It’s alive!


But it’s dead in another world!

Thanks to several readers for sending this.


  1. FloM
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    you know I have to do this: Can I haz Umlaut? At the very least, the internet should circumscribe the Schrödinger as Schroedinger…

    • ladyatheist
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      At least it was spelled correctly

      • aspidoscelis
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

        Well, no… it isn’t, “o” and “ö” are different letters. If having one letter wrong is close enough, we may as well call him “Schrbdinger”. 🙂

        Pedantry aside… FloM, the answer is yes, you can has umlaut:

    • Posted June 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Ummm. . . . I got this off the internet. If you want to photoshop an umlaut in there, be my guest.

      And if you want to make the journal more appealing to younger folk, you should spell it “Kürrent Biology”

  2. Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink


    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      It’s not a problem anymore, but now it seems classical decoherence theory and the many world theory so beloved by Sean Carroll may have a problem:

      You may not need an environment for a quantum system to behave like a classical system. Just divide a closed system into two large, weakly interacting sub-systems and classical behavior emerges.

      “”What we’ve been able to show is that such quantum-to-classical transitions can emerge even in the dynamics of simple closed quantum systems. By coupling two quantum chaotic subsystems—so-called ‘kicked quantum rotors’—they both go from being localized due to destructive interference to displaying diffusive energy transport in a completely classical fashion.”

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Eg the classical behavior is innate to the quantum system. But I’m not sure they have showed complete isolation as of yet.

  3. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Good idea, but unfair to Schrödinger as his thought experiment was intended in precisely that way to say “suck it, Bohr!” (Bohr, who was the premier proponent of, well, the classical Copenhagen interpretation at the time.)

    • Andrew van der Merwe
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

      Ah, but that’s only half a cat.

      • Andrew van der Merwe
        Posted June 17, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, that wasn’t meant to be a reply to you.

        Your comment is spot on!

  4. Posted June 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    The cat survived.

    But the box?

    It’s dead, Jim.


  5. aljones909
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Don’t try this unless your really convinced by the many worlds interpretation. Taken from the blog blog Less Wrong:
    “The quantum Russian roulette is a game where 16 people participate. Each of them gets a unique four digit binary code assigned and deposits $50000. They are put to deep sleep using some drug. The organizer flips a quantum coin four times. Unlike in Russian roulette, here only the participant survives whose code was flipped. The others are executed in a completely painless manner. The survivor takes all the money.

    Let us assume that none of them have families or very good friends. Then the only result of the game is that the guy who wins will enjoy a much better quality of life. The others die in his Everett branch, but they live on in others. So everybody’s only subjective experience will be that he went into a room and woke up $750000 richer.”

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