Schrödinger’s Cat Found Alive After 78 Years


The TG Daily has the article Schrödinger’s Cat could be visible after all.

Researchers at the University of Rochester and the University of Ottawa have used a comparatively new technique to directly measure for the first time the polarization states of light. Their work has implications for the weird Uncertainty Principle, which states that certain properties of a quantum system can be known only poorly if other related properties are known precisely.

It is hard to figure out what is really going on here in an article written in the popular press, but it is an intriguing possibility that big changes are coming in the field of quantum physics.

According to WikiPedia

Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935.

That’s how I figured that the cat had last been seen 78 years ago.

Maybe the article Canadian researchers take a sneak peek at Schrödinger’s Cat and a step toward a quantum computer in the Canadian National Post will add a bit more to understanding this.

“I can’t say that we’re getting around the Uncertainty limit, because within quantum mechanics there is no getting around it,” said Mr. Salvail.He cautioned that explaining such things in words risks “losing the subtleties that are captured in the mathematical expression” of the theory.

“We’ve kind of gone back and exploited the subtleties in the Uncertainty Principle,” he said. “It’s strange, but so fascinating.”


I have read the above WikiPedia link more thoroughly now.  Even though I had previously read a book (twice) about  Schrödinger’s Cat, I don’t remember reading the explanations of why it wasn’t a problem at all.   It seems so obvious now that a Geiger counter is the very measurement that collapses the wave function and eliminates the uncertainty.  I can’t understand why Einstein and Schrödinger would have such a long discussion about this thought experiment.  If there is no conceivable way to measure whether or not the event happened in order to trigger a macroscopic event, then there is no paradox.

I have to keep in mind the quote above,  ‘explaining such things in words risks “losing the subtleties that are captured in the mathematical expression”’.  There must be some subtleties that I am missing here that kept Einstein and Schrödinger occupied for so long with this seeming paradox.

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