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Customer Discussions > Science forum

How do I know that Schrodinger's cat is dead?

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Showing 26-50 of 54 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jul 10, 2012 12:55:02 AM PDT
SinSeeker says:
I do not know whether I was then a Schroedinger dreaming I was a cat, or whether I am now a cat dreaming I am a Schroedinger...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2012 7:09:26 AM PDT
You can tell by the smell.

Which raises a not completely facetious point. I could imagine a superposition of a live cat and a dead cat in the sense that right after an animal dies not all its cells die. But there's no way to have a superposition of the smell of death and no smell of death.




In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2012 7:10:06 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 10, 2012 7:10:36 AM PDT
Never joke about QM.

Is nothing sacred?


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 4:35:08 AM PDT
That may be related to why Schroedinger adjusted the thought experiment from the version Einstein suggested to him, which involved an explosive charge in place of the poison: you can hear explosions. For purposes of the thought experiment, 'dinger needed to require observers to make a look/don't-look decision. If the setup was such that we could always be assured of knowledge of the cat's condition (by sound, smell, etc.) the whole thing would be pointless.

But you know, I think the whole concept of what constitutes an observation is quite interesting. For example, strictly speaking scientists don't claim to have observed the Higgs Boson, but to have detected decay events likely to have resulted from HB particles.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 4:37:09 AM PDT

I can tell you that I can hear cats, regardless if there is an explosive locked in a box with it or not.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 7:18:29 AM PDT
One of the big questions about observations for which there's no consensus is whether an observation is just the interaction of a measuring instrument with a quantum state or whether it requires the participation of a conscious observer.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2012 2:25:44 PM PDT
Charlie T. says:
Rover says:
It's been in that box with no food or water or air for 77 years.

The thought experiment clearly says that it is in a "chamber" (ie room, not box) supplied with food, water and air.

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 3:17:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 15, 2012 3:18:55 AM PDT
Yog-Sothoth says:
Sheldon: In case you have forgotten, Schrodinger's cat is a thought experiment...

Penny: No, no, no, no, I didn't forget. Um, there's this cat in a box and until you open it, it's either dead or alive or both. Although, back in Nebraska, our cat got stuck in my brother's camp trunk, and we did not need to open it to know there was all kinds of dead cat in there.

Posted on Jul 17, 2012 10:14:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2012 10:15:02 PM PDT
JagdTiger says:
Have you tried poking it with a stick?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2012 8:33:39 PM PDT

You would have to open the door/chamber. That would ruin the thought experiment of someone outside the box/chamber who died decades ago. Yeesh! Some people will do anything to stop scientific progress.

Posted on Jul 18, 2012 9:30:27 PM PDT
tom kriske says:
an interesting question in all of this is - what serves to constitute a boundary between classical and quantum phenomena? when is a system too large to be quantum? at what point is it too small to be classical? if half of its observable properties are quantum, and half classical, what the hell is it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 5:21:58 AM PDT
D. Colasante says:
I'm not sure that *size* is the ultimate arbiter. I would be confident that we're in the quantum realm at whatever level truly identical objects exist, kicking in quantum statistics. But it's hard to say exactly how that relates to a cat unless it's within the random trigger of its death.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 5:59:56 AM PDT
tom kriske says:
interesting point dc. molecules are essentially quantum, what about a collection of molecules? at what level of size or complexity does this start to diminish?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 11:05:59 AM PDT
The Weasel says:
Rover says:
False. No cat can survive 77 years in a box with no food or water.
No known species of cat can survive that long under those conditions. On the other hand cat religion predicts the return of a divine cat last seen in Eygpt (you can still see cat idols in museums). This cat - the Meowiah will return before catageddon when the cats are promised that they will vanquish the dogs and ascend to the great litter box in the sky.

Now, that cat could could easily do 77 years in a box as he an immortal magic cat....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 12:22:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 19, 2012 6:25:49 PM PDT
D. Colasante says:
I am under the impression that there is again no limit strictly by size (or number) if the particles happen to be entangled or part of a Bose-Einstein condensate. I believe that means they share a single quantum state. A more classical collection of particles may depend upon how tightly aggregated they are (electrically or gravitationally). Quantum properties such as wave nature seem to then exhibit a muted average value (wavelength small compared to the size of the aggregate.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 5:53:57 PM PDT
Nova137 says:
the kind that when you shine your flashlight, on average, half the time it won't tell you where it is, but it will give up its momentum and half the time it gives up both!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 6:17:18 PM PDT
Nova137 says:
tk: what the hell is it?
n: a human being!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 6:26:50 PM PDT
Nova137 says:
In Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos the author makes the case that any "particle" (subatomic, atomic, pebble, people, planet) of any size that doesn't decohere demonstrates the capability of being a wave. Decoherence is "the process by which the enviroment destroys the wavelike nature of things by getting information about a quantum system." He makes an argument that an increase in entropy between objects that constantly interact with each other is information exchange. Big things (pebbles, people, planets) tend to show up in one place or another, but not both because they are constantly interacting with their surroundings.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2012 5:00:41 PM PDT
tom kriske says:
i've been trying to respond to your post mentioning vladimir alexsandrovich tock, but with the t replaced by an f. russian physicist, cool stuff, i can't believe i can't post anything referencing his name!!

Posted on Jul 21, 2012 6:59:31 PM PDT
Yog-Sothoth says:
Can one prove the refrigerator light REALLY goes out when you close the door?
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012 10:33:18 PM PDT
JagdTiger says:
Especially Garfield...not without lasagna.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 12:25:14 PM PDT
Of course. Just put a webcam inside.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 12:45:01 PM PDT
Yeah, I had an elaborate answer about putting a cold-adapted plant inside and periodically checking it for symptoms of light starvation ... then I realized you could just do what you suggest.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 1:47:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2012 1:50:55 PM PDT
noman says:
measure the current drawn by the compressor and by the light. shut the door and see if the draw matches compressor only or compressor + light. If it's a standard bulb (not led) I suppose you could also measure the amount of tungsten burnt off. a cold (non active bulb) should have less build up on the inside of the glass than an active bulb and the filament of a burning bulb should get thinner over time.

EDIT: or, take the compressor out of the circuit and just leave the bulb. then *any* use of electricity would have to be the light bulb.

Posted on Jul 22, 2012 2:04:24 PM PDT
D. Colasante says:
I would remind that the bulb is a black body radiator, mine never goes out, even when unplugged.
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  23
Total posts:  54
Initial post:  Jul 7, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 5, 2012

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