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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2007 :  19:54:10  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
I recently used the title term in a posting about a (putative) quantum computer. It got me thinking -- always a dangerous development.

If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Supposedly, Schroedinger's Cat exists both dead and healthy in the box until someone collapses its waveform by observation and forces it to become one or the other.

Does the Cat have an application in answering the tree-fall koan?

Are both Zen and quantum mechanics nonsense? If so, is quantum mechanics true as well as being nonsense? How about Zen?

Isn't Schroedinger's Cat an observer itself? How intelligent does an observer have to be to collapse a quantum waveform?

I will have nightmares over these issues tonight.



Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

furshur
SFN Regular

USA
1536 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2007 :  13:12:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send furshur a Private Message
If when I am on my deathbed, somebody chucks me into a casket just before I expire and closes the cover does that mean I will never actually be dead?

Thats a comforting thought.

Eternal life (at least limbo) quantum mechanical style.


If I knew then what I know now then I would know more now than I know.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2007 :  15:13:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Schoedinger's Cat really bothers me. I suppose it was meant to do so.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2007 :  16:05:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
Schoedinger's Cat always sounded like a child's riddle to me. Like the 'who made god riddle' everyone would produce on the playgrounds growing up, as though that profound thought proved they belonged in the advanced class. Personally, I see the Shroedinger equations as a representation of the chance rather than the reality, just like Heisenburg's uncertainty. We cannot be certain but there isn't therefore more than one possible state present. If the observer phenomenon were really as the models predict (and obviously the models are too simple to be 100% accurate as all models are), we could actually have two independent observers obtain at the same time from the same experiment to different readouts on the same style equiptment. Until such an experiment is done, I will always think of it as a model and mathematical uncertainty rather than a real one, just as the square root of a number is always + or - on the chalkboard, but never both in the real scenario.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
Edited by - Neurosis on 02/22/2007 16:06:10
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2007 :  16:12:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Neurosis
Personally, I see the Shroedinger equations as a representation of the chance rather than the reality, just like Heisenburg's uncertainty.
Is there anyone who argues otherwise? Of course the cat is either alive or dead in actuality. The only uncertainty involved is the limitations of our viewpoint, our knowledge of the event. I can see the "paradox" as nothing other than a question of mathematical odds.

Because of course our almighty and omnicient god already knows whether the cat croaked or not.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2007 :  16:35:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

quote:
Originally posted by Neurosis
Personally, I see the Shroedinger equations as a representation of the chance rather than the reality, just like Heisenburg's uncertainty.
Is there anyone who argues otherwise? Of course the cat is either alive or dead in actuality. The only uncertainty involved is the limitations of our viewpoint, our knowledge of the event. I can see the "paradox" as nothing other than a question of mathematical odds.


The scientist do not argue it differently, but alot of Hawkings reading layman who are prone to magical thinking may read into the mathematics a real probability, a real chance to somehow alter the reality. I have had plenty of folks bring me journals with experiments in them thinking that it supported their claims simply because of wiggle room in the mathematical models. That is the sort of thing I was addressing.
quote:

Because of course our almighty and omnicient god already knows whether the cat croaked or not.


YEA! Wait.... no... I mean. I hate loaded statements... That actually is close to some people's thinking. The whole god is the great observer hypothe-guess. The funny thing about that is, god would eliminate the possiblity of the observer phenomenon for humans to experience as she would have already observed it as it is.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2007 :  17:53:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Well. the Cat has spooked me for years, but no more, thank you! I really thought the Cat was supposed to be lead, or dive, until its "waveform" was "collapsed" by an observer. I could never much grasp that idea's reality, anyway, but thought scientists thought it was so.




Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 02/22/2007 17:54:44
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2007 :  18:02:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
If I remember correctly (I wish we had a physicist at the SFN), Schroedinger created his cat as a criticism of Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle. (Sorta like Einstein's "God does not play dice" comment regarding quantum physics as a whole, to which Bohr - I think - replied "Albert, stop telling God what to do.") It is absurd to think that the cat would be both alive and dead simultaneously, it's just the math which models the interactions which describes the scenario in that manner.

For the tree-falling scenario, one would be tempted to define "sound" as "pressure waves in the air alternating between 20 and 16,000 times per second." In such a case, mathematically the interactions between falling tree and its environment would indeed make a sound.

As far as "observers" go, some whack-a-doodles have gone so far as suggest that because quantum physics demands "observers" to collapse waveforms, then all quantum interactions that we humans can't observe - like during the fusion of hydrogen in the core of the Sun, or during the collapse of a black hole in a galaxy billions of light years from us - must be observed by some sort of "universal intelligence." Thus, they claim, they have proven the existence of God. Unfortunately, by "observation," all the physicists mean is "measurement," and every interaction between particles at the quantum level is a measurement. No "universal intelligence" required.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2007 :  18:08:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Well. the Cat has spooked me for years, but no more, thank you! I really thought the Cat was supposed to be lead, or dive, until its "waveform" was "collapsed" by an observer. I could never much grasp that idea's reality, anyway, but thought scientists thought it was so.
Well, it's as complicated as you want to make it.

Some have suggested that each event in time offers a sort of fork in the road of reality. Either the cat dies or the cat lives. Both are possible, and both actually do happen, creating two separate realities. We just don't know which reality we're in until we open the box and find out. If we learn the cat has died, all that means is we're not in the Universe where the cat lives. That's another reality in which another you is living. And every event which ever occurs splits into their own alternate realities creating an infinity of possible Universes.

But, on the other hand, if you believe in a deterministic Universe, then every event which ever occurs only ever had one possible outcome anyway.




"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/23/2007 :  10:30:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

quote:
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Well. the Cat has spooked me for years, but no more, thank you! I really thought the Cat was supposed to be lead, or dive, until its "waveform" was "collapsed" by an observer. I could never much grasp that idea's reality, anyway, but thought scientists thought it was so.
Well, it's as complicated as you want to make it.

Some have suggested that each event in time offers a sort of fork in the road of reality. Either the cat dies or the cat lives. Both are possible, and both actually do happen, creating two separate realities. We just don't know which reality we're in until we open the box and find out. If we learn the cat has died, all that means is we're not in the Universe where the cat lives. That's another reality in which another you is living. And every event which ever occurs splits into their own alternate realities creating an infinity of possible Universes.


Some also theorize that if you systematically wipe out all those other possible versions of you, then you will become....




Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
Edited by - Neurosis on 02/23/2007 10:31:20
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2007 :  03:20:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Neurosis
Some also theorize that if you systematically wipe out all those other possible versions of you, then you will become....





Now, that is a movie I enjoyed very much!

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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