The riddle of 'Schrödinger's Cat' is a well-known thought experiment concerning quantum entanglement.  The original notes as penned by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935 are as follows:

"A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter, there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small that perhaps in the course of the hour, one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges, and through a relay releases a hammer that shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid.

"If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts."

However, the recent discovery of another notebook by Schrödinger (presumedly penned after the initial notes) has thrown theoretical physicists for a tailspin.  Here I present for the first time in public the previously-unpublished notes from Schrödinger's apparent further experiments.

Schrödinger's Dead Cat

NOTE: Schrödinger only implicitly stated that the cat be initially 'live' when put in the box.

"A dead cat is penned up in the test chamber as previously described (refer to original chamber specifications).

"If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat is still dead, possibly radioactive, and decayed by an amount relative to the actual time of death of the cat, the temperature, humidity and barometric pressure of the location at which the cat died, the same variables of the interior of the chamber at the time the cat was enclosed within, and further the same for its transferrence from the location of death to the interior of the chamber until such time as the chamber was sealed.

"If one observes that the cat is alive upon opening the chamber, then entanglement theory - and indeed ones understanding of quantum mechanics as a whole - may as well be thrown out of the window, which one may do on ones way to the water closet should one feel nauseated at this point, be it due to the fact that a cat just resurrected itself from the dead, or merely the cloying smell of semi-decomposed cat."

Schrödinger's Indirectly-Interfering Cat

NOTE: Schrödinger explicitly stated that the cat may not directly interfere with the device in the box.

"A cat is penned up in the test chamber as previously described (refer to original chamber specifications).

"If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, and during this hour the cat discharges a release of methane from its rectum, one would say that the cat is in fact dead; yet the exact time and cause of death (poisoned due to an atomic decay at the expected rate, poisoned due to an atomic decay at an increased - or perhaps decreased - rate due to the interation of the methane with the radioactive substance, poisoned directly by the methane, or any of a number of other variables) may be in a state of flux until such time as the chamber is opened and a subsequent autopsy of the cat is performed.

"One can surmise from this that the cat may in fact indirectly interfere with the device, given the assumption that the methane was produced by yet not in fact part of the cat, as a result altering the outcome regardless of any outside observation. As with the dead cat, this throws a spanner in the works of ones understanding of quantum mechanics in the form of a flatulent feline."

Schrödinger's Neighbour's Cat

"A cat is penned up in the test chamber as previously described (refer to original chamber specifications).

"Unfortunately, I was unable to postulate on the possible outcomes of this exercise at the time; I am now penning this from the County Hospital on account of injuries sustained by the owner of the cat, who walked in just as I was pushing the cat into the chamber. I have reason believe he was alerted to the theft of his cat by the busybody across the drive - I am reasonably certain that I have observed the two of them yapping at the end of her drive on several occasions.

"I also believe I may have an idea for a new experiment, and indeed a new set of test subjects; I will make the arrangements personally once my facial reconstruction has healed."

Schrödinger's Wife's Cat

NOTE: The following is actually an extract from the minutes of court proceedings, which were found folded and stuffed into the back of the notebook.

"My cat was stuffed into a small metal box with a 1/2 lb block of uranium, a vial of acid and a bunch of dohickeys that looked like something cannibalised from the telephone, then left there for an hour.  I don't know how he expected me to believe my Sooty was both alive and dead at the same time, because she was clearly dead as a doornail when I walked in.  So yes, Your Worship, I did try to kill my husband, but I'm sure anyone here would have done the same if it was their beloved, prize-winning...oh, my poor Sootyyyy!!!"

This was apparently followed by a burst of hysterical sobbing, after which she looked up at Erwin with an evil expression.

"And you'd better replace that telephone by Thursday morning, it's my week on the bridge club 'phone tree!"


    Absolutely FAPO

    A little place for my wierd sense of humour to call home; may produce unwanted side effects such as laughing, coughing, or the sudden urge to run under a bus to blot out the pain...


    July 2012