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Old 03-29-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
8,692 posts, read 11,421,128 times
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Or, is it both?
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:25 AM
 
2,255 posts, read 4,795,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanTerra View Post
Or, is it both?
I have an idea, let's get Ryan Campbell's view.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
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If I say it's dead, it's dead. Similarly, if I say incestuous people ought to be prosecuted, they ought to be prosecuted.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:36 AM
 
1,788 posts, read 4,147,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanTerra View Post
Or, is it both?
Methinks thou dost not grok what Schrodinger's equation is actually describing...
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
8,692 posts, read 11,421,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZugZub View Post
Methinks thou dost not grok what Schrodinger's equation is actually describing...
oh, you need to get out more. Have a little fun. You clearly did not get the thrust of this debate. LOL I later thought that I should have made it a poll, A. Yes B. No or C. All of the above.

Last edited by PanTerra; 03-30-2009 at 08:16 AM..
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska (most of the time)
1,222 posts, read 3,285,738 times
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I had to read up on Shrödinger's cat after ZugZub's post, and I'm not sure I understand it completely:

Shrödinger was trying to point out the problems with quantum mechanics (which, in contrast to classic mechanics, cannot predict the results of a measurement, but only give statistical probabilities of the results), with the cat in the box.
The cat is in a box, and there's also a tiny bit of a radioactive substance, to which a Geiger counter is attached. And there's a 50 % risk of the substance decaying in the hour the thought experiment is talking about, and so a 50 % chance it will not. If it does, a hammer connected to the Geiger counter will shatter a flask of cyanid (not 100% cyanid, I read on susning.nu), and the cats dies.
So, from what I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong, because I'm rather confused - not much info on this in Swedish and my physics-English isn't the best), the problem lies in the prediction of whether the substance will decay or not.

No, wait, is it? Now I'm more confused than before.

Whatever. From what I understand, the cat is both dead and alive, because after an hour, there's 50% risk/chance that the substance will have decayed, and if it does, the cat will instantly die. So, in any given moment, the cat is basically both dead and alive, since we can't know in any precise moment that the substance hasn't decayed and that cyanid is just about to kill the cat.
So the cat is both dead and alive in every given moment, isn't it? Over time we can see that the cat was alive a minute ago, or even five seconds ago, but we don't know if it's actually alive in the exact moment we're watching it?

Ok, my vote is that the cat is both dead and alive in every given moment. If it's wrong... Well, no one knows, I guess, since 1. it's a thought experiment, and 2. We're discussing it, and if it can be discussed, it ain't obvious to everyone, and if it's not obvious to everyone, it's up for discussion!
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska (most of the time)
1,222 posts, read 3,285,738 times
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Hm... But of course, if the cyanid is about to kill the cat, the cat is still alive but about to die. And when it's dead, it cannot be alive. So, the cat might be about to die in every single moment, but still alive.

Or maybe the problem is that quantum mechanics cannot predict whether the cat will be alive or dead in an hour in that box?
Äsch, I give up. I'm off to do some more reading on this...
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:34 AM
 
1,788 posts, read 4,147,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweden View Post
Hm... But of course, if the cyanid is about to kill the cat, the cat is still alive but about to die. And when it's dead, it cannot be alive. So, the cat might be about to die in every single moment, but still alive.

Or maybe the problem is that quantum mechanics cannot predict whether the cat will be alive or dead in an hour in that box?
Äsch, I give up. I'm off to do some more reading on this...
And therein you see why I said what I said. Schrodinger's equation is a chewy one to try to wrap your head around...

...and it's not about whether the cat is alive or dead or both.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Wherever women are
19,022 posts, read 24,673,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZugZub View Post
Methinks thou dost not grok what Schrodinger's equation is actually describing...
Can someone tell me where the equation in S's cat experiment is?
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZugZub View Post

...and it's not about whether the cat is alive or dead or both.
It is actually living quietly in Vienna, at the age of 76, having chosen to live a reclusive life.
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