Fakers Part 2 – Schrodinger’s Cat

Schrodinger’s Cat is an often misquoted thought experiment designed to show off the problems with uncertainty principle combined with quantum superpositions (the combination of all possible states an object may have), two of the most popular quantum mechanical theories of his day. A cat is put in a box with some poison and the box is sealed from all environmental stimuli. Since the box is both sound proof and can’t be seen through, Schrodinger uses the prevailing theories of the day to hypothesize that at some point you have to conclude that the cat is both alive and dead (an impossible state) as there is no way to know either for sure. Only when we open the box will we know for sure whether the cat is alive or dead.

One has to wonder what Erwin Schrodinger would think if he read this story.

This is the story of something that happened on the Live Journal social networking site in 2005. It all started when a member by the name of City_glitter (real name Ama) went out to dinner with her father. They had a meal and watched a movie but when they returned home they were heartbroken to find that someone had taken their pet cat Shro and set fire to him. Although Shro (short for Schrodinger) was able to survive such horrific injuries and the vet has assured the family that he’ll live, the vet bills for the surgery that the cat needs will cost $5,000 and Ama’s father doesn’t see the point in paying that much on a cat when it can be painlessly put out of it’s misery. The story is repeatedly linked to and hundreds of members offer support, even going so far as to start a collection for Shro and setting up a system to get the money to Ama.

Three days later a member by the name of Foxfur (real name Meg) starts questioning City_glitter’s story. She knows that no vet would operate on an animal that soon after it has been burned. She starts getting in touch with the police, local news, national media, the SPCA and even the clinic where the cat was reportedly taken, looking for proof that it happened. None of them have heard a thing about it and she reports this on Live Journal. She also points out the name of the cat as a possible sign of deception in this case and urges people to check up on it themselves. Of course, this being the internet and, being a relatively new member compared to Ama, Meg was repeatedly shouted down and a virtual mob formed out for her blood.

It was at this point that Ama admitted she’d made the whole thing up. She claims she was trying to restore her lost faith in humanity through this experiment, and claims that she’s refunded all the money she gained (the comments say differently), which was reportedly in the thousands. Meg, disgusted at the way she’d been treated by people and how few bothered to apologise to her, deleted her page and left the community shortly after. As for me, I was just happy that Schrodinger’s cat was finally out of the bag, whether that cat existed or not, so I sat on the sidelines for a while, enjoying the fallout.

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86 thoughts on “Fakers Part 2 – Schrodinger’s Cat

  1. Too many sick people in this world :irked:Bud, we will contribute but you will have to check if you can change FTP (Furtopian Pounds) into USD 😛

  2. Shro, what an appropriate name! When it was observed the cat turned out to be alive. The act of observation determines the result. Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Lincoln, already proved the goodness of humanity. Hitler proved its viciousness. Inductive leap was needed here.

  3. I once bitched about never having enough money for a proper vacation trip on a social networking site. One of the other members felt sorry for me and sent med two tickets for cruise – Denmark/Norway. I was shocked and to tell you the truth a little embarassed. When I posted the complaint, it was just out of ordinary belittlement and irritation, not with the intention of begging. I do appreciate when strangers want to help, but offering help to people who have not specificly asked for it borders to violation, the way i see it. I respectfully refused the offer and sent the tickets back.

  4. Bud, that's what happens when you date domestic animals.Kiran, your examples of good and evil work the other way round too.Darko, this is an on-going series of posts. They get worse sometimes.Dennis, she got persecuted by people simply because she knew that someone was playing silly buggers and tried to warn the very people who turned on her.Kim, I agree. However a little discipline and lessons about respecting others earlier on could have prevented this.Martin, the people that set up these cons know not to ask for help, rather to just go on about how they can't help themselves out of the hole they're in. Those good people who count themselves as friends will volunteer help most of the time. That's why most of these cons are run by people who have built a close group for a few years.Clint, I was watching that while writing this post and every time I wrote the name of the cat they said it. I thought it was cool.

  5. Nobody is pure good and nobody is pure evil. Gandhi contributed to the oppression in South Africa, trying to get blacks removed from the Indian quarters, while Hitler was an avid artist and dedicated large amounts of funding to researching breast cancer. These are things that aren't as well known but are just as valid parts of their characters.

