Thursday, March 17, 2016

Confessions of a Republican (LBJ 1964 Presidential campaign commercial)

If the choice ends up to be between Clinton and Trump I would abstain from voting, at least that is how I feel today. It may be that Trump is making all these extreme statements just in order to get elected, and that when he becomes president he would be more reasonable. After all, Rudy Giuliani, whom I respect, supports him. But even in this best case scenario, I am disgusted that we as voters would have to vote for a Schrödinger's cat.

An explanation of ‘Schrödinger's cat’ from Simon Singh’s  The Code Book

Erwin Schrödinger, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933, invented a parable known as ‘Schrödinger's cat’, which is often used to help explain the concept of superposition. Imagine a cat in a box. There are two possible states for the cat, namely dead or alive. Initially, we know that the cat is definitely in one particular state, because we can see that it is alive. At this point, the cat is not in a superposition of states. Next, we place vial of cyanide in the box along with the cat and close the lid. We now enter a period of ignorance, because we cannot see or measure the state of the cat. Is the cat alive or has I trodden on the vial of cyanide and died? Traditionally we would say that the cat is either or alive we just do not know which. However quantum theory says that the cat is in a superposition of two states – it is both dead alive, it satisfies all possibilities. Superposition occurs only when we lose sight of an object, and is a way of describing an object during a period of ambiguity. When we eventually open the, we can see whether the cat is alive or dead. The act of looking at the cat forces it to be in one particular state, and at that very moment the superposition disappears.