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Happy National………Day

Michael, since almost all of my Happy Day notices are off topic, I prefer to compile all commentary on them into the Happy National . . . Day thread that you actually started. Hence, I am merging this Schrodinger's Cat thread into that one.
 
Michael, since almost all of my Happy Day notices are off topic, I prefer to compile all commentary on them into the Happy National . . . Day thread that you actually started. Hence, I am merging this Schrodinger's Cat thread into that one.

Yes. I should have known! Intellectual capacity and memory way down with advancing years.
 
The Schrodinger's Cat gedanken experiment was inspired by Heisenberg's uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics. Heisenberg proved that a quantum particle does not have a definite position, velocity or many other properties until that property is actually measured. It's not that the position (for example) is merely unknown until measured; it's that the position doesn't exist until measured. Until measurement, the particle is in a "superposition" of all possible states at the same time, each state having a differential probability that is computed by Schrodinger's (own) Equation.

Schrodinger tried to do a reductio ad absurdum thought experiment extrapolating the uncertainty principle to mean that an unobserved cat in a possibly poisoned box is both dead and alive at the same time. This paradox does not disprove the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for quantum particles, which has been experimentally verified for 100 years. It is true that, to this day, no one understands why the quantum mechanical "measurement problem" works the way it does. There is no agreed-upon interpretation of quantum mechanics. Thus, said Richard Feynman (or David Mermin) to quantum physicists, "just shut up and calculate," instead of trying to figure out quantum reality.

Contrary to the article you linked, a minority of top physicists and philosphers of science today do believe that it is conscious observation that "collapses" a probabilistic superposition into a definite position upon measurement. The seemingly most favored interpretation among physicists today is even more fantastic. It's the Hugh Everett "many worlds (universes) hypothesis", which says that if an experiment has N possible outcomes, then when an experiment is done, all possible outcomes actually come to fruition in N different universes. So, for example, if you open the box and find the cat alive, a clone of you in a different universe will split off and find the cat dead. This infinite splitting into an ever greater infinity of yous in different universes continues infinitely forever. There are reports that "many worlds" is the QM interpretation that is most favored by the current physicists who think about the issue at all.

My interpretation of physicists is that they are engaging in metaphysical speculation and not science when they posit things such as the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, the existence of multiple universes to explain the fine tuning for life in our universe, and the creation ex nihilo of our universe.
 
Glenn, that was an excellent layman's explanation. Much the same high level thought experiment interpretation as when I studied QM in college some 50 years ago. Of course, the mathematics does go much deeper. Try quantum computing for example, as my former colleagues are now working since I retired from the laboratory a few short years ago.
 
I started out college as a physics major with hopes of becoming an astronomer. Unfortunately, I gave up, which I regret to this day. However, ever since, I've followed developments in physics, astronomy and cosmology, and popular books and now YouTube videos on those subjects, with a sort of advanced layman's interest.
 
Yup, me too. Although I did graduate with a BS in Astrophysics, it was at the end of the Viet Nam era and also with the economy at the time offering little chance for direct employment in my field of study, and so with a low draft lottery number, it was AF OTS for me, leading to becoming a SAC flight navigator. My amateur astronomy and outdoor centered life experience served me well for several years of advancement in that occupation until eventually the AF paid for advanced degrees for me while working as a civilian in the research laboratory until reaching a successful retirement. As a large optics telescope engineer and program manager, that got me inside several immpressive research observatories, both civilian and government.
 
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Happy World Whale Day.....prompts me to recommend a Korean TV show on Netflix. Award-winning actress Park Eun-Bin plays the lead in Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Woo Young-Woo is a brilliant autistic young woman who gets her first job out of law school. She is obsessed with whales. A really charming story.
 
Well, after reading, um, or trying to read all that smart stuff about quantum cats, about all I can contribute could be summed up in Jethro Bodine's famous confession to his Uncle......"I hope this ain't gonna break your heart Uncle Jed, but I decided I ain't gonna be no brain surgeon."
 
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