  6. She might be evil. I wouldn't know. I am born without the ability to destinguish between good and evil. All I know is productive or counterproductive actions. In this respect my cat represents a third type: no action at all. Except if moving from the living room chair to the kitchen qualifies as 'action'.

  7. My cat sometimes seems to not be there even if she is there. Physically she is lying in the chair, but mentally she is not at all there. Even if I put on Rammstein and turn the speakers way up, she'd only wriggle one eartip. On the other hand, if I open a closet in the kitchen she will be there in two seconds wide awake. Superposition verified.

  8. In his defence, I don't think he thought that far ahead. He was short sighted, yes. You'd think the glasses would have corrected that…:whistle:

  9. (Wow, some of those comments are pretty … emotional. Some of them say a lot about the person who posted them, of course. Most of those people are 'anonymous' and that says something, too. But there you go).

  10. Basically, Schrödinger's cat is an attempt to explain, amongst other things, the observed phenomena of quantum entanglement. where two particles, for example two photons, created at the same time maintain exact opposite states and thus are capable of annihilating one another if brought back in contact with each other. the exact state of either particle is not knowable without observation but the state of either particle, once observed, reveals the state of the other particle.Einstein was rather bemused by this and once quipped that, "if this is true, then I'd rather be a bookie than a scientist!" (or words to that effect! :p)Tomorrow's lesson: Quantum Tunneling!

  11. Actually it's an attempt to show how ridiculous that concept is. The cat can't be both alive and dead at the same time, it must be one or the other.

  12. Quantum physics is all about how particles behave at the sub-atomic level. much of what has been observed and documented contradicts conventional physics to such an extent that it cannot be reproduced at anything other than the sub-atomic level. This makes quantum physics harder to comprehend and usually leads to bizarre explanations that don't quite make sense.An example of where the 'Shrödinger's cat' analogy applies is in attempting to locate the position of an electron orbiting around a proton. Since an electron is a discrete entity that cannot be sub-divided, it was originally assumed that it orbited around the proton similar to the way the moon orbits the earth. However, we now know that the electron does not exist in a conventional 'particle' state when it's orbiting around a proton, but rather, it exists within a probabilty field. In other words, we can predict where is should be, but where it should be is a sphere that fades away the further it gets from the proton. this enables it to pass through a solid obstruction should the atom (or even just the electron) get close enough to that 'solid' obstruction. This is refered to as Quantum tunneling and it is thanks to this wierd phenomena that cannot take place in the macro world, but only happens at the sub-atomic level that semiconductors are possible. It's also how most lasers work! :p.

  13. My ex-boss, a bit of a physics obsessive, says quantum theory is old hat, and that hadronic physics will supersede it and disprove much of it. I had little idea what he was talking about, which I suspect comes across in this comment. But he does have a Ph.D in it and a degree in electronic engineering, so i'm willing to bow to his knowledge in this area :left:

  14. I must do some research then. Although the core of quantum physics revolves around quantification of energy and has been well established.Actually, three seconds of Googling tells me that your ex-boss is full of s#!t. 'Hadronic Physics' is Quantum physics! :irked:.Or rather, a very specific sub-devision of it! :p.

  15. No, I just hadn't a clue how to get across what he said. The conversation started with quantum computing and him grumbling that it had taken us eighty years to get there. He didn't call it Hadron physics; that's just my poor label which I took from a reference to Hadron computing. He also said that it's quite new and the majority are not convinced by it.Sounds like quantum physics on acid to me from my brief googling. I'd be lying if I said I followed what he said properly :left: it was one of those trapped conversations…

  16. Schrödinger's Catby Dr Seuss AubreyIn the woodWas a labIn the labWas a boxIn the boxWas a catNot a mouseOr a foxPoison wasPoised to dropIn the boxAt the popOf a dotWhich might popThen againIt might notWhich left kittyLive and deadIf she weren'tA macroAnagramOf the statesThat might beIn the microQuantum statesDo occurIn the realmOf the smallIn the worldOf the big, thoughThey occurNot at allWell they doBut they don'tWhen you ponderWhen you thinkBut the kittyDoesn't careShe needs foodAnd a drinkFor she's stillin the boxin the labin the woodShe'd escapeAnd catch miceFrom those woodsIf she couldBut she can'tSo she's stuckIn the boxTo this dayOnce aliveMaybe thoughShe has nowPassed away

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