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Quantum Execution

No more one-size-fits-all capital sentence.
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A device similar to the decay chamber / counter found in the classic Schroedinger's Cat Box is constructed, with a very slowly-decaying (long-lived) isotope used. The condemned are sentenced to spending a certain amount of time inside the machine (Schroedinger's Electric Chair?). If you subscribe to the "many worlds hypothesis" [proper name?], the victim would die in a progressively greater proportion of parallel worlds as time passes. Some processing of the decay chamber's output data might be necessary for consistency. What to do with the accused if the machine did not trigger the execution device within the allowed time is a matter of politics. The advantages are many: you may continuously vary "how dead" the victim becomes, in many cases without actually seeming to have carried out an execution (this should please death-penalty opponents;) pro-capital punishment activists should be pleased that the punishment can now be adjusted to fit the crime (for example, conventional "100%"*** world death would be reserved for treason, etc.) *** Of course, this figure takes into account only the operation of the execution machine.
dsm, Oct 26 2001

Transactional Interpretation of QM http://mist.npl.was...tiqm/TI_40.html#4.3
You'll have all the TI guys on your back [prometheus, Oct 26 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Wigner's Friend http://www.soc.iast..._sci_lecture24.html
it has been considered [prometheus, Oct 26 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Schrödinger's Electric Chair...I like it!   

       But wouldn't this require a self-contained execution system, within a "black box", such that no person could ascertain the state of the condemned? And wouldn't you only be able to please both pro- and anti-death penalty people until the box was opened?
Guncrazy, Oct 26 2001

       I was going to complain about this being another one of those shrodinger ideas and then ad something like "...by GM I supose"... but then I realised that like most of the other shrodinger ideas it is actualy king of funny...   

       Im not sure I like it though... I mean If 10% of theives and 99.9% of serial killers are kiled what is done with the rest? would we just end up evolving a bunch of lucky criminals? and it seems a bit... random for the public to accept... but I have an idea for that... what if it only got the guilty(or so people think - its still random) ... It could become a religion... the instrument of divine justice...   

       (no I still don't think I'd like to have this put in place)
RobertKidney, Oct 26 2001

       D&D execution: Thief must roll 3d6 to save vs. death.   

       Actually the Schrodinger's Execution is a fascinating extension - by not opening the box to feed or water you can know the prisoner's state with probability x of death by starvation and y by execution, where x & y are given by opening the box every z (can be +inf) seconds to feed & water, & assuming (without loss of generality) that both the execution and starvation PDFs follow gamma distributions G and G' respectively, you basically have a schrodinger's cat problem convolved with itself. Assuming G is broad w.r.t to G', you actually have more information about both the state and cause of %dead by _not_ opening the box!
prometheus, Oct 26 2001

       Assuming the thief makes his/her saving throw, does he/she then take half-damage?
mighty_cheese, Oct 27 2001

       RK I really do not want to be rude and I know I am as guilty as anyone but your annotation reminded me of the 100 monkeys on a typewriter....
po, Oct 27 2001

       Argh - the things have given themselves away... Now I'm going to have to type my own anotations...
RobertKidney, Oct 27 2001

       sorry - but at least you know that I'm not el pedanto in disguise
RobertKidney, Oct 28 2001

       [Steve DeGroof]: Despite his many initial objections to Schrödinger's theory, I don't think even Einstein thought of that...
Guncrazy, Oct 28 2001

       If the information doesn't get out of the black box, then it doesn't matter that the cat or prisoner can observe from within the box. It's still in a superposition of states for anyone outside the box. The problem with this idea is that the probability of death is monotonically increasing - you might as well just shoot anyone sentenced in this manner & conserve the infinite universes for other things.
prometheus, Oct 28 2001

| =^..^= |-----=^..^=
| ______|

Not to worry, Animal Lovers. The cat jumped out.
thumbwax, Oct 29 2001

       Who cares about the cat? It's the box that I'm worried about.
DrBob, Oct 29 2001

       [thumbwax], I just love that 'felinicon'.
angel, Oct 29 2001

       [prometheus]: What if you had a "black box-in-a-black box"? Cat in the first box, observer in a second box watching the first box? If no information leaves the second box when the first box is opened, would the particle still be in a state of superposition? And would the first box still contain both a dead cat and a live one?   

