Q is Cats and Quantum Physics
Let me say from the start that my experience of science begins and ends with making crystals using salt and a Bunsen burner in the third form and everything I know about quantum physics could be written on the back of a Hadron Collider particle.
What I do know is that there is a scientific principle called Schrodinger's Cat. I am going to simplify quite considerably now.... he said that if you put a cat, some poison, a Geiger counter hitched up to a hammer and some radioactive substance in a steel box, the radioactive bit either will or won't decay. If it decays it sets in motion a reaction that will shatter the bottle of poison and the cat dies, if the radioactive bit doesn't decay, the cat lives. Like below:
Quantum experiments had shown that the behaviour of an atom or photon was dependent upon the observer. What Schrodinger was saying is that you cannot apply this theory to everyday objects, like cats. It was all a paradox as it WAS happening with the atoms and photons.
In other words, the cat is EITHER alive or dead, irrespective of the observer. You open the box and it's either tears and a touching funeral or the cat jumps out demanding his tea. I agree with writer Terry Pratchett who said in his book Lords and Ladies, that there was a third possible state for the cat in the box and that was "bloody furious".
I don't know why Schrodinger was so sure that a cat couldn't be alive or dead simultaneously. It's an everyday phenomenon observed by cat owners the world over. See this picture?
This cat has "died" to punish you for some oversight or omission like accidentally throwing out his saliva-infused, stinky, half -chewed toy mouse, but as soon as you run to him sobbing uncontrollably, he will jump up and the scare the life out of you.
For those of a scientific bent, the video below explains it all:
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