Blog Site

Friday, December 10, 2004

Poor Kitty

My wife just showed me her new textbook for her next class in Quantum Mechanics. She said, "Look, it's got a kitty on it!" and it had a cartoon drawing of a cat on the cover. She turned it over on the other side and said, "And on this side he's sleeping."

I asked what a cat has to do with Quantum Mechanics, and immediately after asking I remembered Schrödinger's thought experiment. This is a famous thought experiment concerning quantum mechanics in which a cat could simultaneously be considered both dead and alive (it's a long story). Anyway, realizing the connection to the experiment, I pointed out that the cat on the back must be dead and not sleeping.

Never tell your wife a picture of an immobile cat is dead and not sleeping.

1 comment:

  1. but my friend, that is exactly the quandry isn't it? the correct answer to the question of whether or not the cat is dead or alive, relative to quantum mechanics, is yes. i guess a picture doesnt really count as an observation because it is not real time, and that aspect is vital because we cannot directly observe the cat from a picture. but we could go on and on with this.