Monday, August 12, 2013

Erwin Schrödinger's Birthday! Event Attended by a Rather Strange Cat.

Have those of you that frequent Google noticed the Algebra and cats in the Google Doodle section? This is in  celebration of professor  Erwin Schrödinger's Birthday!  

Schrödinger is known for asking the rather simplistic sounding question, When does a quantum system stop existing as a superposition of states and become one or the other?  He is perhaps better known for the thought experiment that bares his name - Schrödinger's Cat which asks if a cat were placed in a box with a radio-isotope, Geiger counter, a lump of cyanide and a bucket of water.  Say the isotope has a half life of 30 minutes.  Within that 30 minutes, if the counter detects an event it will then cause the lump to be dropped into the water killing the cat.  None of which can be detected from outside.  The experiment asks that at the end of the test period, when do we know the state of the cat, plus noting that during the test period the cat can be said to be both states or a superposition of states. 

Fun stuff that huh? Well I am drifting a bit away from the main subject, but do I have a funny joke about this...... but anyway.  Happy Birthday! 

Reference from Lance Ulanoff writing for Mashable

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