Schrödinger’s Cat

“The future depends on what you do today.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Schrödinger’s Cat is a quantum physics experiment (or thought experiment) which essentially means there is no way to know something without first attempting it.  In a word it is a: paradox.

It is a variation on carpe diem and other such mentalities laid out in a hypothetical experiment that goes like this:

There is a Cat.

It is put in a box with a nuclear reactive substance that is decaying and can potentially release a vial of poison into the box with the cat, thus killing it.  The random event of decay time can trigger at any moment smashing the vial and releasing the poison.

A key element in this hypothetical experiment is how the cat is unable to be seen by an observer.  The box prevents us from knowing.  So, with no knowledge of what is occurring beneath the box, we can consider the cat to be both living and deceased.

There is no way to know the truth without opening the box.

This mentality can be applied to life.  We can’t know without doing.  All other knowledge that is not acquired from our own experience is assumed knowledge and its accuracy varies.

Other interpretations

Copenhagen interpretation – The cat exists in only one state or the other, alive or dead, the moment we open the box.

Many worlds interpretation – The cat exists in both states, but when we open the box we trigger a split.  An observer and the already-split cat split into an observer looking at a box with a dead cat, and an observer looking at a box with a live cat.  Since the dead and alive states are decoherent, there is no effective communication or interaction between them.  This is essentially a parallel universe.

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