Taming Schrödinger’s Cat

Here’s a can of worms I’m not very comfortable opening on my second blog post. But for some reason, I’ve had my creative juices flowing all week long and a strange turn of events is making me feel like I’m having some sort of data transmission from the universe. Amidst all these ideas and thoughts, I’d like to dive straight into the one topic that I’ve always thought deeply about. Here’s my attempt to bridge the gaps between science (physics, quantum mechanics), faith (spirituality, religion) and pseudo science (law of attraction, dimensional jumping).

Let’s start by elaborating some key concepts in quantum physics.

Schrödinger’s cat

Here’s a good description of the experiment by Jesse Emspak from Live Science

The idea, called Schrödinger’s Cat after the physicist,Erwin Schrödinger, who proposed it in 1935, goes like this: Put a cat in a box with a vial of poison gas. The vial opens when a tiny piece of radioactive metal emits an alpha particle (the nucleus of a helium atom) as it decays. Emitting an alpha particle is a quantum-mechanical process, which means that whether it happens in any given stretch of time is basically random.

Quantum mechanics says that it’s impossible to know whether the radioactive decay has happened (and the cat is dead) unless one measures it — that is, unless the alpha particle interacts with the environment in some way that an observer can see. Until that happens, the alpha particle is emitted and not emitted at the same time. The cat is both dead and alive, a state called superposition. Opening the box is a measurement — one sees the effect of an alpha particle as the dead cat, or the absence of an alpha particle as a live one.

Superposition

Superposition is a principle of quantum theory that describes a challenging concept about the nature and behavior of matter and forces at the sub-atomic level. Quantum superposition is a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics. It states that, much like waves in classical physics, any two (or more) quantum states can be added together (“superposed”) and the result will be another valid quantum state; and conversely, that every quantum state can be represented as a sum of two or more other distinct states.

In simple mathematical terms x^2 = 1 is in a state of superposition with x both equal to 1 and -1 unless we observe it and find out that x<0 or x>0.

My thoughts

The Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment, the observer effect and the strange nature of quantum superposition all point to the fact that any system can exist as a combination of multiple states corresponding to different possible outcomes. The prevailing theory, called the Copenhagen interpretation, says that a quantum system remains in this superposition until it is interacted with, or is observed by, the external world, at which time the superposition collapses into one or another of the possible definite states.

As a part of this experiment,  try a small fun activity. Close your eyes, cover your ears and stop your thoughts for a short moment of time (i.e. disengage from the illusion of reality), and try to vividly visualize what you NEED. Now take this visualization one step ahead and LIVE the moment you need in your head. Your need can be anything that doesn’t arise from your egoistic self (greed, lust, revenge, pride etc.) and instead arises from your inner self, your soul (love, compassion, care, concern for yourself and others etc.).

Do this while believing that everything around you from the largest physical object to the smallest particle in the universe is momentarily in multiple states of probable existence while you (the awareness) is disengaged / disconnected. What is it waiting for? It is waiting for you to start re-observing, re-experiencing the illusion of reality. Need I explain more? Play around with this for a while. If you have interesting results please share.

If any of this makes even little sense to you, then take some time and ponder about the act of prayer (regardless of the faith), meditation or the so called law of attraction. Do you see the oneness? Same thing, different names?

Further simplification

There is a state in the thought experiment in which the cat in the box is both alive and dead. The act of checking / observation i.e. opening the box, collapses the superposition into one of the states. The reason why so many people report their experience with mediation / Prayer / Law of attraction / mental conditioning etc to work for them is because when you perform these activities properly, you are like the observer outside the box and the world is like the cat inside the box.

In the experiment the box is the barrier between the systems, hence for the effectiveness of prayer / mediation etc we need an actual barrier too. Disconnecting from our 5 (or 6) senses forms a void that becomes that barrier.

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