Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 01-03-2012, 11:03 AM
whc.03grady whc.03grady is offline
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Montana
Posts: 461
Schrodinger's Cat

Please tell me where I've gone wrong.

So the cat is in the box with the particle that may or may not have decayed after ten minutes, setting off a charge that would kill the cat. The physicist says the cat is in a superposition, viz., is both alive and dead.

Why does the physicist get to invent a property (the superposition) that is, in principle, unobservable, and then assign it to the cat? Why doesn't the physicist instead say, "I don't know if the cat's alive or dead", or "I can't know if the cat's alive or dead"? Isn't science about what's observable, not making up stuff about what isn't or cannot be observed?

Last edited by whc.03grady; 01-03-2012 at 11:04 AM. Reason: omitted something


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:56 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017