Saturday, July 21, 2007

That Cat's Something I Can't Explain

The principle of nonexclusion is created from the tenets of logic, uncertainty, and probability. Together they form a sort of quantum reasoning. Quanta - originally denoting quantity or ability to quantify has evolved (or devolved) to connote undifferentiated or undetermined states of being – but what of undifferentiated reasoning? An easy example is to look at pre-existing examples of these ideas (the principle of nonexclusion is not a new or previously un-thought of gesture; it is, however, a term with which definition(s) may not have been associated before).

The Resolution of Schrödinger’s Cat, the quantum riddle published in 1935 by Erwin Schrödinger, clearly demonstrates the fully functional (and non-contradicting) reasoning ability of nonexclusion. To solve this puzzle, one must ask: Is the cat alive or is the cat dead? Initially Schrödinger, like many of his contemporaries, was a skeptic of many of the new theories developing in response to the recently discovered wave/particle dilemma of quantum phenomena. The publication of "Die gegenwärtige Situation in der Quantenmechanik" (better known as just Schrödinger's Cat) was a very unambiguous attempt at exposing one of apparent frauds or contradictions within quantum mechanics, superposition (quantum objects which occupy the same space at the same time). Even Albert Einstein would weigh-in with his seemingly congenial support of the thought experiment. He writes in to Schrödinger 1950:

“You are the only contemporary physicist, besides Laue, who sees that one cannot get around the assumption of reality—if only one is honest. Most of them simply do not see what sort of risky game they are playing with reality—reality as something independent of what is experimentally established. Their interpretation is, however, refuted most elegantly by your system of radioactive atom + amplifier + [release of hydroacid] charge of gunpowder + cat in a box, in which the psi-function of the system contains both the cat alive and blown to bits. Nobody really doubts that the presence or absence of the cat is something independent of the act of observation.”2

Schrödinger’s argument centered on the idea that a real object, one living and breathing, such as the cat, could not experience anything remotely near superposition, revealing a fundamental underlying flaw in the translation of quantum mechanics. Einstein, in his response, correctly recognizes the limitations and almost ludicrous situations of the quantum dilemma and astutely warns of the danger that reality here tends to run amok. Laid out, the experiment looks like this, Schrödinger writes:

“One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.”2

Despite the classical problem of situations within superposition, the apparent anomaly, the experiment of Schrödinger's Cat perfectly streamlines the function of nonexclusion. So, tell me is that cat alive or is that cat dead?

1 comment:

captain mission said...

it exists only in a state of potentiality and probability, neither alive nor dead but with the potential to be either depending on the consciousness of the observer. for if one's consciousness perceives a separation from the cat, life, death and its own self then the cat is dead but if the observers consciousness knows that being a dead cat is just a four dimensional illusion then the cat is alive and quite possibly reincarnated as a plant or a an octopi :)
(im not sure about my last bit to be honest)

thanks for your information on the assassins, i had read about them before and being a huge burroughs fan myself knew the reference, it has also been adopted by many esoteric orders and personalities since. it's the most powerful and liberating expression and to live it one must adopt the mantle of a god.

it's application offers an answer to your question. is the cat alive or dead?
nothing is true. everything is permitted.