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    Thread: Schrodinger's cat

    1. #1
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      Schrodinger's cat

      So, I think it's possible that the cat is both both dead and alive. I think this is explained quite easily by the addition of time--it really doesn't matter. The experiment shows that the cat can exist in both it's living and dead states simultaneously because in one case, one outcome is possible, and in another, the same is true for the other. To an observer, therefore, the cat would both be dead, alive, and any combination or twist thereof. I see no problem with this. It's fascinating really, and illustrates pretty clearly that reality is a function of what can, and cannot happen. Things do, or do not. They also try, because we can imagine them trying. It's all quite beautiful and elegant really.

    2. #2
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      I also posit that time travel is possible because inorder to move backwards in time, one must simply move forwards faster than is currently conceivably possible. The states in which matter has existed previously will be observable, therefore, as you move past it in the "ether" the binds us all together. So long as you are able move travel faster than the speed of light, you can, therefore, observe what has happened in what we know as the past.

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      Hm. For me, the cat is alive, until the event and consequences get observed by it, and the cat observes this by dying.
      So to propose an undead/unalive cat, instead of granting the cat the status of observer does strike me as odd, but I haven't found anybody knowledgeable and willing enough to walk me through my eventual errors of thinking there. Isn't a mere detector enough for observation to take place? With timestamp, and later "somebody", a "person" can determine, when in the past the disintegration or whatever happened.
      So there need not be a consciousness present at the time, in order to have an observation, or am I wrong?

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      I think the point of this thought experiment was to illustrate that something's state is not defined until it is observed, or perhaps that the act of observation provides the definition -- all to explain how we the state of light (wave/particle) or the location of an electron is defined by our observation of it.

      I could be wrong -- it's been years since I gave this stuff much attention -- but I don't think the cat was ever intended to actually be alive, dead, or both, in a unified physical sense. Elevating the state of the cat over the importance of the observer in this experiment sort of erases its meaning, I think. In other words, if you say that the cat actually is in all three states, that it is an observer, or insert sensors into the box, you are sort of defeating the purpose of the thought experiment, aren't you?
      Last edited by Sageous; 10-30-2014 at 09:43 PM.
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      Yeah - probably. But I'm yet to understand the full meaning of the thought-experiment, I'm afraid - and too lazy to go hunting for said understanding. I did an attempt in the past, and came to find, it's rather more difficult in it's implications than I thought.
      Here we go - I'm yet to read: Schrödinger's cat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      That's one of the meanwhile many occasions, where I'm really missing maestro Xei's input on here...

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      Only ever can a single process occur at a time, so I suppose you guys are right. The universe really is like a giant computer. Things happen so quickly that they appear to happen simultaneously. The ingredients are all there, the configuration always exists. So, in essence the cat was really dead and alive all along, but in order for one outcome to exist, the other by the same token must not occur at the time of occurrence. Brilliant. This also proves that Hawking, the Holographic Universe, Biocentrism, and quantum theory really do all describe the same thing. Information is preserved and never destroyed, which allows for the existence of black holes, which are really like super dense mirrors with no specular reflection. Remarkable, simple, elegant, beautiful, all explaining, infinitely complex, confusing, and extremely satisfying.
      Last edited by snoop; 10-31-2014 at 02:02 PM.

    7. #7
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      However, i don't get it hahahahaha

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      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      That's one of the meanwhile many occasions, where I'm really missing maestro Xei's input on here...
      Me too, I was shocked to learn he had been banned, made me sad.
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    9. #9
      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      He was banned? That's a shame.
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      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

    10. #10
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      ^^ That is sad; a real loss to the forums, too.
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      It's a shame he can't be simultaneously in a state of banned and not-banned..

      Yeah, its a joke, but really I miss Xei as much as anybody else does. I think the overall IQ of the forum dropped several points.

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      anyone know why he was banned?

    13. #13
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      The final nail in Xei's coffin was creating an alt account. And that was after 2 pages of infractions and warnings that dated all the way back to 2010.

      Remember, people can have many sides to them. On the one hand, a member may act a certain way to his friends, then on the other hand be constantly headbutting with staff.
      Mismagius, anderj101 and gab like this.

