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Schrödinger's Cat

In response to my recent article on antinomies a close friend e-mailed me about taking a "looong walk" to contemplate Schrodinger's cat," and she wrote of her niece taking courses in philosophy and saying Schrodinger's cat "is always a major topic of discussion."

I looked up Schrödinger's cat on Wikipedia, and there it was described as a "thought experiment sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935."

A mind experiment? What is a mind experiment as opposed to an experiment involving something outside our skull? I was pleased to read farther down in Wikipedia that Schrödinger's cat posed no riddle for the great Danish physicist Niels Bohr (1885-1962) and to read of another Nobel Prize physicist, Murray Gell-Mann (born 1929), describing the Schrodinger's cat thing as rather silly. He spoke about quantum mechanics, which is associated with the "Schrodinger cat" problem, and he wrote:

QM [quantum mechanics] principles do not apply to macroscopic objects like cats that interact with their environment due to what is called quantum decoherence. Intermixing the classical and quantum worlds always leads to hard to understand 'conundrums' because we are intermixing what should not be intermixed.

Copyright © 2017 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.