|Disclaimer: I never met Schrödinger. I have only second and third hand
information about his intentions.
That metaphor about the cat in
the box is really not a good explanation of quantum states,
cat was not meant to be a metaphorical explanation, it was a paradox—meant
to illustrate a problem.
In other words, the thought experiment was not
meant to explain quantum mechanics, but to criticize it. Not "here's a simple
example", but "here's a problem with the theory".
If quantum mechanics is a
basic physical theory, then it need not "explain" cats, but it should at least
not make absurd predictions about them.
That said in defense of Schrödinger,
I will agree that the way the article uses the paradox/metaphor is just plain
silly. It also fails to provide a link to the paper it is
explaining/trivializing. We had better look elsewhere for real
I don't have a pet cat, but I have a pet physicist, and the
scuttlebutt is that in the twenty-first century the whole "waveform collapse
upon measurement" story is obsolete. The modern physicist talks about
"decoherence", which I would like to explain, but my explanation would probably
— Programmer in Chief
[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]