Let Schrödinger's Cat Decide If You Should Order Sushi Or Thai

Any decision in life, whether ordering take-out or taking over a corporation, should be left to the randomness of the universe. Like flipping a coin, or even better, a 1935 thought experiment on quantum mechanics by an Austrian physicist.

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Explaining the science behind the Schrödinger's Cat experiment would require several thick tomes, so here's a gross summation of the idea behind it. You stick a cat in a box with a bottle of poison that will be released if a radioactive element releases a subatomic particle. But since there's no way to observe what's going on in the box, and some particles are believed to only exist when actually observed, there's the possibility that the cat can be both alive and dead at the same time. Confusing, I know, but the idea works well for a novelty desk toy.

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As long as you can't see the cat, it can exist in the bizarre dual states of life and death. But when you slide open the door and take a look, it randomly snaps into one of the two states. And in this case, a living cat means yes, while a dead feline obviously means no.

To illustrate the science behind the box, when you first open the door an image of the cat briefly flashes back and forth between alive and dead. But quickly the cat's state will solidify into one or the other, giving you your answer. And it's available now from ThinkGeek for $30, or, given the randomness of the universe, maybe it isn't? [ThinkGeek via 7Gadgets]

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DISCUSSION

jordancash
Jordan Cash

Okay, so lemme get this straight...

1) Find cat

2) Put cat in windowless airtight box

3) Put something else toxic, say, mustard gas, in the box too

4) Seal the lid.

5) Cat exists in constant limbo ad infinitum.

6) Morbid curiosity...

7) Cat is dead.

Am I getting this right? How the HELL does this make sense at all? I know it's only an illustration of some kind of sub-particle level of physics or something we don't fully understand to begin with, but seriously, how the HELL?

Pretty sure we'd know the cat was dead without having to view it's carcass...

I think this is just too far over my wittle head to even TRY to grasp.