A bit more Schrödinger

(One more posting with pre-hospital material on my desktop.)

Earlier on this blog, in my 6/24/20 posting “Annals of ambiguity: I feel like making it rough for Schrödinger”, there’s a section on a photograph, labeled “Schrödinger’s Dumpster”, of a dumpster with the signage: EMPTY WHEN FULL (with notes on Schrödinger cartoons, which have become something of a cartoon meme.

Here, two more cartoons.

Background from Wikipedia on Schrödinger’s cat. The technical details are not important for my purpose here; what is important is one aspect of the situation that’s signficant for the way it’s seen in popular culture  — namely that in one sense the cat is either alive or dead, while in another it’s both live and dead:

a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor (e.g. Geiger counter) detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison, which kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality resolves into one possibility or the other.

Now two further cartoons on the cat, both from cartoonists who haven’t previously appeared on this blog:

(#1) A Kevin Frank cartoon

(#2) (Erwin was Schrödinger’s first name) A Tom Swanson cartoon

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