    14. #14
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      Xei was banned? Wow... This is like learning that Ninja9578 was banned. It's big news, but I can't say the move doesn't have any of my understanding. Xei said a lot of interesting stuff, but he did have a tendency to get personal and confrontational when it was not called for at all. Emotionally handling disagreement wasn't his top skill. I debated Xei a ton on this site, and I didn't think his way of initiating hostility would last forever here.

      As for Schrodinger's cat, I think it's an interesting concept, but I am not convinced that it is true. The argument does not amount to much more than science fiction. As I have said a lot here, humans are not that important in the scheme of the universe. Reality is what it is regardless of whether or not we perceive it. If a cat in a box goes through two very different courses of action and only one picks up in the reality we perceive, our perception does not suddenly erase one of the courses of action from the past. If it is not erased, what happens to the other course of action? Are its results happening unobserved? Did it flow into another reality or dimension? What we are seeing are the results of the past. If there were another past in this reality, it would not just vanish. It would have effects like all other events, and I have no solid reason to believe that our perception would determine which reality becomes permanent even if there were a parallel set of past events that took place in the box. Humans are not that important in the grand scheme.
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


    15. #15
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      ^^ Again, I believe that this thought experiment never assumed the cat was actually alive or dead, and that human observation created an actual condition of life or death for it.

      Per my post above, which I don't feel like copying for some reason, this was simply meant to be an example of how we cannot define something until we observe it -- the cat's condition would be whatever condition it would have been regardless of our observation, but we cannot define that condition until we observe. So, as with electrons and light as wave or particle, as far as we're concerned, by our definition the cat is both alive and dead until we observe its state, but it will be going about its fate on its own, whether we observe or not.

      I hope that made sense; I really feel like I'm garbling this... suffice it to say that the Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment was about the challenges of observing subatomic particles, and not about the cat.

    16. #16
      Consciousness in the Void Universal Mind's Avatar
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      That is not my understanding of the claim. I don't think Schrodinger was saying that other stuff is happening merely for all we know. I think he was saying that it is really happening. That is the position of a lot of quantum physicists also.

      What is Schrodinger's cat? - Definition from WhatIs.com

      Since we cannot know, according to quantum law, the cat is both dead and alive, in what is called a superposition of states. It is only when we break open the box and learn the condition of the cat that the superposition is lost, and the cat becomes one or the other (dead or alive). This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox: the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that the outcome as such does not exist unless the measurement is made. (That is, there is no single outcome unless it is observed.)
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


    17. #17
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      You might want to read that passage again, UM.

      When I read it, it says exactly what I said above, if much more coherently. The superposition of states only exists on our end of the equation, because we cannot know what happened to the cat until we break open the box.... whatever happened still happened, but we just can't know what happened -- create a definition of the cat's state -- until we break open the box. The cat was going about its merry way (as was the electron or photon) regardless of our involvement, but, since we cannot create a definitive state for the cat until our involvement (breaking open the box and observing the cat's state) enters the formula, we must define the unobserved cat as being both alive and dead at the same time.

      I think the bottom line for me, and for the description above, is that there is no cat, just a thought experiment, so humans are not being raised above anything, and the cat's existence is not defined by us, because all we can do is observe.
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    18. #18
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      ^ If that's all is is then it's just a big "well Duh!!" - why would we need a great physicist to tell us we don't know what's happening until we check? This is something we've always known. And if that's all he meant then I think it would have been explained that way by now - what with all the people constantly asking about it. Some other physicist would have put it to rest and said "Guys - settle down - it's not anything profound really, he's just stating the obvious in confusing terms!"

      Especially when you consider the famous slit experiment, where light can behave as particles or waves, and apparently it's affected by the observation, though this one is really as confusing as Schroedinger's Cat, even when you really dig into it. It's almost like the quantum physicists are just having a big laugh at our expense and making up all this magic stuff in order to keep their jobs and the mystery and glamour of their profession.

    19. #19
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      ^^ I would say that yes, it really was a major physicist offering an example, a "Well Duh!" example, for sure, to explain to a whole lot of breathless people -- including other physicists -- why the observations and discoveries being made in quantum mechanics were not mystical, mysterious, or absurd (as was also happening with that slit experiment, BTW, and still is), but just new, and very different. And on top of all that, Schrödinger was actually stating the obvious in simple terms; perhaps his real joke was knowing that no one would get it.

