Daily Archives: March 19, 2014

WANTED: Dead AND Alive

I was having a metaphysical moment.

I crawled into the box with Schrodinger’s cat* because I wanted to see what it’s like to be both alive and dead at the same time.

It didn’t feel any different, and now I’m covered with cat hair, I smell funny and I have several flea bites.

*

Schrödinger’s cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.

Courtesy wikipedia.org