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# Schrodinger's Cat and Relativity: A Thought Experiment

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posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 12:46 AM
I was bored last night and ended up developing an interesting thought experiment. Let's quantify the life of an animal (ala Schrodinger's Cat) and measure when exactly it stops living relative to a fixed point it is moving past. Basically, did the cat die before, after, or as it entered a room and are all three possible in the same scenario?

For this experiment, let us entangle the final point that is outside the room and the last moment which the cat could be considered alive, thus leaving pre-existing momentum as the only variable that can influence our "observation".

Cat's Life:
(Birth)----------(Last moment of life)(Indeterminate value)(Death)---->

This establishes a difference between the last moment said cat is alive and the moment it can be considered dead. Upon being considered dead, the cat's "life" maintains a value that will not change indefinitely. Inbetween these two finite values is an area of data that might favor one or the other yet cannot be determined to be either. Simply put, the cat has stopped producing the energy required for it to live but there is a residual energy that has not yet dispersed thus leaving it to be in both and neither statuses at the same time. Is that gray area relevant to the experiment? Let's find out.

Room Area:
(Outside)--------(Edge of Outside)(Indeterminate midpoint)(Inside)---->

Again, a difference is made between the last point that can be accurately described as outside and the point at which inside the room begins. Once inside, the status of being inside remains constant just like being dead reamins constant.

Now, let's take into account all three possible scenarios:

1. The cat's residual energy runs out (death status) while its body is moving past the indeterminate midpoint. So it died BEFORE entering the room.

2. The cat's residual energy runs out exactly as it reaches the first point of inside the room. Entanglement remains as it dies AS it enters the room so neither the cat's life nor the room's barrier can be differentiated in relation to one another.

3. The cat's residual energy run's out after it passes both the indeterminate midpoint and the initial point of being inside. So it died AFTER it entered the room.

If we had an exact measurement of the cat's momentum as it was entangled to the outer edge of the outside of a room, we could say with confidence which of the three scenarios unfolded however, without an "as it happened" observation, we would always find a dead cat inside a room with only enough evidence to support scenario 3 and no evidence to support scenarios 1 or 2 yet as you see here, all three are equally plausible and only one actually happened.

What all this means is simple. The laws of physics happen regardless of a conscious observation. Despite our inability to locate an electron with precision, it is only in one place at one time. It doesn't have any "uncertainty" about where it was, where it is, or where it is going. It follows laws that govern its existence without fail. If you have a theory that states it can sometimes "break" your theoretical laws, your theoretical laws are wrong.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 12:50 AM

What all this means is simple. The laws of physics happen regardless of a conscious observation.

Actually, and you must keep it a secret, it means precisely the opposite.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 12:55 AM
reply to post by schrodingers dog

I've explained my case, please explain yours. Do tell how human observation is the only infallible truth of what actually happens from a physics standpoint.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 12:59 AM

The very foundation of quantum theory, if it teaches nothing else, is that all that is thought to be objective in nature is by definition subjective.

Mathematics, science in general, all logic, empiricism, calculation, measurement, is fundamentally subject to observation and not the other way around.

There is more there than the eye and mind can see ... but then again, that's quantum theory for you.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:05 AM
reply to post by schrodingers dog

I don't believe in quantum theory and here is why. Let's say we have one observer told to find the EXACT position of an electron while observer two is told to find the EXACT momentum of the electron. Are you telling me that when these two would compare notes, their own observation disqualifies the others? Whose observation takes priority according to quantum physics?

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:09 AM

The observer cannot know whether or not an atom of the substance has decayed, and consequently, cannot know whether the vial has been broken, the hydrocyanic acid released, and the cat killed. Since we cannot know, the cat is both dead and alive according to quantum law, in a superposition of states.

It is only when we break open the box and learn the condition of the cat that the superposition is lost, and the cat becomes one or the other (dead or alive). This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox : the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that the outcome as such does not exist unless the measurement is made. (That is, there is no single outcome unless it is observed.)

whatis.techtarget.com...

The cat is nor dead or alive until the box is opened. It is like the saying, "If a tree falls down in the forest, and nobody was around to hear it. Did it make a noise?".

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:12 AM
reply to post by Scooby Doo

It made a noise but we simply do not know how loud. That does not disqualify the fact that the tree made a noise with an exact level of loudness that could have been obtained had an observer been there. The lack of an observer does not discredit the ability of a tree to make a noise with exact loudness. Just like whether you see it or not, the cat is alive or dead. It is not the cat's fault that you can't directly observe its mortality.

[edit on 3-7-2009 by Eitimzevinten]

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:14 AM

Well first of all, and despite the giddiness of several scientists, quantum theory is not a god. As such, mercifully it does not require your belief.

Listen, I honestly respect your thoughts on this, but the harsh truth is that they are based on a very limited grasp of the full breadth of what you are trying to wrap your mind around.

It doesn't make logical sense. That is it's nature. But neither does infinity. I'm happy to to talk about this at length with you in private. But the first step in the process is to have an open mind and resist your conditioned logic. The very fact that you are considering it as a possibility is the initial step that we all go through.