      All of this has been explained, plenty of times. The trouble is that such a powerful mythology, even a pop culture, has arisen over the last century about the quirks, paradoxes, and mysteries of quantum mechanics that very few people (aside from actual physicists, of course, who have mostly moved past those mysteries) choose to even try to understand even the simplest of its concepts.

      Yes, the math is still only understood by a few, but understanding unusual concepts, like that an electron is different when observed than it is when not observed, is not that hard an idea to grasp, especially with the help of "Well, duh!" examples like Schrödinger's cat -- also Einstein's trains, Galileo's balls, Plato's cave, and probably a hundred other simplistic examples, metaphors, or thought experiments meant to translate extremely new and easily misunderstood concepts to the mystified masses (and I suppose their confused colleagues as well). Explaining very complex ideas with very simple examples is an old tradition, and it is amazing that Schrödinger's Cat is one that has remained so darn mysterious over the years, despite its beautiful simplicity.

      Of course I could be wrong ... still waiting for an actual astrophysicist to chime in to correct me!
      Last edited by Sageous; 11-07-2014 at 07:37 AM.

    20. #20
      Consciousness in the Void Universal Mind's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      You might want to read that passage again, UM.

      When I read it, it says exactly what I said above, if much more coherently. The superposition of states only exists on our end of the equation, because we cannot know what happened to the cat until we break open the box.... whatever happened still happened, but we just can't know what happened -- create a definition of the cat's state -- until we break open the box. The cat was going about its merry way (as was the electron or photon) regardless of our involvement, but, since we cannot create a definitive state for the cat until our involvement (breaking open the box and observing the cat's state) enters the formula, we must define the unobserved cat as being both alive and dead at the same time.

      I think the bottom line for me, and for the description above, is that there is no cat, just a thought experiment, so humans are not being raised above anything, and the cat's existence is not defined by us, because all we can do is observe.
      I am going to quote two parts of the quote to focus on what I am saying.

      "... the cat becomes one or the other (dead or alive)."

      "... the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that the outcome as such does not exist unless the measurement is made."

      The idea is that both happen situations exist in some bizarre metaphysical form in the box and human perception determines which one flows into our reality.

      From the same page:

      "Since we cannot know, according to quantum law, the cat is both dead and alive, in what is called a superposition of states."
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


    21. #21
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      ^^ That leads me to ask this: Does this all mean something different if you know that the cat is representing quantum particles, and not an actual cat, and that the observation of the cat represents the difficulties surrounding observing actual quantum particles?

      The idea is that both happen situations exist in some bizarre metaphysical form in the box and human perception determines which one flows into our reality.
      That you drew that conclusion from what you read sort of illustrates the point I was making in my previous post. Where is there talk in that text of something flowing into our reality? Why is it so impossible to gather from that text that the state of the cat simply doesn't become a part of our reality, of our known universe, until we can observe it, that with or without us the cat's state is whatever it is, but that state simply cannot be known until someone observes it? Isn't that a little less mystical than pulling things into our universe?

    22. #22
      Consciousness in the Void Universal Mind's Avatar
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      Of course it's less mystical. I agree with the idea involved in your interpretation. It's just not what Schrodinger believed. You and I agree on what happens, but not on what Schrodinger said happens. "Superposition of states" does not mean "We aren't sure which state it is." "The cat is both dead and alive" does not mean "The cat could be dead or alive for all we know." "The cat becomes one or the other" does not mean "The cat is one or the other, and then we find out which it is." "... becomes one ore the other..." means that one of the superposition states officially becomes part of our material world.

      Schrodinger's notion is an allegory for quantum physics, and I think that area of science is going to eventually be looked at as a quirky system of correct theories and many disproven theories. It is a mixture of truths and bizarre conclusions based on them and also based on old theories that are correct. We are in that gray zone where important discoveries have been made with wide gaps between them. I predict that later this century, quantum physics as it is known now will be viewed the way we currently view medical science of the Middle Ages.
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      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


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