Drop Dead, Bored Bystander

The quantum observer

Taken from a thread yesterday...

Those who have an interest in quantum theory, what is your take on the idea of an "observer"?

In the Schrodinger's cat experiment, the cat is in an alive/dead state until the box is opened, collapsing the wave function - a human researcher is "making an observation".

Here's a wikipedia link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrodinger's_Cat

The point of the experiment is to highlight the lack of definition (in the Copenhagen interpretation) of what an observer is in the quantum world.

Currently, the Goodwin interpretation is that the detector in the box qualifies as an observer and the cat never has a chance of being in a superposed alive/dead state. Which is good, because I saw what happened to that monkey in The Fly, and that is the only way I can visualise quantum superposition early in the morning.
Permalink Joel Goodwin 
August 10th, 2005
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