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When Monty Met Erwin

It may be that only Monty Python’s exquisite blend of slapstick/farce/erudition/absurdity can take on the infamous cat of Erwin Schrödinger…


Schrödinger, one of the giants of Quantum Mechanics, truly believed that his cat presented an absurdity that undermined the probabilistic interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. QM was not undermined, and still continues to beguile and bedevil all who try to grasp its implications about the nature of the world.

Cecil Adams’ "epic" poem The Story of Schrödinger’s Cat, is a great riff on the Krazy Kat. A choice excerpt:

Now, you'd say the cat either lives or it don't But quantum mechanics is stubborn and won't. Statistically speaking, the cat (goes the joke), Is half a cat breathing and half a cat croaked. To some this may seem a ridiculous split, But quantum mechanics must answer, "Tough @#&!

Of the many thousands of S-Cat web sites, one of my favorites is The Well-Intended, but not quite interactive Schrödinger’s cat: A Rather Silly Experiment in Quantum Mechanics.Click here to try your luck at predicting whether you can indeed let the cat out of the bag… Cartoon info: By Paul Dlugokencky, concept by Zachary H. Levine, for the American Physical Society