Neil's News

Schrödinger's Cat

20 March 2003

After brooding for some time, it suddenly occurred to me how to save Schrödinger's cat[?]. If Schrödinger opens the lid, there is a 50% chance that doing so will result in a dead cat. But if Schrödinger simply unlocks the lid and waits patiently, the live version of the cat will eventually climb out on its own. The moral is that if you force an answer, you risk losing the cat, whereas if you let the cat decide, you're guaranteed not to get in trouble with the RSPCA[?].

Building further upon this, one can see that Schrödinger's cat[?] has got much more than the proverbial nine lives. The trigger isotope could be changed for one that has a 99% chance of killing the cat, yet that 1% live cat will still collapse the superposition of states (or destroy the alternate universes, depending on your theological views[?]). To put it simply, the cat is invincible.

To cast this in a more extreme light, imagine that the lid is unlatched by a sensor which will only activate if a piece of Mars rock appears inside the box. There's an astronomically small chance that spontaneous quantum teleportation[?] will deposit such a rock within the alloted time. But the live cat in that extreme scenario will end the experiment, whereas the dead cats in all the other scenarios won't make their presences felt.

It doesn't take much to realise that Schrödinger's cat could be turned into a weapon against which there can be no defence. To end the coming Gulf war, all one needs to do is to sense for the sudden appearance of Saddam's brain or Dubya's brain in the box. On second thought, not Dubya's brain; this is a finite improbability generator, not an infinite improbability generator[?].

Update: Based on the comments over the past day, it doesn't look like anyone has the foggiest idea what I'm talking about. I've added footnotes; maybe that will help.

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