God I sound like a patronizing prick.
I really don't mean to.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:16 AM

But like schrodingers cat, unless someone is there to hear the sound, the sound itself exists in an indeterminant state.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:23 AM
reply to post by schrodingers dog

I am also not a supporter of an infinite universe. At any given time, regardless of the technology to measure, I believe it has a finite measurement that could be obtained by an observer. That doesn't mean it must be obtained by an observer to be accurate yet that would only make it theoretical in the end anyway.

I see the problem that must be overcome in the field of physics but just ignoring the data of that which you cannot observe will not fix it. If anything, it will drive it completely down the wrong road under the impression of "that which you cannot see doesn't matter". The stuff we can't observe is why we constantly have to update our previously accepted "laws".

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:44 AM
reply to post by Scooby Doo

The sound existed in a definite state that YOU didn't observe. It definitely happened and it only made one exact noise. Instead of coming up with all these fancy statistic formulas to try and fix the fact that you did't observe it, why can't you just say "I don't know how loud it was, I wasn't there". Thats far more accurate than some crazy idea that the laws of physics and information pertaining to a certain object change when you can't figure out something about it because you don't have enough information at the time.

In geometry there's a thing called a proof. Inorder to make a proof, you must be given so much information. If you are not given enough information, the answer to that proof isn't maybe this maybe that, the answer is, I wasn't given enough information. If we can apply that logic to a much simplier form of math, why is it so hard to apply it to the math used in physics theories. Making a bunch of guesses in hope that one is right is just as bad as being wrong.

Instead of compensating for the missing information, DISCOVER the missing information.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:53 AM
Actually to be fair, the 'sound of the tree falling in the forest' is not apt to quantum theory.

Also, to be even fairer to the OP, and though I disputed the necessity of belief in my previous post, it must be conceded that on the surface, quantum theory seems to invite a greater leap of faith than most religions.

It is a heck of a disconnect. All observational and quantifiable science defeats the nature of its own process at the last. That is to say the method through which one gets to, lets say quark observation, leads to its own oblivion.

Argh, I wish I could explain it better.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:06 AM

I agree with you.

I ask however, If the tree fell without anyone hearing it and therefore not making a sound, the tree it self did not fall. I do see you point though, in schrodingers cat, there is a 50% chance that the cat is dead or alive. Until the box is opened, we are unaware of the outcome.

And sdog, I accept the 'sound of the tree falling in the forest' is not apt to quantum theory. I am using to in place of a explanation of similarity.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:24 AM

Originally posted by schrodingers dog
The very foundation of quantum theory, if it teaches nothing else, is that all that is thought to be objective in nature is by definition subjective.

Sorry, SD. Quantum mechanics teaches nothing of the kind. It merely teaches that, for an event in the real world to occur, a choice among probable outcomes is inevitable, and the actual choice of outcome depends on factors in the real world at the moment the probability field collapses. Consciousness does not create the world; we do not choose the world we live in, and objects remain objects, not projections from a subject.

Surprised at you, frankly... I expect this kind of thing from a very different kind of ATS member.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:32 AM
Guys, you want me to concede the point? Fine.

As a parting suggestion, try a 'google scholar' search on quantum theory/subjectivity/consciousness.

Just saying ...

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:37 AM

Originally posted by Astyanax
Surprised at you, frankly... I expect this kind of thing from a very different kind of ATS member.

Meaning - just to clarify - that I consider you intelligent, rational and thoughtful, not at all the kind of person likely to be gulled by What the Bleep Do We Know? and other examples of Quantum Cargo Cult Science.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:42 AM

lol, are there enough folks like that to generate a 'those guys' group?

I can assure you I am not that of which you speak of whomever they are, so there.

I am simply stating my, granted limited, understanding of quantum theory as it relates to the OP. Namely that the process through which he is discarding it, is both necessary and inherently flawed.

Edit to ponder: Might this make for a good debate?

[edit on 3 Jul 2009 by schrodingers dog]

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:45 AM
reply to post by schrodingers dog

Oh, I wouldn't tangle with the content of the OP if you paid me. I value what tenuous links to sanity my brain still maintains.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:47 AM

Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by schrodingers dog

Oh, I wouldn't tangle with the content of the OP if you paid me. I value what tenuous links to sanity my brain still maintains.

Edit: sorry we're done, carry on.

[edit on 3 Jul 2009 by schrodingers dog]

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:50 AM
hate to tell you this but some tried this beyond theroy with a group of boxes sealed shut some with cats in them some not the boxes were numbered and only one person knew which boxes contained he wrote down what was in each box and sealed it in a safe they had a diferent person open the boxes and write down what he found in each box i think there was 20 boxes and 10 cats well they opened the safe and compared notes and most cats were found to be dead one switched boxes one was missing not in its box or in the other boxes i read this in a book somewhere i cant find it on the internet i was kinda upset about it being i love cats

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