November 06, 2016

Schrödinger's Cat

A life-altering idea that contributed to many thoughtful Insights, one among those many involve the Schrodinger’s cat paradox. Placing a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source (a device with a vial of hydrocyanic acid, very less in quantity) in a box that is left sealed. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e., a single atom decaying), then the flask is shattered by a hammer, releasing the poison within the sealed box, making observations while the box was closed.
The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, in the 1920s’, implied that after a while, the cat is “simultaneously” dead as well as alive. In 1935 Sheldon Schrodinger corrected this problem by stating that this paradox is that cat could be seen either dead or alive. Still, not both together at the same time, posing question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and in reality collapses into one possibility or the other. To further illustrate, Schrödinger described how one could, in principle, create a superposition in a large-scale system by making it dependent on a quantum particle that was in a superposition. He proposed a scenario with a cat in a locked steel chamber, wherein the cat's life or death depended on the state of a radioactive atom, whether it had decayed and emitted radiation or not. According to Schrödinger, the Copenhagen interpretation implies that the cat remains both alive and dead until the state is observed. Schrödinger did not wish to promote the idea of dead-and-alive cats as a serious possibility; on the contrary, he intended the example to illustrate the absurdity of the current view of quantum mechanics. However, since Schrödinger's time, other interpretations of the mathematics of quantum mechanics have been advanced by physicists, some of which regard the "alive and dead" cat superposition as quite real. For example, considering the states that a smaller particle could collapse into one another having either the states of both or none, this paradox has brought its value over each of our lives. Einstein and Schrodinger, over time, exchanged letters pursuing over these thoughts of bringing Schrodinger’s cat experiment to over our realistic environment. He stated, [line]
“…Nobody really doubts that the presence or absence of the cat is something independent of the act of observation” [line]
In fact, some of the other observations state that no observer can be in a mixture of state. Yet, the cat could possibly be, raising questions of the sort, if the cat is required to be an observer or does its existence in a single well defined classical state requires another external observer? Where each of the Alternative seemed absurd. Going back to the Copenhagen interpretation, this experiment posed no riddle to Neil Bohr, as he never had in mind the observer-induced collapse of the wave. But the other scientists explained that there could be a superposition of “decayed nucleus/dead cat” and “non-decayed Nucleus/alive cat” states, and that only when the box opened could define the probability that the wave function collapses into one of the two states. Yet other many world’s theories provide to give in to many other facts that the superposition could have been settled into one of the two states long before the box is opened, phrasing that the “cat observes itself” or “the environment observes the cat.” Objective collapse theories require a modification of standard quantum mechanics to allow superposition to be destroyed by the Process of time evolution. This process, known as "decoherence," is Among the fastest means currently known to physics. In the 1950s’ Hugh Everett proved the importance of quantum decoherence; he said, [line]
When opening the box, the observer becomes entangled with the cat, so "observer states." corresponding to the cat's being alive and dead are formed; each observer state is entangled or linked with the cat so that the "observation of the cat's State," and the "cat's state" corresponds with each other"
Max Tegmark also proposed a variant of the Schrodinger’s cat experiment, known as the quantum suicide machine to distinguish between the Copenhagen Interpretation and the many-worlds. Other explanations involve ensemble and relational; Ensemble interpretation states that superpositions are proved to be nothing but state vector applied to the statistics of many similarly prepared cat experiments, discarding the idea that a single physical system in quantum Mechanics have a mathematical description that corresponds to it in any way. In Relational interpretation, every factor in the experiment are considered to be “observers.” Different observers can give different accounts of the same series of events, depending on the information they have. For, eg, Before the box is opened, the cat, by nature of its being alive or dead, has information about the state of the apparatus (the atom has either decayed or not decayed); but the experimenter does not have information about the state of the box contents. In this way, the two observers simultaneously have different accounts of the situation: To the cat, the wave function of the apparatus has appeared to "collapse"; to the experimenter, the contents of the box appear to be in superposition. Not until the box is opened, and both observers have the same information about what happened, do both system states look to "collapse." Into the same definite result, a cat that is either alive or dead.
So to conclude, more than a paradox, this experiment enables us to stay open-minded to not one but the many options that could serve the trick to development. The “cat states” are often being proven and applied in many fields, taking part in helping our day to day lives; Qubits (quantum computers), achieved with photons, to solve for the energy level of the hydrogen atom, to deal with problems with the atomic structure of matter, wave equation and theories, quantum numbers (first three coordinates and fourth spin number), properties of wave mechanics, SQUID, piezoelectric tuning fork, beryllium ion trapped in Superposed state, etc. In the recent past, researchers at the Stanford PULSE Institute and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have exploited this Schrodinger’s Cat behavior to create X-ray movies of atomic motion with much more detail than ever before.

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