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The infinite lives of Shrodingers cat (Sam Jam)
(chuckle, physics)

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

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)

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