A Conversation for Schrodinger's Cat
chickadee (wheee!) Started conversation Jun 19, 2003
it's not the opening of the box that determines which way it goes, it's the observation by something conscious. sticking a video camera in before you close the box, and watching as stuff happened inside would have the effect of preventing superposition. the whole conscious observer thing brings up a looot of philosophical issues, e.g., wouldn't a cat notice if it died? is it absolutely necessary that the observer be consious, or could anything wiht senses collapse the wave? (i'm getting somewhre wit this, i promise!)
a variation of the experiment is to put the box in a rooom with a person, and close up the room tight and don't let anyone else check in. the person in the room may look into the box anytime, but they won't know what they've seen until someone else looks into the room! which leads to the idea that, unless some ultimate observer is looking, we have no clue what has happened so far in our own lives.
tricky experiment, eh?
sorry, it's a bit long, but i did a big report on this same thing just a few weeks ago. there's also a cool continuation of the thought experiment that involves time travel, if anyone's interested.
Atlantic_Cable Posted Jun 27, 2003
Actually the theory goes that if you put a cam corder in the box, it would prevent superposition, because you (being conscious) would view it later. If, however, you never ever played the tape, superposition would occur.
Ie, events in the present affect things in the past. Read that bit again, I'll wait.
I had real trouble getting round that idea, bet lab experiments with a modified Young's slits appear to show it is true.
chickadee (wheee!) Posted Jun 30, 2003
yeah ... sure ... that's what i meant ...well said!
Darth Zaphod Posted Sep 22, 2003
chickadee, I'm quite afraid I do not understand your explanation for the cat theory. If I had looked into the box at anytime, why wouldn't I know what had happened until someone looked into the room? I don't get it...care to explain? I don't often not get things, so this is troubling
kailasham Posted Jun 11, 2006
Key: Complain about this post