Sunday, June 1, 2014

Interaction, material existence and the fate of Schrodinger's cat

Schrodinger's cat by Dhatfield

What is essential is invisible to the eye said Antoine de Saint-Exupery in ‘The little prince.’ Our sensory experience is dependent on interactions to occur on every level. The photons activate electrons, leading to chemical reactions, cell processes, sensory processing, understanding, and memory. The importance of interaction cannot be overemphasized. When interaction ceases, matter and life ceases with it. Only interaction allows us to see hear, touch or measure. The fact of measuring (or sensing) is itself interaction. So we rely on interaction for the ability not only to perceive physical reality, but to draw conclusions from it through measuring. Since interaction changes reality, at any one time we can only gain limited understanding of the world.

The uncertainty principle makes existence so precarious that poetically even the existence of the moon has been considered dependent on sensory perception. Schrodinger famously posed a thought experiment that brought uncertainty to the fore. He put an imaginary cat in a box with a radioactive poison that can kill the cat according to the uncertainty Principle. At the moment of opening of the box the cat materializes alive or dead. The question of course is nothing more than a clever mental exercise, just like Zeno's runner, who is trying reach the finish line in vain. Zeno’s runner always runs just half of the rest of the distance, and no matter how close he gets, he never makes it to the finish line. What is the trick with Schrodinger's proposition?

The existence of cats and people depends on interaction, which is an unending, constant phenomenon. But there is more to existence than just interaction! Einstein’s gravitational field directs the movement of objects small and large. Elementary particles might take the form of strings, and be part of a microdimensional space, compact extra dimensions that are too small to measure. So while the gravitational field should be imagined on the largest expanse of space, the microdimensions represent the smallest scale. However these two separate fields are intimately connected through interaction. We can imagine the gravitational field servicing the interactions as the go-between particles. But the micro-dimension is insulated from gravity, so the quantum waves of particles can exist without spatial limitations and give rise to quantum phenomena, such as the Bell non locality and interference. Quantum waves can produce interference over enormous distances, but putting a detector in their path will break interference by collapsing the wave function. 

Interaction is unending and constant part of the gravitational regions of spaceTherefore the fate of Schrodinger's cat is dependent on interaction with the poisonous material, and totally independent of human observation. 

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