Your Understanding Of Schrödinger's Cat Is Probably Wrong

Your Understanding Of Schrödinger's Cat Is Probably Wrong

Erwin Schrödinger came up with his famous cat-in-the-box thought experiment in 1935. In the years since, people have misinterpreted the scenario as an explanation for how a cat can be both alive and dead at the same time. In fact, Schrödinger intended for this paradox to illustrate the fundamental absurdity of quantum mechanics. In the process of creating the thought experiment, he also coined the term "entanglement" ("verschränkung" in German).

03:53

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Superposition is the idea that a particle can exist in all of its theoretically possible states at the same time. (1:01)

  • 2

    Quantum mechanics says that any of the radioactive atoms in the box with Schrodinger's cat could be decayed and not decayed at the same time. (1:52)

  • 3

    Schrodinger's famous cat scenario was envisioned to prove that the quantum world operates by a different set of laws than the "normal," observable world. (2:44)

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