A Conversation for Schrodinger's Cat

conscious observer

Post 1

chickadee (wheee!)

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.

conscious observer

Post 2


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.

Asprin anyone? smiley - smiley

conscious observer

Post 3

chickadee (wheee!)

yeah ... sure ... that's what i meant ...well said!

conscious observer

Post 4

Darth Zaphod

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 troublingsmiley - winkeye

Darth Zaphodsmiley - planet

conscious observer

Post 5


I guess the reason why there are no parallel universes is because the constant collapse of the wave function due to observation by the constant observer: Godsmiley - smileysmiley - biggrin

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