Schrödinger’s Cat – Sixty Symbols

Schrödinger’s Cat – Sixty Symbols


It’s still a very famous experiment and in fact far more people have heard about Schrodinger’s cat than have any idea who is Schrodinger or what the cat was doing? Schrodinger’s cat is what physicists call a Thought experiment. What’s called a Gedanken thought experiment from the German thought [one] I know this is an experiment that you’d like to do and you can talk about the consequences But could you never do in practice like what would happen to the earth when it was going round around if the sun disappeared? You could never make the sun disappear, but you could still calculate what would happen to the Earth Schrodinger was an Austrian physicist who? when the Nazis invaded Austria Fled to the uk and then to Dublin waking [add] quite a colorful career and actually fathered an illegitimate child But that’s nothing to do with his cat in the cat experiment was something he proposed to try and explain an Idea or how stupid he thought one of the ideas [that] had been proposed by quantum physicists working in? Copenhagen who were discussing how if you couldn’t observe something which had two possible [states]? The two states could be muddled together, so you couldn’t tell which was [which] Schrodinger’s cat is a thought experiment in which a cat is put in a box Showing his cat thought experiment. Well it goes something like this imagine you have a cat. I’m sorry this is not a very good model, but you can [imagine] this is a cat which can either be alive or Dead and His idea was [that] you have a steel box which can be closed so that the hole it can be cut off completely? From the outside and nobody not even physicists can see inside [so] [the] idea is that you put the cat in the box and at the same time you put inside a small vessel that contains a tiny amount of a radioactive [material] and The radioactive material has a few atoms And you choose the number of atoms so that during a period of say an hour There’s a 50% chance that one of them might decay Radioactively and give out a particle So you put that in the box? So now [you] have the cat the radioactive material you then take a geiger counter Here we have a very fine geiger counter which can detect whether the radioactive Decay has taken place or not and then and this is the cunning part You connect the guide counter to hammer which if it detects something it will break a small glass container containing cyanide which is poisonous which will come out and kill the cat so we now close the Lid and we start [timeing] So we know that While the box is closed inside During the period of one hour there’s a chance that a radioactive decay might take place. We there’s no way of us predicting There are only equations. We write down how much physics We try to do that is a quantum process, and we simply can’t predict it and if it takes place the geiger counter Triggers gets the hammer the hammer smashes the cyanide and the cat dies the key question that Schrodinger asked or the key Gedanken experiment that he put forward is well think about. What is the state of the cat? Before you open the box since we don’t know whether the radioactive decay has taken place or not under this idea proposed by the people in Copenhagen the cat Doesn’t know whether it is Dead or alive You’ve got no way of knowing whether the cat in the box is alive or Dead Quantum mechanically what you would see is that the cat is in a superposition? Of states, it’s both alive and dead, and it’s only when the our app is [up] and we open the [door] That we then Determine whether the cat is dead or alive, but while the door is shut The cat is in this mixture of Dead and alive state Now the point of this experiment at least as far as I know as a chemist was that trading has said This is a crazy idea you can’t have a cat that is Dead or alive Now Shirley’s idea was to bring this strange Quantum business to bring it patch to the general public But [also] to make it the thing more real and relevant the genius of this experiment And why people have thought about it so long and still get excited is Because it links and at an event on the atomic scale one atom Disintegrating or not to something that everybody can understand the cat being dead or alive So you can’t tell the cat’s dead or it’s alive I mean clearly the cat is never half dead and half alive is either alive and Dead, and I think the usefulness of the Of a showing us cat story is a caution it’s really a cautionary tale that we have to use different rules of thinking when we’re dealing with everyday objects like cats and Quantum objects, so schrodinger came up with this actually to try and show the the Pitfalls with some elements of the Quantum mechanical [concept] because it is such a very strange concept he wanted to try and show the ludicrousness of thinking like this the idea that the cat is in two separate states at the same time it’s both alive and Dead and This was really that that’s the copenhagen interpretation that you can have this superposition of States showing I really wanted to show that that wasn’t the case, and [that] was just ludicrous to think like that But the problem is we’ve done experiments and at this quantum. Level. That’s how matter behaves Our everyday notions of things being a well-defined states For large-scale objects just do not apply the quantum level and we have to use Just other ways of thinking And that’s what quantum mechanics is I mean there are lots and lots of examples the one Probably the most famous one is [the] electron has a spin it in some sense behaves like a little tiny spinning top [but] it’s a weird quantum mechanical kind of spin So it has all sorts of strange properties but you can think of an electron as a little spinning top and So one of the classic sort of [superpose] states you can have is you can actually you know there are two ways that spin think And spin right it can go Clockwise or anti-Clockwise You can actually have an electron that hasn’t yet made up its mind which state it’s in so it actually is in a superpose state where it’s both rotating one way and rotating the other way at the same time and it’s only when you do an experiment to actually measure the properties of that electron that it collapses into one state or the other so It spins clockwise or anti-clockwise, and so that’s an example of a quantum [mechanical] object Which is can fundamentally be in two states at the same time? Einstein got very excited about this and wrote two Schrodinger later Except that in Einstein’s case he imagined it with explosives rather than cyanide Which perhaps might be more dramatic? but is no good because if the explosive went off it would destroy the box, so it would spoil the idea of the Experiments. I thought answer I was clever. That’s a stupid idea Well perhaps he had the Strongbox

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  1. Since You can't really see a quantum superposition even on a "quantum level" as it always reduces to one of possible states upon any measurement (any interaction whatsoever) why should You be bothered by it? It can do a lot of wacky things when You aren't looking but then You will never be able to see that because all things that You can use to observe it make it behave "normally" (because everything operates on the same rules). Then why bother? Just go on and make experiments that can determine determinable things and leave that kind of stuff to Philosophers – they love unsolvable problems! Am I making any sense here? 🙂

  2. This video makes me so happy. I am so tired of hearing people say the cat is in a superposition of two states and our consciousness creates reality. Kudos

  3. Why not have the hammer just bash in the cat's brain? That way you don't have to deal with the possibility of being poisoned.

