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Old 01-03-2012, 06:07 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,867
I doubt a simple analogy will help resolve an issue this difficult, but I've heard superposition described by comparing it to spinning a coin. Heads and Tails are mutually exclusive states, but if you spin the coin on a table, it's in a state of heads-tails superposition. You cannot simply say "the coin is either heads or tails, but we don't know which" because that only makes sense when describing the observed outcome.

There are experimental findings that back this up. Despite the affront to "common sense," particles really are in a temporary superposition, and not just in a temporary statistical unknown.