Schrödinger’s Equation

This is a sick experiment and not sure people understand the history:

The paradox Schrödinger proposed in 1935 in the following theoretical experiment:

A cat is placed in a steel box along with a Geiger counter, a vial of poison, a hammer, and a radioactive substance. When the radioactive substance decays, the Geiger detects it and triggers the hammer to release the poison, which subsequently kills the cat. The radioactive decay is a random process, and there is no way to predict when it will happen. Physicists say the atom exists in a state known as a superposition—both decayed and not decayed at the same time.

Until the box is opened, an observer doesn’t know whether the cat is alive or dead—because the cat’s fate is intrinsically tied to whether or not the atom has decayed and the cat would, as Schrödinger put it, be “living and dead … in equal parts” until it is observed. (More physics: The Physics of Waterslides.)

In other words, until the box was opened, the cat’s state is completely unknown and therefore, the cat is considered to be both alive and dead at the same time until it is observed.

Immediately upon looking at the cat, an observer would immediately know if the cat was alive or dead and the “superposition” of the cat—the idea that it was in both states—would collapse into either the knowledge that “the cat is alive” or “the cat is dead,” but not both.

Schrödinger developed the paradox, says Martell, to illustrate a point in quantum mechanics about the nature of wave particles.