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.
Amen!! My Maine Coon cat went into mourning and then donned his best dark suit, sewn together by his obliging human, out of black rat skins. Is he spoiled? YES!!
No, observer does not have to be conscious.
What happens is, when the experimenter opens the box,
he too is split into two realities, along with the cat that has
already done this And, presumably, depending on local conditions,
the split spreads out into forever. But at a distance, the two realities
are essentially equal, just not the cat and the experimenter.
Poor cat? Maybe. Can we be sure?……
I had a very incomplete understanding of Schroedinger’s demonstration. Thanks for the clarification. I will no longer make a fool of myself for misinterpreting his intent.
“Dr. Schroedinger, this is your vet calling about your cat. I have good news…and bad news.” Before the Euro arrived, the Austrian medium of exchange was the Schilling. There was a 100,000-Schilling note with Schroedinger’s picture on it, worth about $800.00. Austrians called them “Schroedingers”.
Shrodinger and Einstien we’re friends, but more importantly; if a tree falls in the forrest…….
One of a few solutions to what happens to the wave equation. Not the only one.