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May 192008

Okay, my limited physics classes did not teach me about Schrodinger’s Cat, or if it did I did not retain the information.

Oddly enough two different TV shows this evening seemed to think the average Joe would know just who Schrodinger was and what was so god awful important about his cat.

In quantum mechanics atoms can exist in two or more different quantum states. But the question was raised whether a complex object made up of large numbers of atoms could exist in more than one state. In comes the cat.

The thought experiment takes the cat and puts it into a box with a vial filled with poison. The box is sealed. Since you cannot see the cat and do not know whether it is alive or has fallen victim to the poison. Therefore the cat is both alive and dead at the same time. Existing in both states. Until you open the box and observe the state of the cat.

First show I saw this in was Big Bang Theory. I have to thank the guys for geeking out and telling us what they meant when they used the term. In fact it was very relevant to what they were discussing.

The second show was Bones. Unfortunately they did not explain what Schrodinger’s Cat was and left their viewers in the dark. (I know, I know Google is a handy tool to have and so is Wikipedia, but when watching a show sometimes they need to fill the audience in on the science jargon.)

Get your geek on (I half expect to see Sheldon wearing one of these t-shirts on The Big Bang Theory some night) with the Schrodinger’s Cat tee.

Schrödinger’s Cat is Dead Front   Schrödinger’s Cat is Not Dead Back
Get this cool geek shirt at

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