Schrödinger's Cat Paradox Has Major Implications for Quantum Theory - Scientific American - just paradoxing

A Matter of Taste

Until quantum physics came along in the 1920s, physicists expected their theories to be deterministic, generating predictions for the outcome of experiments with certainty. But quantum theory appears to be inherently probabilistic. The textbook version—sometimes called the Copenhagen interpretation—says that until a system’s properties are measured, they can encompass myriad values. This superposition only collapses into a single state when the system is observed, and physicists can never precisely predict what that state will be. Wigner held the then popular view that consciousness somehow triggers a superposition to collapse. Thus, his hypothetical friend would discern a definite outcome when she or he made a measurement—and Wigner would never see her or him in superposition.

This view has since fallen out of favor. “People in the foundations of quantum mechanics rapidly dismiss Wigner’s view as spooky and ill-defined because it makes observers special,” says David Chalmers, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at New York University. Today most physicists concur that inanimate objects can knock quantum systems out of superposition through a process known as decoherence. Certainly, researchers attempting to manipulate complex quantum superpositions in the lab can find their hard work destroyed by speedy air particles colliding with their systems. So they carry out their tests at ultracold temperatures and try to isolate their apparatuses from's the limit

Schrödinger's Cat Paradox Has Major Implications for Quantum Theory - Scientific American - just paradoxing

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Good read, gives me a tangent for the rest of the evening ....... smiley


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