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A hypothetical experiment in quantum mechanics that allegedly proves that a cat can be alive and dead at the same time. This conclusion smack's of Bishop Berkeley's notion that if nobody is in a forest to hear a falling tree, the tree makes no sound.

Schroedinger's Cat is not half alive and half dead. It is either alive or dead, and we have to open the box to find out. If we lose interest and refuse to open the box, the chances of the cat being dead increase greatly with time.

by Cap'n Bullmoose
November 11, 2006

Top Definition

A cat which is neither alive nor dead, but rather in a state of stasis, in a box. There is also in the box a geiger counter and a tiny radioactive particle, the counter wired to a vial of hydrochloric acid (that got your attention). After a set amount of time, the particle is 50% likely to decay, setting off a mechanism triggered by the geiger counter which smashes the vial and kills the cat. Supposedly, after that set amount of time, if no one looks in the box, the whole system is in a state of stasis because the cat is 50% likely to be alive and 505 likely to be dead, and is thus neither alive nor dead, but both. At least, until someone opens rhe box. There are all sorts of conundrums associated with this thesis, and it is very controversial.

Poor kitty... neither alive nor dead...

by Braavosi
May 16, 2003

2

Is a cat in an isolated box that has a 50% chance of getting killed in the next hour due to a quantum event - such as a particle decaying with 50% chance, and which will release a poison that will kill the cat. If the particle does not decay, then cat will remain alive.

Schroedinger/Einstein claimed that after an hour with the box lid closed, the cat must be either dead or alive, each with 50% probability - this is just common sense. Bohr/Heisenberg claimed that with the lid closed, the cat is neither alive nor dead, but 50% alive AND 50% dead at the same time. That is the cat is in 2 mutually exclusive states at the same time!

Bohr's position is the "Principle of Superposition" and is central to quantum physics.

Empirical experments show that Bohr was correct, and Schroedinger wrong - up to a point. If the observer happens to be in the box, he will see what Schroedinger asserts. If the observer is out of the box and cannot see inside the box, then Bohr is right.

So Bohr and Schroedinger were both neither right nor wrong! What irony. The answer is "who is asking". Is the observer privy (entangled) with the cat or not. Note: this is unrelated to the popular concept that "the observer influences the observed". There is no influence by the observer.

Schroedinger/Einstein claimed that after an hour with the box lid closed, the cat must be either dead or alive, each with 50% probability - this is just common sense. Bohr/Heisenberg claimed that with the lid closed, the cat is neither alive nor dead, but 50% alive AND 50% dead at the same time. That is the cat is in 2 mutually exclusive states at the same time!

Bohr's position is the "Principle of Superposition" and is central to quantum physics.

Empirical experments show that Bohr was correct, and Schroedinger wrong - up to a point. If the observer happens to be in the box, he will see what Schroedinger asserts. If the observer is out of the box and cannot see inside the box, then Bohr is right.

So Bohr and Schroedinger were both neither right nor wrong! What irony. The answer is "who is asking". Is the observer privy (entangled) with the cat or not. Note: this is unrelated to the popular concept that "the observer influences the observed". There is no influence by the observer.

You are both right and wrong just like Schroedinger's cat

by Litwitquak
December 29, 2007

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famous experiment in quantum physics that helps explain the spiritual truth of the world as living relationship.

This proves that we are all in relaitonshp to one another. The observer, merely by abserving something, INFLUENCES what is observed. The cat is equally alive and dead until someone opens the box and looks inside.

by Anonymous
September 14, 2003