Posted: Sep 12, 2011 7:42 am
by twistor59
eric8476 wrote:
hackenslash wrote:Really? You might want to have a word with your computer about that.

computers use 1 and 0? schrodinger's thought experiment uses the variable of the decaying matter. the cat's status is the result not the variable. copenhagen states that the matter can be decaying and not at the same time then the conclusions of schrodinger is disproving this statement. how is this not debunking?


By "conclusions of schrodinger", you presumably mean Schroedinger's cat experiment, not the conclusions of Schroedinger himself. If so, then I wouldn't say "disproving", but rather "highlighting a problem with":

The atom is in a quantum superposition (decayed+not decayed). There would then be a long causal chain of interactions leading to the eventual state of the cat. The atom in the gamma ray detector would be in a superpostion of detected+not detected. The electric current would be in a superposition of generated+not generated. The motor would be in a superposition of in motion + not in motion etc. All the time along the chain the items are getting bigger -- less microscopic and more macroscopic.

We know that we never see cats in a superposition of states. The question is therefore - "where along the causal chain do the rules of quantum mechanics break down and superposition gets lost" ?. This is the "Measurement Problem".

There have been many proposed answers to this over the years, and if you want an animated physics coffee table discussion, this is one topic guaranteed to bring it about.