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Schrodinger's Alarm Clöck

  (+6, -4)
(+6, -4)
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To install Schrodinger's Alarm Clock, you first need to ensure that your bedroom is completely sealed and soundproofed. It is therefore suitable only for relatively large rooms.

Before retiring, simply place one atom of yttrium-93 into the small receptacle on the top of the alarm clock. As soon as the atom decays, a radiation monitor will trigger the release of a hammer, which will fall on the tail of a cat, whose complaints will wake you. You can then rise, dress, and open the bedroom door to begin your day. Given the half-life of yttrium-93, you can expect to have (on average) a 10-hour sleep before being awoken. However, statistically, you could be woken at any moment.

Until you open the bedroom door, the state of the yttrium atom remains indeterminate from the perspective of an external observer. Therefore, you may or may not have been woken, and may or may not have gone to work. Therefore, your employer can never conclude that you have overslept - he can only be certain that you have woken and arrived for work.

MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 30 2007

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       Nice, but I had expected better.
zeno, Dec 30 2007
  

       //Nice, but I had expected better.// True. This one is marked for d. Nice umlauts, UB.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 30 2007
  

       Copy and paste UB's umlauts into the title.
quantum_flux, Dec 30 2007
  

       I thought it wasn't that bad an idea, but there's probably a better one lurking in there somewhere.
xenzag, Dec 30 2007
  

       He can draw the wrong conclusions if he wants. What you need is legitimate proof in order to prove that you set your alarm and everything went correctly as planned. What you need is an indoor Schrödinger video camera to capture the event as it is unfolding. Then your boss should be able to determine what happened by observing the delayed signal on the video camera screen.
quantum_flux, Dec 30 2007
  

       or he could just ask the cat... cats only have 1 signal though, which is confusing because it's hard to tell whether they want to bite you or rub up against you.
quantum_flux, Dec 30 2007
  

       /Therefore, your employer can never conclude that you have overslept - he can only be certain that you have woken and arrived for work./   

       Well, yes, but that's true with a normal alarm clock.   

       I've often had days where I exist in a superposition of states, at once both awake and asleep. This normally takes place in the cubicle, though, rather than the bedroom.
egbert, Dec 30 2007
  

       would that be a Ford Cubicle?
po, Dec 30 2007
  

       //I thought it wasn't that bad an idea, but there's probably a better one lurking in there somewhere// That's exactly the kind of assumption that got me where I am today.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 30 2007
  

       // fall on the tail of a cat //   

       Can it fall on the head of a cat ? Can it be a really big hammer ? PLEASE ?   

       #include <EOSSACR.H>   

       [+] for the idea, too ....
8th of 7, Dec 30 2007
  
      
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