Today in history, the Austrian-Irish physicist Erwin Rudolf Schrödinger published his famous thought experiment “Schrödinger’s Cat.” This paradox illustrated the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Schrödinger’s Cat is the world’s most famous thought experiment, although scientifically at the time, it proved nothing. Erwin Schrödinger first presented it on November 29, 1935. It was a way to demonstrate how scientists at the time were misinterpreting quantum theory. It showed how their interpretation of it did not align with how things worked in the real world.
This imaginary experiment describes how a hypothetical cat gets placed inside a sealed box with a small amount of radioactive material. The decay of this radioactive substance sets off a Geiger counter. It, in turn, causes a poison or explosion to take place. However, because the box got sealed, there is no conscious observer, so the Cat is dead and alive simultaneously.
This result was absurd and not in line with how the real world worked. It also showed that conscious observers did not drive wave function collapse. Albert Einstein applauded Erwin Schrödinger for his brilliant demonstration. He posed the rhetorical question: “Is the cat dead or alive depending on the physicist’s time of investigation?”
Schrödinger’s Cat was a vital contribution to the field of quantum mechanics. Over the years, plenty of evidence has gotten collected and proves that conscious observers do not drive wave function collapse. Ironically Schrödinger’s Cat is still misinterpreted by many scientists and philosophers in the present day.
They claim that quantum states and, by extension, reality itself gets determined by conscious observers.