A Conversation for Schrodinger's Cat

So what is the solution to the collapse problem?

Post 1

Joe Otten

Schrodingers cat confirms to me the belief that there is something rather unsatisfactory about Quantum Physics. Are we really supposed to believe that human observation has a physical consequence on the observed? Are humans, or measuring devices, made of difference physical stuff than the rest of the universe?

We could hypothesise that the collapse occurs at any of
a) the superposed states bending space differently by more than a planck length (I think Penrose conjectured this)
b) the response of the Geiger counter
c) the break of the cyanide capsule
d) the observation by the cat
e) the death of the cat
f) the observation of the cat by the scientist
g) the publication by the scientist of a paper indicating the state of the cat
h) never (many worlds hypothesis)

Are there no experiments we can do to choose between these? If not (and it would seem to be the point that we can't) then doesn't that make all these hypotheses unscientific and metaphysical?

What about before there were humans? Was the universe in a 20 billion year old uncollapsed quantum state? What about events of which we are part? Whose observation causes the wavefunction of the universe collapse if observation has to be external (or environmental)?

The many worlds hypothesis is unsatisfactory (although it may be my best chance at immortality). Hidden variable theories don't work. Is it just me, or do other people think there is probably a huge theoretical mistake going on here somewhere that is preventing us finding a satisfactory explanation of events.

So what is the solution to the collapse problem?

Post 2


The problem with quantum mechanics is that no-one really likes it. Everyone thinks it is ugly, ungainly and difficult to use.

But the really wierd thing is that, like the cat experiment, everytime someone proposes an experiment to invalidate QM, it ends up proving it to be even more true and applicable to more things.

It's really wierd like that.

So what is the solution to the collapse problem?

Post 3

Joe Otten

smiley - smiley

I wouldn't want to invalidate it. Just understand it and improve on it. I guess the next theory will be even worse. smiley - sadface

Was if Feinman who say that nobody understands Quantum Theory?

So what is the solution to the collapse problem?

Post 4


As an Undergrad in Physics i should tell you that my Quantum Mechanics Lecturer told us,

"Anyone who says they understand Quantum Mechanics is lying"

So what is the solution to the collapse problem?

Post 5


One thing you have to remember is that the observer who is separated from the cat in the box is also extant in two states, a state inwhich s/he discovers a dead cat and a state in which s/he sees a live cat. The immediate observer is not necessarily the final arbiter of the wave form collapse, as the whole thing expands out as an image in between two mirrors. What a mess.

In point of fact, even as a cat lover, after the past couple of days with my Edie I kind of wish the stupid isotope had decayed . . . . .

(No animals were harmed in the writing of this reply)

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