This morning, Tuesday, July 14th, I woke up at 4:00 am with lightning flashes in the window. Did you see it?
Somewhat startled, I got up to make sure windows were closed. Then, since I was up, I started the water boiling for a cup of tea and began to reassemble my books for Day 2 of comps!
One of the texts is Margaret Wheatley's book and I reread the story of Schroedinger's Cat, a classic thought problem in quantum physics.
Physicist Erwin Schroedinger constructed the problem in 1935 to illustrate that in the quantum world nothing is real. We do not know what's happening to something when we're not looking at it and in fact, nothing does happen to it until we observe it.
The problem of the cat has never been resolved. So, imagine:
A live cat is placed in a box with solid walls, so no one outside the box can see into it. Inside the box, a device will trigger the release of either poison or food; the probability of either being 50/50. Time passes and the trigger goes off, unobserved and the cat meets its fate.
Because an electron is both a wave and a particle until our observation causes it to collapse as either one or the other, so Schroedinger argues that the cat is both alive and dead until the moment we observe it.
Inside the box, when no one is watching, the cat exists only as a probability wave. It is the act of observation (and I say expectation!) that determines the collapse of the cat's wave function and makes it either dead or alive.
Wheatley wonders why we would ever peer into that box expecting a dead cat, when just by our powers of observation we could bring that cat to life?
I'm back to more writing, as this experience is surely making me a better victor!