OpinionSchrödinger's cat is a load of bollocks
      – George, 2010-05-23 at 01:48:17   (5 comments)

On 2010-05-23 at 01:48:45, George wrote...
Erm... discuss:
On 2010-05-23 at 18:46:41, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Which aspect are you disagreeing with?
On 2010-05-23 at 19:31:35, Thelevellers wrote...
A friend at college was trying to get me with this. He just dislikes the whole (or most) of the idea of quantum theory - says it's exactly that - a load of bollocks. I couldn't really say much in defence of it, apart from "it's a thought experiment, you don't take it literally!"
On 2010-05-24 at 18:26:36, Lee J Haywood wrote...
The point of the thought experiment is that you cannot say anything about the state of the cat until you've observed it. That's a given, even in a classical world. Short of measuring the heat given off by the box or listening for cries for help, both of which count as observation, the cat will be dead if the radioactive atom has decayed but alive otherwise. The (size of) the cat isn't as relevant as the atom is, and our inability to predict its future state. As with many quantum thought experiments, the issue is what it means to observe something. Just as sticking a thermometer into a liquid changes the very temperature you're trying to measure, trying to measure a single quantum event changes the event. But the difficulty is understanding that there's no 'hidden variable' waiting to be measured in the first place - it's entirely random and the 'decision' to decay or not is only made at the moment of observation.
On 2010-05-28 at 05:37:40, BorgClown wrote...
It's interesting if you consider the cat as an observer. He certainly knows if he's still alive. It bothers me that inside the box the wave function can have collapsed, but outside it hasn't.