Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What is Schrodinger's Cat?

It is well-accepted fact that a quantum particle can exist in a superposition/combination state of two or more possible states. To show this, Erwin Schrodinger proposed a thought experiment in 1935, in which a cat locked in a box along with a radioactive atom and a vial of deadly poison could be somehow both alive and dead at the same time. Schrodinger's argument was that a quantum particle such as an atom can be in more than one different quantum states at the same time but a classical object such as a cat couldn't be in two different states.Thus, a Schrodinger's Cat State is generally understood as a quantum superposition state of two or more possible quantum states of a particle.


(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger's_cat
(2) http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2815
(3) http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/525
(4) http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/272/5265/1131
(5) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7068/abs/nature04251.html
(6) http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/cat_states.htm

Here is a nice youtube video:

Note: This was first posted on the NPS Google group Web page:


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