Schrodinger's cat theory realistic? Or was he just high? Could it help solve...

eGremlin
eGremlin

Schrodinger's cat theory realistic? Or was he just high? Could it help solve real-world problems? Also makes me think of doublethink from 1984 (by George Orwell).

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en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigner's_friend

idontknow
idontknow

If you shoot the box the cat is in with a shotgun, it is dead 100% of the time

Shot theory famalam

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

It was just a thought experiment to show that quantum uncertainly was not limited to the microscopic realm.
QM doesn't "stop working" at some particular dimension. Systems can (theoretically) remain "un-collapsed" indefinitely.

Practically speaking, "decoherence" takes places as soon as the quantum system interacts with anything else. Something the size of a cat would be definitely dead or alive (no longer a superposition) within trillionths of a second. Probably much less.
It's the "interaction" that does it. "Observation" doesn't mean that a human actually have to open a door and look inside.

Schrodinger wasn't smoking anything.

It's been taken even further.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigner's_friend
The man looking into the box is (again, in theory) also in a state of quantum superposition until someone else opens a door and looks into the laboratory. This sequence can, in principle, continue until the entire universe is in a mixed-state. The process stops there because there's no one left to "open another door". Unless you believe in a god "outside".

takes2long
takes2long

ITT we completely miss Schrodinger's point.

Emberfire
Emberfire

Replace cat with a hand grenade.
Replace poison-vial-breaking mechanism th pin-pulling mechanism.
Grenade remains in exploded/not-exploded state unless you look in the box.

How many physicists would keep the box in their office?

w8t4u
w8t4u

so basically whoever made up "if a tree falls in a forest" was talking about quantum superposition before schrodinger could spell c a t

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

It was a fucking joke you dipshit. Get back to /pol/ you scientific illiterate.

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

as if story teller's mindset means anything

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

this

his point is that the thought experiment itself has a false premise.

Cats and humans are objects. objects can return a value without themselves changing. They can be seen, heard, felt, and of course also changed, though it is not necessary.

Fundamental particles are not objects. They are functions. Particularly, they are eigenfunctions. Everything we ever know about them, are given by their eigenvalues when an operator, such as time(the hamiltonian), or a translation, or a rotation, operates on them in an eigenfunction/state. We can think of these eigenvalues as properties, really you should think of properties as eigenvalues. Many of these operators, such as spin in perpendicular directions, do not share eigenfunctions or eigenvalues. This means those operators don't commute.

Take a particle given in an eigenstate. When an operator acts on it, the result is an eigenvalue of that operator, with no change to the state. This of course means that the particle is not an eigenstate of any operator the original operator doesn't commute with. We can write the particle's state as a linear combination of one of these operator's eigenvalues, but it itself is still not an eigenvalue. All this does is give the probability of finding the particle in each eigenvalue. Thus the uncertainty principle. When certain under one operator, giving one property, it simply is not certain under another. It has nothing to do with consciousness, perception, or even measurement. You can call an operation a measurement, but really it's not a measurement, it's an operation. Measurements are things we do on objects, which do not change them. Objects like cats.

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

I understand your point but disagree with some aspects.
Cats, being made of particles, obey QM and have a wave-function. It is, obviously, so highly localized that we don't notice it. But it is there.
Looking at a cat, bouncing photons off of it, is changing the cat. That's unavoidable.
Schrodinger's point was that quantum systems don't have to be small and invisible to the eye. Macroscopic objects must obey QM too.
The difference is that a complex object decoheres incredibly rapidly because it can't be kept isolated from everything.
Measurements (by which I mean interacting with anything else) DO change objects.

Classical mechanics can be derived from QM and that includes Newton's laws and Maxwell's. Anything which didn't obey QM wouldn't follow those other laws either.

Playboyize
Playboyize

It was a fucking satire joke about the philosophy of physics at the time. A FUCKING JOKE.

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BinaryMan
BinaryMan

Dumbest person in this thread

girlDog
girlDog

bouncing photons off of it, is changing the cat
see
so highly localized that we don't notice it

I am not sure what you mean by decoheres, you'll have to elaborate

I am aware cats have a wave function. This does not mean the cat can exist as alive and dead. The cat exists as a couple plank lengths to the left and and a couple plank lengths to the right, and like you said the collapse of this wavelength is basically meaningless due to the scale.

w8t4u
w8t4u

That is really interesting. Thanks for posting that. I am going to look up more about this. What you described is very intuitive to me.

MPmaster
MPmaster

I am aware cats have a wave function. This does not mean the cat can exist as alive and dead.
Of course it can, it's called superposition.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

so basically multiverse theory? because realistically there is no difference between the cat in the box and every living thing not currently in your vision

Inmate
Inmate

Schrodinger's cat theory
Lrn2theory fgt pls

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

So you are saying that after youve observed the cat, you know whether its dead or alive.

5mileys
5mileys

Looking at a cat, bouncing photons off of it, is changing the cat
Looking at the cat doesn't cause photons to bounce off it user, they'll bounce whether my eye is pointed in the directions of those incoming photons or not

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

Of course it doesn't matter whether the photons go to a detector. Decoherence takes place when the photons hit.
"Unobserved" means no photons (or anything else) touches the cat or the proton. Without some connection to the outside world, we know nothing about the quantum system.
"Looking" just means "shining a light". Everybody talks that way but I should have been more precise.

I meant "decoherence takes place". The wave-function collapses. We can now know either the cat's position or momentum as accurately as we like,
Schrodinger was, of course, aware that something with the mass of a cat cannot avoid interaction with the "outside" for more than an infinitesimal period of time. We don't have to open the door and look. Even air molecules will do the trick. The "sealed box" can only ever be a thought experiment, if for no other reason than gravitation cannot be blocked off.

It's hard enough to keep supercooled logic gates in a quantum superposition long enough to get a computation done.

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

The cat becomes definitely either dead OR alive almost instantly. See

The word "observe" has gotten all bent out of shape by decades of pop-sci.
Einstein put it succinctly, "Do you really believe the Moon does not exist when you're not looking at it?"
As if we, (somewhat) intelligent beings, were necessary for the continuing functioning of the cosmos and physics would be different if we'd never evolved.

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

I am still not convinced with uncertainity at quantum levels. Everything happens with 100% guarantee, we just don't know how does such influence work. Maybe it's similar to butterfly effect where the result starts somewhere near 0.5 and ends either at 1 or 0.
So no matter if you open box or not, the result is predetermined for quantum isotope and for cat aswell.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

If you observe a wide-boar projectile penetrating the box you can determine that the cat is dead without looking at the cat itself

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

Try reading up on QM.
I think you're talking about what's called "hidden variable" theories. Like there's clockwork inside and the exact instant a particular atom will decay is set and counting down -- we just can't see the gears until it goes off. Experiments testing Bell's Theorem don't look good for Hidden Variables, though they're not absolutely excluded yet, SFAIK.

Not only does QM appear to be completely random (I mean we can predict absolutely the probabilities of getting such-and-such a result from an experiment. Like the life insurance companies know how many will die, but not which ones.) but it seems that the properties we measure literally DO NOT EXIST prior to the measurement.

It's very contraintuitive, I know, but that's the way it seems to be. What happens in the realm of the very small is nothing at all like the things which happen at the level of objects we can see and touch. The math works beautifully, but we don't "understand". We can only reason by analogy.

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

Schrodinger's cat demonstrates that we only see a portion of the wave function, but that the wave function exists up to the point at which it must be measurable
Similar to how the double slit experiment indicated wave-particle duality, so does this thought experiment

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