is, once the cat is dead can it be used to remove warts?

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TL2101
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5855634 - 05/12/13 02:40 PM

All I can say is do not try this experiment at home!

I tried throwing my cat through one slit and then two. All I ended up with was one angry cat and interference scratches all over my body.


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Andy Taylor
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: TL2101]
      #5855798 - 05/12/13 03:45 PM

The cat is dead because they forgot to punch air holes in the box...

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jchaller
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Andy Taylor]
      #5855914 - 05/12/13 05:10 PM

Originally I was rooting for the cat...

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TL2101
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: jchaller]
      #5856078 - 05/12/13 06:41 PM

I have decided to build A do-it-yourself quantum eraser and don't worry no cats will be harmed.

I found the instructions at Scientific American.

web page


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deSitter
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: TL2101]
      #5856422 - 05/12/13 09:56 PM

Sartre's cat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34z5dCmC4M

-drl


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jchaller
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: deSitter]
      #5856456 - 05/12/13 10:23 PM

Well, that's kinda sad, and yet...

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TVG
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: deSitter]
      #5856613 - 05/12/13 11:48 PM

Hilarious, thank you!

Todd


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Kevdog
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: cavefrog]
      #5906919 - 06/06/13 09:39 PM

Quote:


I still am not getting the point to it however... from what I see, what we are trying to determine is if the atom has decayed or not. so why the poison and cat? If the geiger counter can relay a switch, why can the switch not be just a mark or something to be seen as yea or nay? why all the complication with the cat and poison?




Because if it was Schrödinger's geiger counter experiment would we still be talking about it over 75 years later?


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Pess
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5907800 - 06/07/13 11:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:


I still am not getting the point to it however... from what I see, what we are trying to determine is if the atom has decayed or not. so why the poison and cat? If the geiger counter can relay a switch, why can the switch not be just a mark or something to be seen as yea or nay? why all the complication with the cat and poison?




Because if it was Schrödinger's geiger counter experiment would we still be talking about it over 75 years later?




Pesse (exactly) Mist


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Pess
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Pess]
      #5907809 - 06/07/13 11:52 AM

The "Cat in the Box' was never meant to be taken literally. It was a thought experiment that postulated a link between a quantum event (Radioactive decay) and a macro event (dead Cat).

As Denny correctly pointed out, there are so many variables between the quantum trigger and the killing of the Cat that one can argue they are not truely linked. But that's not the point. The point is that some macro-event *Could* be linked to a quantum event...and that, if factual, opens up a huge Pandora's box of possibilities in thinking about how the Universe works at a quantum and macro level.

The *Cat* was just a way of popularizing this idea in a way that's easy to conceptualize.

Pesse (By the way, I own one irritating Cat I am more than willing to volunteer for this experiment) Mist


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Skip
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Pess]
      #5907825 - 06/07/13 12:01 PM

BTW, Schrodenger's cat has been getting some publicity in Dilbert recently.

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EJN
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Skip]
      #5907833 - 06/07/13 12:06 PM

Quote:

BTW, Schrodenger's cat has been getting some publicity in Dilbert recently.




http://www.dilbert.com/2013-06-06/

http://www.dilbert.com/2013-06-07/


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deSitter
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Re: Schrodenger's cat new [Re: Pess]
      #5907957 - 06/07/13 01:32 PM

Quote:

The "Cat in the Box' was never meant to be taken literally. It was a thought experiment that postulated a link between a quantum event (Radioactive decay) and a macro event (dead Cat).

As Denny correctly pointed out, there are so many variables between the quantum trigger and the killing of the Cat that one can argue they are not truely linked. But that's not the point. The point is that some macro-event *Could* be linked to a quantum event...and that, if factual, opens up a huge Pandora's box of possibilities in thinking about how the Universe works at a quantum and macro level.

The *Cat* was just a way of popularizing this idea in a way that's easy to conceptualize.

Pesse (By the way, I own one irritating Cat I am more than willing to volunteer for this experiment) Mist




Strict "Copenhagenists", those who regard the Copenhagen interpretation of QM as fundamental reality, believe that nothing exists until an observation is made. The cat scenario is an illustration of their point of view. Observation "creates" reality.

-drl


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