       [UnaBubba]: What would Albert make of the .5bakery?   

       "Subject: Elastic Space and Time."   

       "Annotation: Yeah, right, Al. WIBNI..."
Guncrazy, Oct 29 2001

       Al. would end up like vernon... 800 words on relativity... we word have to just give up and give it a vote... or just try and anotate down to the bottom...
RobertKidney, Oct 29 2001

       [Guncrazy] IANAQP, but that's the Wigner's Friend gedanken experiment - under the Copenhagen interpretation everything in the larger box is in a superposition of states until the information* escapes the box. * loaded word even with Shannon - information in this sense is a state to which meaning is attached. How much information is contained in a sheet of paper? How about a non-moving cat foot? If you open the box & observe a cat that doesn't have cardio and you dump water on it & it doesn't move, you attach a "dead" label to the cat, and you have knowledge of the state & the wave collapses. If the cat went into the box that way, you have no knowledge - attaching the meaning to what you're looking at is key to observation since you can't *really* know, and attaching meaning presumably requires consiousness. Then you can get goofy things like the delayed choice experiment (see transactional interpretation link) , and I suppose you could devise some sort of "Schrodinger Test" for AI.   

       The Transactional Interpretation cleans away all that hippie junk (including the beloved superposition of states and/or infinite universes), resolves the spooky action at a distance by using fun things like stuff moving backward in time.
prometheus, Oct 29 2001

       Judge: "You are a cold blooded killer who showed no mercy to his victims. I therefore sentence you to the maximum penalty that the law allows...you will take an X-ray every day for the next 30 years."

Can't see that satisfying anyone except the criminal really.
DrBob, Oct 30 2001

       A simpler method and no nasty radioactivity.   

       Crimes are assigned odds. Littering = 500. Theft = 100. Manslaughter = 5.   

       Put the criminal on a gallows. Put the black bag over his head and a rope round his neck.   

       Sound a bell and then pull the lever on a carefully calibrated fruit machine. If it comes up Three Lemons, the trap opens. If not, let them go.   

       I guess the sheer bowel-opening terror of standing there waiting for the reels to stop would act as a deterrent ...   

       Not sure what to do about murder though.
8th of 7, Jun 13 2002

       god you are clever. ravenswood!
po, Jun 13 2002

       We have here another nice example of a duality paradox. Schrodinger's cat can exist both as a parable and metaphor, but also (more usefully) as an actual cat-poisoning device. We can assume from Erwin's proposal that he was not perticularly kindly disposed to the genus Felix, something which raises him high in my estimation; if he had proposed the Schrodinger's Dog paradox I would have been obliged to go round and break all his windows.   

       Since the process of determination involves collapsing the wave function twice (before the cat is placed in the box, and then again when the box is re-opened) , the cat enters the indeterminate quantum state once the lid of the box is closed (you then have a priori knowledge of the stae of the cat at a past time Tzero) and this is where Werner Heisenberg comes in.   

       The percieved change of state of the cat when it's wave function collapses would then be represeted by a Heavisde step funtion (occuring in less than the Planck time).   

       There is the further question of air holes in the box. If there are no air holes then the cat will suffocate after a determinable interval, irrespective of the radiaoctive source.   

       Personally, I am all in favour of stufffing cats into airtight boxes with bottles of poison, if I could only catch the bu88ers when the crap in my flowerbeds. A brief education in quantum physics would be just the ticket. The whole thing would definitely then be decide without any active intervention on the part of the cat.
8th of 7, Jun 14 2002

       Ravenswood: "we need to put the entire Earth in a box ...." - but surely this would merely place the rest of the Universe in a state of quantum indeterminacy /   

       Are you proposing that the handle is on the inside or the outside of the lid ? Indeed, can there be an "inside" and an "outside" ? Surely this is just a bilateral event horizon with the interesting diffenence that it does not enclose a singularity ?   

       Does this imply that Black Holes are just large scale cases of the Schrodinger experiment ? What can we deduce from this ?
8th of 7, Jun 17 2002

       That people think that the Schrodinger thing is a lot more important and interesting than it actually is.
StarChaser, Jun 17 2002


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