Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dilbert cat in a box

Today's Dilbert carton is on Schrödinger's cat:
207819.strip - Dilbert Copenhagen cat
Actually, this is a common misunderstanding. The Copenhagen interpretation never says that a cat "is neither dead nor alive". It says that the cat's wave function can be represented as a superposition of dead and alive states until a determination (ie, measurement) can be made. You can interpret the superposition as the observer's lack of knowledge. Some other interpretations require the cat to be dead and alive in parallel universes, or some such nonsense. Copenhagen says nothing of the kind, as it takes the more scientific approach of only addressing what is observable. There are 100s of published papers where physicists excitedly brag about putting an electron or something else into a "cat state". A recent example is Storing Quantum Information in Schrödinger's Cats. These superpositions are part of quantum theory, and always have been.


  1. I say we've discovered a bad case of Propagation of Error.

  2. I've noticed many in the sciences who don't understand basic English definitions, when they went to school they were never taught the difference between the logical operators 'and' and 'or'. Logically, the cat is either alive OR dead. If you are of the persuasion that logic does not apply to reality, or require causality, then anything goes and you believe magicians really do pull rabbits out of hats ex nihilo and you are by definition irrational. If you are of the persuasion that regardless of how it appears, the magician actually has to procure the rabbit from somewhere even if you don't see it, then you are rational. In the land of HEP, no one really looks behind the curtains anymore, much to the delight of the wizard.