Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quantum Mechanics (again)

So is the Schroedinger's Cat thing just a way to explain quantum mechanics?

Me: Yes. Like I said before, it's a metaphor.

If you consider universes branching off and shit I could see that the coin is both heads and tails when you take that into consideration but in the our universe isn't the coin one or the other?

No. It's both in just one universe until it is observed.

Also, yeah, when anyone says that everything has been predetermined since the Big Bang they're making a bold claim. It feels like, even if no one knew anything about quantum mechanics, they would still not know shit, I feel. It's just such an assertion without much proof to back it up. It's like an gross extrapolation of good some good science to the point that it's been extrapolated so much no one knows their ass from their elbow anymore.

I've never actually met anyone who claimed this by the way.

How does observing it affect it? Why is an observer so important? If a dolphin or ant observed something, would the same thing happen as when a human did? Why would these things on a quantum level "choose" to act differently when being observed? How would they "know" they're being observed?

This is where the metaphor breaks down. You can't "look at" something on the quantum level with a microscope. Imagine we can't see the cat but we want to figure out if it is alive or dead. There might be some other technique that will give us that information, like if we drop a bird into the cage. If the bird dies the cat is alive, but if it flies away the next time we open the cage, the cat is dead. You can see how this would have an affect on the cat, right? Scientists have to go through indirect observation to "see" things on the quantum level, and no matter what method they use, these observations change things (there is no work around).

Is it the external fact that our eyes have gazed upon that thing that changed it or is the internal subjective factor that us comprehending whatever we see that makes the cat dead or alive?

It is the external act of observation (see above).

Ah, I think I just thought of something. So this is about ...if the cat's quantum level were directly linked to his being alive or not ...and if we're talking about the observer changing the quantum level ...the if we look at the cat, that will determine its fate?

You're taking the metaphor too far. This doesn't work for a real cat.

Wouldn't it depend on which universe WE'RE in too? Not just the cat? In one universe the observer observes the cat alive and in one universe the observer observes the cat being dead. I feel like that has nothing to do with with the actual observer but everything to do with what universe the observer is in.

The universes are the same until the observer makes the observation. Then it creates a branch (supposedly).

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