Schrödinger's Cat at TED-Ed

The third of the videos I wrote for TED-Ed is now live: Schrödinger's Cat: A Thought Experiment in Quantum Mechanics.This is using basically the same argument I outlined in this post, but with awesome animation courtesy of Agota Vegso. I'm impressed by how close the images that ended up in the video are to the pictures I had in my mind while I was writing it.

As I said in that old post, I dithered for a bit about whether to run with this argument, but decided I liked it enough to go ahead. You can legitimately quibble about some of the phrasing being a little too definite (or that Schrödinger was really more concerned about issues closer to the modern idea of entanglement than simple superposition), but I think the connection between extended quantum states is a useful way into thinking about things like band structure.

This was written quite a while ago, and I wanted to add a topical link to stuff about last week's Nobel announcement, but there wasn't room, or time to edit stuff down to fit. So I'll just put the link here.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with this, so, y'know, yay, cartoon cats! There's one more video in the pipeline, and you can be sure I'll post to let you know when that gets published.

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There are two pbi's (Partly Baked Ideas) I have entertained myself with since learning this in college many eons ago that I never actually put out there. So, tongue only half in cheek:

1: If the Cat is a component of a single quantum entity, and the box is a "If I fits I sits" relative size, then is there not an equal probability that the cat will not even be in the box when it is opened, having tunnelled out? We know Cats (some of them) can walk through walls.

2: The Observer Effect: Cats are Observers too. How does this impact the system?

By David Warman (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

This is very, very good, with one exception.

I can see why the animator started with covalently bonded water molecules to illustrate electron sharing, but the jump to conduction at about 3:40 needed a transition to a metallic-bonded solid (perhaps copper colored Cu spheres) with a different image of very widely shared electrons (echoing what is in your script) before showing conduction.

By CCPhysicist (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink