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Once upon a time there was a scientist named Schrodinger that wanted to explain the basic principles of the quantum mechanics in an easy way so everyone would understand him.

After tons of investigations about subatomic particles, he realised that this particles worked in a totally unpredictable way.

Sometimes things could seem two different things at the same time. To make everything even more confuse, as more as you want to observe and measure this particles, less naturally they will behave. The idea that one particle could exist in all its possible states at the same time would appear to be nuts, but....

Mr. Schrodinger thought about a simple example to make the world understand this.

The cat in the box with lethal gas So we have a cat and we put him in a bunker with a bottle of letal gaz and a Geiger counter, a hammer and a small porcion of something radioactive.

We can say that there is 50% probability of one of the radioactive atoms decays and

radiation in that hour. If is that the case, the Geiger counter will free the hammer tha will break the bottle that has the lethal gaz. So, there is an 50% probability that the bottle breaks and consequentially the cat is death. There us another 50% that it doesn’t and the cat is alive just asking what is for dinner.



But what is real inside t According to quantum mechanics, each one of the radioactive atoms is in the state of a superposition of the state “decay” and “not decay” at the same time, because it is how the quantum objects work. In this case, that atom that decays should have “killed” and “not killed” the cat, right? Well, that’s a logical conclusion, but the cat IS NOT a quantic object. The cat is a bug normal thing that obeys the old and known Newton’s laws, so, like any other cat in the world, is alive or dead.

lly happening the box?

The point of Schrodinger, or at least one of them, was that the two objects (cat and the atom) are submitted to two kinds of laws that cannot be united. To know if the atom decayed or not, and if the cat is dead or not, we have to open the bunker and take a look.

BUT, in quantum mechanics, the state of superposition CANNOT be seen, and that’s why when the evil scientist opens the box to observe, the superposition collapses and we get only its final result.

NOW a day ,

the Schrodinger’s cat is taken as an example of some kind of zombie cat, and its often discussed if the cat is alive and dead inside the bunker at the same time.

But the point of Schrodinger was not to show if the cat could be alive and dead at the same time, but to show that the quantum world doesn’t work like the world that we know. He wanted only to show us that the universe is just rare.

There are others interpretations about quantum mechanics that could solve this paradox, but none of them are easy to demonstrate. My favorite one is the one that talks about parallel universes: in which at the end of each superposition, a new alternate universe is created. In this case, one where the cat would be alive, and one where it would be dead.


Master Arte Idea y Producci贸n Ana Louren莽o 2013

Curiosity killed the cat  

English version of the illustrated fanzine about the story of Schrodinger's cat

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