Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cat In A Box, Redux

See here, here, or here.

It occurs to me just now that the Geiger counter makes the observation. The Geiger counter collapses the wave function. In all interpretations of Schrödinger's cat that I've ever read, the implicit interpretation is that human consciousness is required to make an observation and collapse the wave function. But there's no reason that this should be so--the Geiger counter, just like a human, is a device that responds to stimulus. Its failure to be as complicated as the human observer doesn't disqualify it from being able to make the observation. The wave function collapses before the gas canister is smashed or not smashed. The cat is dead. Or it is alive.

Probably like 200,000 people have had this insight before me, but whatever--I write a frickin' blog. Anyway, that was it. As you were.

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