h a l f b a k e r y
The phrase 'crumpled heap' comes to mind.
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One straw enters a bottle of poison, the
other one goes into a
bottle of water. They both converge
inside a box which contains
a valve, controlled by the action, or
inaction of a tiny amount
of radioactive decay. (think Schrödinger's
cat, only small
enough to have no cat).
one, the decay occurs, and
when the thirsty
experimenter, sucks on the single straw
exiting from the box,
the valve permits a clear pathway to the
poison, with terminal
consequences. In scenario two, no decay
is detected and the
experimenter gets to satisfy his/her
thirst with pure water.
I just never liked the idea of a cat being
involved, so I devised
this way, to ensure that the experimenter
is also the actual
experiment. In this method, if the whole
experiment is sealed up inside a room,
and the experimenter survives, they get
to relate what it's actually like to exist in
a state of superposition.
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||Fair enough but you should change the category to 'science: peta:possibly dead'.
(You don't even like Thought Experiments that involve animals?). Tough Crowd!
||Yes, but what if it's the experimenter's
job to feed the cat? Then, the cat will
be left in a superposition of
||Actually, the whole cat problem
becomes a lot more manageable when
you realize that the collapse of a
quantum wave function is itself a
relative event - the function can
collapse for one observer, yet be
uncollapsed for another; it can even
collapse in different ways for different
observers. Once you realize this, you
can tie QM to GR naturally, and a lot of
the weirdness disappears too.
||Lovely!. So all the kitties are safe.
||There will be decay, eventually. So I would be the first to drink if I were stupid enough to drink at all. Bad science here, go back to the drawing board. My vote is neutral because the premise is nice.
||Ah [zeno] you have slightly missed the
point. As long as the
observers outside of the container don't
know whether the person
inside has taken a drink or not, that
person for them exists in a
state of superposition. (Note the
category, which I just spotted last night
- hence the idea)
||If the lucky experimenter eventually
emerges intact, they can
describe what it feels like to be both
alive and dead at the same
time. Of course they only get out after
they actually drink
something, triggering the locked door
to open. Now who's going
to be first?
||//collapse of a quantum wave function is itself a relative event// - Is it? I thought any observer collapsed the wave function permanently. If it's relative then surely we are all creating the world about us as we observe it?
||confused? you might have sprung a
||Sadly not. While they are in a
superposition of states, their brain
(including all perceptions and memories)
will also exist in a superposition of states.
When they emerge and collapse (so to
speak), so will their memories. Therefore,
they will either recall being relieved at not
having been poisoned, or they will be
dead and recall nothing at all.
||So my pub is a Schrödinger box, then?
||Everything else in this discussion sounds quite familiar.
||Let me tell the wife I'm off to do some quantum research.
||Perhaps more interesting if the water is replaced with whiskey, so that the experimenter is rendered dead drunk.
||// //collapse of a quantum wave
function is itself a relative event// - Is
||Yes. Forget superstrings and many-
universes and all that. Time and space
are already known relative; I hold that
relativity goes far deeper, such that
qualitative differences in reality,
corresponding to the collapse of
superposed states, are also relative.
||It's the only logical way to interpret the
Cat, for example (the wave function has
collapsed for the atom, and then for the
cat, but not for the outside observer;
then the observer observes and
collapses the event for himself, but it
remains uncollapsed for another
observer outside the laboratory, etc).
||The problem all along has been in
assuming that there is such a thing as
an absolutely collapsed state, just as
the problem with Newtonian motion lay
in the implicit assumption that space
and time were absolute.
||If anyone from Sweden comes asking
after me, please feel free to point them
to my profile page.
||Missed the point have I? Yep, you're right. Bun deserved.
||I think we can all be satisfied now that superposition on this scale is as preposterous as traveling back in time and get back to inventing new kinds of cheese. Under the premise the last sentence about "if they survive" is internally contradictory.