News

Deconstructing Schrödinger s cat

The paradox of Schrödinger s cat -- the feline that is, famously, both alive and dead until its box is opened -- is the most widely known example of a recurrent problem in quantum mechanics: its dynamics seems to predict that macroscopic objects (like cats) can, sometimes, exist simultaneously in more than one completely distinct state. Many physicists have tried to solve this paradox over the years, but no approach has been universally accepted. Now, however, theoretical physicist Franck Laloë from Laboratoire Kastler Brossel (ENS-Université PSL) in Paris has proposed a new interpretation that could explain many features of the paradox. He sets out a model of this possible theory in a new paper in EPJ D.

advertisement

One approach to solving this problem involves adding a small, random extra term to the Schrödinger equation, which allows the quantum state vector to collapse , ensuring that -- as is observed in the macroscopic universe -- the outcome of each measurement is unique. Laloë s theory combines this interpretation with another from de Broglie and Bohm and relates the origins of the quantum collapse to the universal gravitational field. This approach can be applied equally to all objects, quantum and macroscopic: that is, to cats as much as to atoms.

The idea of linking quantum collapse to gravity has already been proposed by the great English physicist and philosopher Roger Penrose, but he never developed his ideas into a complete theory. Laloë proposes a model that goes in the same direction, agrees with physical observations and may one day prove testable experimentally. It is relatively simple -- naive , even -- and introduces only one additional parameter to the standard equation. Laloë is planning to explore more consequences of his model in different situations. Furthermore, he suggests that a theory that combines quantum mechanics with gravitation may have implications in astrophysics.

Materials provided by Springer . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Springer. "Deconstructing Schrödinger s cat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2020. .

Springer. "Deconstructing Schrödinger s cat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200214134729.htm (accessed February 14, 2020).
Read more on sciencedaily.com
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Technology
Yale physicists have developed an error correcting cat a new device that combines the Schrödinger s cat concept of superposition a physical system existing in two states at once with...
Technology
Schrödinger in Space An artist s impression of research presented in Batygin 2018 , MNRAS 475, 4. Propagation of waves through an astrophysical disk can be understood using Schrödinger s equation...
Technology
Quantum mechanics arose in the 1920s and since then scientists have disagreed on how best to interpret it. Many interpretations, including the Copenhagen interpretation presented by Niels Bohr and...
Technology
The quantum superposition principle has been tested on a scale as never before in a new study by scientists at the University of Vienna in collaboration with the University of...
Technology
There is a gap in the theory explaining what is happening at the macroscopic scale, in the realm of our everyday lives, and at the quantum level, at microscopic scale....