Following Schrödinger’s cat to its death and giving it a reprieve

Two-state cat.

Enlarge / Two-state cat.
(credit:
RBerteig on Flickr
)

One thing I dislike about quantum mechanics is that it
encourages journalists to overuse words like “mysterious” and
“spooky.” Given that we can model quantum systems to an accuracy
that would make a god cry, where is the mystery?

I personally blame Schrödinger and his eponymous cat. That
thought experiment, combined with an ever-increasing body of
experimental results, shows just how subtle quantum mechanics is.
Rather than admitting a lack of understanding, some journalists
seem to use Schrödinger’s cat as a
get-out-of-explaining-for-free card.

No doubt the words “mysterious” and “spooky” are going to turn
up again regarding an experiment that, according to its press
release, shows
how to predict
when Schrödinger’s cat is about to die. The
experiment is really only tangentially related to Schrödinger’s
cat; instead, it shows how no matter how well you understand
quantum mechanics, there is always another layer to peel back and
explore.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Following Schrödinger’s cat to its death and giving it a reprieve