A Conversation for Schrodinger's Cat
Dave Sidcup Started conversation Jun 19, 2003
If the cat is constantly interacting with (the rest of the entire universe) by gravity / electromagnetism, etc (exchanging gravitons, virtual photons, whatever) surely the cat is in a continuous process of observation, anyway...???
Sea Change Posted Jun 20, 2003
One could come up with a more efficacious box that is proof against these phenomena.
Atlantic_Cable Posted Jun 27, 2003
That's why it's a thought experiment, there is no realistic way to put the cat in a box that seoerates if from all observers.
You can however do it with small particles, as gravity and other forces have a much smaller effect on them.
Joe Otten Posted Jun 29, 2003
Is 'Observation by environment' believed?
What is the answer to the objection that the universe has no environment, so its wavefunction shouldn't collapse?
Atlantic_Cable Posted Jun 30, 2003
Again, that's one of the problems: "Does the fact the universe is watching make any difference to the cat?"
Presumably that's what keeps you from banging into coffee tables from anotehr universe while you walk about the house in the dark at night, searching for the light switch.
GustyWinds Posted Mar 14, 2004
The thought experiment does not itself require a cat. Suppose instead that you place a firecracker in a thick soundproof box, with a fuse connected to some sort of random number generator that would have a 50/50 chance of lighting the fuse. That way, the firecracker is both exploded and not exploded until the box is open, and there's no issue of a consious observer.
Atlantic_Cable Posted Mar 15, 2004
However, one of the tennants is that the box seperates the firecracker from the rest of the universe, so that nothing outside the box can influence the items in the box. At the scale of cat or firecracker, this is effectively impossible.
GustyWinds Posted Mar 19, 2004
I't isn't that it separates the firecracker apart from the rest of the universe, it just sets it out of observation to the rest of the Universe
Atlantic_Cable Posted Mar 19, 2004
Well, yes, but there is a thinking amoung some scientists that you need to seperate it from all *possible* forms of observation, effectively this translates as "cut off from the universe", but I can't remember why.
GustyWinds Posted Apr 22, 2004
In any case, it's not like this is a practical experiment. Anyway, it could be argued that the operation of whatever device is governed by the state of the photon is a measurement in and of itself.
Myself I prefer the "Many Worlds" take on the issue, because it makes more sense that instead of two superimposed cats, there are merely two (among an infinite number of) superimposed universes. Furthermore, when you combine it to chaos theory, one can only wonder what crazy things exist in these other universes.
In any case, this discussion is by far more interesting than the impression one often is given of quantam mechanics by all of the strags who shy away from it.
Atlantic_Cable Posted Apr 23, 2004
Yes, the many worlds theory is a method of quantum computing.
If you could tap into it, you could break a combination lock with one code, never having to try any of the wrong combinations that set off the alarm.
The device would "unfold" many universes, try every possible combination in them, and tell you which one worked.
It has been used as a plot device in many sci-fi stories.
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Dave Sidcup (Jun 19, 2003)
- 2: Sea Change (Jun 20, 2003)
- 3: Atlantic_Cable (Jun 27, 2003)
- 4: Joe Otten (Jun 29, 2003)
- 5: Atlantic_Cable (Jun 30, 2003)
- 6: GustyWinds (Mar 14, 2004)
- 7: Atlantic_Cable (Mar 15, 2004)
- 8: GustyWinds (Mar 19, 2004)
- 9: Atlantic_Cable (Mar 19, 2004)
- 10: GustyWinds (Apr 22, 2004)
- 11: Atlantic_Cable (Apr 23, 2004)