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Author Topic: Do the fleas on Schrodinger's cat know whether it is alive or dead?  (Read 1577 times)

Offline quandry

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I understand that Schrodinger's cat is a macro system and cannot be expected to comply with quantum mechanics. However, it is based on the uncertainty that exists about the state of the cat (alive or dead) until such time as the box is opened. in the meantime, it is said to exist in both states. However, the cat is being 'observed' by other entities - e.g. fleas, mites, bacteria etc, all of which know, in their own way, whether or not the cat is alive or dead.
Also, if we leave the cat in the box long enough, it will inevitable resolve its state to 'dead' without any observation at all.

Particles don't have fleas or mites, but they do exists in an environment of constant potential interaction (observation) with other particles / forces. There is no uncertainly about the state of a particle when there is such an interaction that has consequences which are dependent on the state. The hypothesis that the state of a particle is not determined until an interaction dependent on its state occurs, is something of a quandry for me.

So, if we consider entangled particles, say photons created in a way that requires one to be spin up and one to be spin down, we do not know which is which, but we do know that there is one of each. However, quantum theory says that they are both in both states until they are observed.

Can someone please explain why the uncertainty is taken to be quantum spookiness, rather than just lack of knowledge.

i.e. we know that there is one of each, and when we determine which spin of them has, we know by logic what he other is.
What is the scientific imperative that says that they need to talk to each other, particularly when such communication is spookiness, when plain logic provides a simple solution.
« Last Edit: 25/01/2016 20:26:30 by quandry »


 

Offline alancalverd

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Can someone please explain why the uncertainty is taken to be quantum spookiness, rather than just lack of knowledge.

The problem lies with the word "uncertainty", which does imply a lack of knowledge of something which is actually determinate. A better term is "indeterminacy", which is an inherent property of the system under discussion. 

As for the fleas, they are a pretty astute species, and tend not to hang about on a dead cat if there is a live one (or a human) within a few hops. Interestingly, dog fleas seem much less partial to humans even when the dog has died.
 

Offline Thebox

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Can someone please explain why the uncertainty is taken to be quantum spookiness, rather than just lack of knowledge.

The problem lies with the word "uncertainty", which does imply a lack of knowledge of something which is actually determinate. A better term is "indeterminacy", which is an inherent property of the system under discussion. 

As for the fleas, they are a pretty astute species, and tend not to hang about on a dead cat if there is a live one (or a human) within a few hops. Interestingly, dog fleas seem much less partial to humans even when the dog has died.

I do not ask myself the question whether the cat is dead or alive, I ask myself what is the cat doing in the box in the first place?  surely if we leave the cat in the box it will die regardless and suffocate or starve to death. then surely if we never put the cat in the box in the first place it is certainly alive, I accuse Schroedinger of animal cruelty and observer effect. 

There is no uncertainty in my eyes there is only manipulation of words and the clever use of syntactic ambiguity.
 

Offline dhjdhj

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I too couldn't quite understand how Schrodinger's cat related to the standard model. It doesn't seem weird, except as to why any one would kill a cat with radio-activity. Rather than things being in many places and forms at once, it seems to be an example of the bane of my early career the either/or situation. This is where activity C depends on either activity A or activity B which ever finishes first. This used to defeat CPA before parallel processing and could cause a situation where you get two totally different pathways to project completion, with multiple resources it could be a nightmare. I think maybe Schrodinger was struggling to find an example in the real world that truly represented the 'weirdness' I certainly can't.
 

Offline Thebox

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I too couldn't quite understand how Schrodinger's cat related to the standard model. It doesn't seem weird, except as to why any one would kill a cat with radio-activity. Rather than things being in many places and forms at once, it seems to be an example of the bane of my early career the either/or situation. This is where activity C depends on either activity A or activity B which ever finishes first. This used to defeat CPA before parallel processing and could cause a situation where you get two totally different pathways to project completion, with multiple resources it could be a nightmare. I think maybe Schrodinger was struggling to find an example in the real world that truly represented the 'weirdness' I certainly can't.

What is the weirdness?
 

Offline Alohascope

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Can someone please explain why the uncertainty is taken to be quantum spookiness, rather than just lack of knowledge.

The problem lies with the word "uncertainty", which does imply a lack of knowledge of something which is actually determinate. A better term is "indeterminacy", which is an inherent property of the system under discussion. 

As for the fleas, they are a pretty astute species, and tend not to hang about on a dead cat if there is a live one (or a human) within a few hops. Interestingly, dog fleas seem much less partial to humans even when the dog has died.

I do not ask myself the question whether the cat is dead or alive, I ask myself what is the cat doing in the box in the first place?  surely if we leave the cat in the box it will die regardless and suffocate or starve to death. then surely if we never put the cat in the box in the first place it is certainly alive, I accuse Schroedinger of animal cruelty and observer effect. 

There is no uncertainty in my eyes there is only manipulation of words and the clever use of syntactic ambiguity.

I agree Box .. when someone presented me with the cat in the box I refused to discuss it further .. it seemed then and now a psychotic exercise .. and yes, there is no uncertainty, merely an attempt to mystify the gullible.
 

Offline Thebox

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I agree Box .. when someone presented me with the cat in the box I refused to discuss it further .. it seemed then and now a psychotic exercise .. and yes, there is no uncertainty, merely an attempt to mystify the gullible.

If only Schrodinger had thought about putting an alarm on his radiation detector, we would know the cat was alive until the alarm sounded.  NO uncertainty just the removing our eye sight.
 

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