The rise and fall of Shrodingers Cat ==================================== Not only is there an above zero chance that I spelt Shrodinger wrong and am about to have this gross error lambasted to the whole world because the moderator hasn't time to correct it, but there is also a near 1 chance that shrodingers cat has an infinite number of lives. Or at least a very large number of lives. For those who are unaware, Shrodingers cat is traditionally placed in a box containing an ampoule of poison (various types are used now-days) which is smashed by a hammer every time a piece of "radio-active substance" in the box emits some radiation. At first, animal rights activists took exception to this, and were unswayed by the fact that Shrodingers cat may_or_may_not be dead. They demanded that Shrodinger immediately be banned from keeping cats, and that he hand over the remains for a decent burial. But it came to light, that Shrodingers cat had not died, and in fact his cat made rather a career of being shut up in boxes containing ampoules of poison controlled by various kinds of radioactive hammers. This silenced the animal rights folks, but began to puzzle physicsts all round. Was the radioactive hammer faulty? Was there even any radio-active decay taking place at all? Some suggested that perhaps somehow there had been a hole in the original box, and that the cats wave function had leaked out, and been convoluted with the rest of the world. Would anything ever be radioactive again? Meanwhile Shrodingers cat made a real go of it. His climax was to enter a box containing a crystal glass ampoule of potassium cyanide to be smashed by a diamond-titanium hammer controlled by a sample of uranium fed into the original "lucky" geiger muller tube. The fall of Shrodingers cat =========================== When he invited members of the audience to inspect the setup, one knowledgable chap saw that the window of the geiger-muller tube still had the cover on! There was an uproar, cries of "Scam! We want our money back." Shrodingers cat insisted that he hadn't noticed it before, that it was a mistake. He clung tight to "the dangers of exposure to the radiation itself", but to no avail. His whole act was discredited, and ruined. Scientists wondered if this revelation (the cover on the geiger-muller tube) would be enough to collapse the wave function (which by now was believed to be enveloping the whole universe). They took (the by now broken and forlorn) cat, and put it in a the box with a pile of awful glowing radio-actibe gunk. They heard a sort of noise. A buddist said it was the sounf lone trees make when falling. The scientists themselves said it was a cross between a cat being sick, a scraping noise, and a wine glass breaking. Unfortunately nobody is allowed to open the box and collapse the wave function until various studies have been done on the nature of collapsing wave functions and the associated dangers. 3 government bodies have been set up to give advice in this area, and special grants have been made available for minority groups who want to repeat the first half of the experiment. Until the various bodies present their reports, the box will remain closed, and no-body will know what happened to Shrodingers cat. or will they.. there are rumors that Shrodingers cats wave function leaked through a hole in the box and that a rather luminous Shrodingers cat is now touring seamy nightclub circuits with some "hammer-in-the-box" gag. Some scientists are going to have quite an experimental error when they open the box, after the government bodies finish their reports. But I don't think we need worry about that! S Liddicott. Amateur humourist.
(From the "Rest" of RHF)