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Schrodinger's Cat

Updated on July 1, 2013

Is the cat in the box dead or alive?

Is the cat dead or alive? Well, according to Schrodinger, quantum theory says: until you open the box,'s both!

Confused yet? It gets worse. Because opening the box alters the conditions, it can't be said that the cat wasn't alive before, if it's now dead and...I hope you're sitting down...if it's alive after you've opened the box and altered the conditions, it also can't be said that it wasn't dead while the box was still sealed!

Don't let this upset you. Schrodinger designed this "thought experiment" in order to illustrate the error he saw in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics being applied to the things and occurrences of our macroscopic everyday world.

Erwin Schrodinger

Erwin Schrodinger
Erwin Schrodinger

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Sounds like it might be worth experimenting with, doesn't it?

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    • geoffhoff profile image

      geoffhoff 5 years ago

      Most miss that the whole idea of the thought experiment was to question the contemporary quantum theory. Thanks for the lens!