Schrödinger’s Cat

The idea for this post started when my husband and I were watching a re-run episode of The Big Bang Theory, in which Sheldon helps both Penny and Leonard think through whether the two of them going on a date is a good idea or not by explaining the premise of Schrödinger’s Cat.

My plan was to look at the background of the experiment and summarize it – partly curiosity, partly for the blog – and sprinkle in my thoughts on the whole notion.

And after some Googling and reading of scientific websites…let’s just say there’s at least one reason I’m not a scientist.  I don’t get it.  Not completely anyway.  (I was good with biology and chemistry in high school.  Physics I struggled with.)  Therefore, I’m going with how Sheldon explained it 😀

Essentially, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger designed an experiment where he put a cat and a vial of poison in a box and sealed it.  The vial would shatter at some point in time – killing the poor cat – but the exact moment was unknown.  (I don’t know where the experiment stemmed from or like that a sweet kitty was involved.  But I digress.)

The point of the experiment is that until someone opens the box, the cat could be considered both alive and dead, because you don’t know if the vial was intact (meaning the cat was alive) or if the vial had shattered (bye bye kitty).

It’s kind of a morbid way of thinking, but the point to me is this – until you “open the box”, you’ll never know what the outcome is.  Positive or negative.  Fun or not fun.  Exciting or boring.

This is true for any number of situations you may find yourself in – potential relationships, career changes, learning new skills, trying a new hobby, etc etc etc.

You’ll never know unless you take a peek in the box 🙂

And just for funsies – here’s something to make you laugh:

pavlov dog schroedinger cat


Have a great day, y’all!




One thought on “Schrödinger’s Cat

  1. In a nutshell, the story illustrates how unpredictable the entire universe is…prior to quantum physics, there was a “known” feeling about the laws of nature (Newton’s apple falls, equal opposite reactions, etc.). Newtonian laws make us feel like life can be predictable, knowable, etc. Quantum Physics is weird, unpredictable, and therefore kinda scary….. (much more like most people’s lives!). My own opinion is that people would like a life where laws (of reality) were predictable and knowable…..unfortunately, as with the cat….. it just simply isn’t! 🙂


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