  4. Shrodinger's cat and the more practial double slit experiment are the two big ones that should be in every textbook to show both the absurdity and validity of QM.

  5. Wouldn't the cat be dead either way because it was in a closed box without air? They did not give details with that info.

  6. I have a question. If we can only identify the spin of an electron after observing it, how can we know that it's in a superposition of two spins if we haven't observed it yet?

  7. Why does a macro-scale object that is composed of particles obeying quantum mechanical uncertainty not have it's own uncertainty? Is it just that the "wave function" for the cat has a highly constrained probability function?

    I always find it frustrating that "observation" causing the collapse of the wave function isn't explored more in these discussions of Schrödinger's Cat. If the Copenhagen interpretation is correct this process is occurring continuously all around us.

    Finally while Schrödinger used the thought experiment as a reductio ad absurdum against the Copenhagen interpretation he obviously (?) wasn't calling for the rejection of quantum mechanics. Thoughts?

  8. So you think Schrodinger's metaphor/narrative is genius? You think it's scientific implications are why people remember it to this day? In the 1930s, an Austrian imagines putting a living animal into a sealed chamber and introducing poison gas into the chamber. He thought of this as 'burlesque'… funny. Doesn't this sadistic narrative remind you of another Austrian in the 1930s who put living beings into sealed chambers and introduced poison gas? Genius.

  9. Question: At the end, one of the professors says: "Electrons have a spin in "both directions", but once we meassure it that superposition collapses and it has a spin in on direction or the other."

    How do we know that it is in a superposition if we can never meassure a superposition? I can already imagine someone came up with something clever, but Id love to know what that is. Generally Id like some more videos on spin and superposition, but maybe I just havent found them yet. Any answers or links are highly appreciated.

  10. A thought experiment considers some hypothesis, theory, or principle for the purpose of thinking through its consequences.
    The human mind is the substrate of a thought.
    But the sentient energy that is continuously aware of the thought and its chain, can never be quantified.
    The One who continues to observe the thought and the experiment is not surprised by any outcome.
    The one who predicts a certain outcome, becomes part of the problem.

  11. The interior of a black hole cannot be observed in any way (no information can escape from it). Does that make a black hole a schrodinger's box of it's own?

  12. i think the idea with the explosion is even better than the idea with the cyanide. the explosion would make it even more clear that we cant just simply put quantum mechanics and apply it on large scale objects

  13. Could Schrodinger’s Cat as a group of atom collapses’ its own wave function forming a future relative to the energy and momentum of its own actions? With QM representing the physics of ‘time’ as a physical process with the future coming into existence photon by photon Quantum uncertainty is the same uncertainty we have with any future event within our own ref-frame. The wave-particle duality of light is forming a blank canvas that we can interact with turning the possible into the actual!

  14. Superposition of states is nothing but a mathematical tric that allows you to calculate several steps foreward, but at each step it is is nothng but an indication about the probability of the system being in one or the other state . In some cases, however, a system can wiggle between two states, and if you measure such a system continually it can look like a superposition.

  15. Apparently my parents had necer heard of Schodinger. I thought I was in the matrix for a second.

  16. Poliakoff's hair = science personified.
    Poliakoff's tie = periodically awesome.
    Poliakoff's wit = delightfully dry, but gentle.
    Poliakoff's cat = …caterpillar? 0_o
    Profs of Nottingham ftw!

  17. Following the annoying cat principle. When Schrodinger looked in the box the cat would not be there. because that would be the most annoying outcome. Schrodinger would have to do the experiment all over again. cats always do what annoys there owners most.

  18. Ho hummm… the fundamental trivial 101 physics misunderstanding to the cat issue, is that a state in QM is NOT the same as a state in in Classical Mechanics. A quantum state, say |X> represents the PROBABILITY that a system (particle) is at a position X. It does NOT say that the system is at the physical position X. “Summing” quantum states is Boolean OR-ing of probabilities. Many PhDs are stunningly confused on these probability equations and orthogonal vector expansions. It’s A OR B, but not both. Trivial QM mathematics states that the probability that two orthogonal Eigenvalues exist at the same time, is zero. End of. There is a basic language misunderstanding here. The language usually used is taken to be descriptions of classical physical states such as position X, yet QM ONLY describes PROBABILITIES of position. QM says, essentially, NOTHING about an individual position. Hence nothing in QM implies in any way that an object can be in two classical states at once. QM would actually be proven false if a simultaneous occurrence of two orthogonal eigenvalues were actually measured.

  19. While I was watching this video I farted something so fierce that I actually wretched. What’s worse was that I was naked while lying in bed and so there was no filter. Absolutely taken back by how bad it was. Thumbs up if this also happened to you.

  20. I found this channel by researching an essay I had to cram within 7 hours. Maybe it wasn't all bad after all! 😀

  21. Please scroll all the way down in the comments section til you find a guy called "Pudge" (aka Phahbyo) and like his post "This guy looks like science". Let this be the top comment again.

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