Schrodinger, Erwin - Mind and Matter - The Cat
Type of Spiritual Experience
Erwin Schrodinger plus many others have shown that this interpretation of scientific results can be fraught with problems, as the results are dependent on the senses of the observer. Whether the experiment was made by the observer directly observing the results without the aid of instruments, or whether instruments were used, at some stage the observer has to intervene and this can lead to error in recording and interpretation because no two observers have the same sensory abilities.
Erwin Schrodinger also showed that the observer always has an effect on the results. In effect, you can never discount the fact that the observer’s mental state, may have influenced which way the dice fell.
This is perhaps more important in deciding how processes are executed than observer error or the slight changes he may unconsciously make to the instrument when calibrating it.
A theoretical proof of this was proposed by Erwin Schrodinger in 1935. Called ‘Schrödinger's thought experiment’, it was intended as a means of demonstrating the proposals set out in the ‘EPR article’, named after its authors: Einstein , Podolsky and Rosen.
The EPR article had highlighted the strange nature of quantum superpositions. Broadly stated, a quantum superposition is the combination of all the possible states of a system (for example, the possible positions of a subatomic particle). The Copenhagen interpretation implies that the superposition undergoes collapse into a definite state only at the exact moment of quantum measurement.
Thus, when you observe a thing, only at this time does the state of the thing get resolved – the activity produce a specific outcome.
Schrödinger and Einstein had exchanged letters about Einstein's EPR article, in the course of which Einstein had pointed out that the quantum superposition of an unstable keg of gunpowder will, after a while, contain both exploded and unexploded components. To further illustrate this aspect, Schrödinger applied quantum mechanics to a living entity that may or may not be conscious.
A description of the experience
Erwin Scrodinger – Mind and Matter
So we come back to this strange state of affairs. While the direct sensual perception of the phenomenon tells us nothing as to its objective physical nature… and has to be discarded from the outset as a source of information, yet the theoretical picture we obtain [from instruments] eventually rests entirely on a complicated array of various information, all obtained by direct sensual perception.
One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.
It is typical of these cases that an indeterminacy originally restricted to the atomic domain becomes transformed into macroscopic indeterminacy, which can then be resolved by direct observation. That prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a "blurred model" for representing reality. In itself it would not embody anything unclear or contradictory. There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks