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Attend your first Philosophy Cafe

Date
19 July
Time
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:
Venue
Adelaide City Library
77 Rundle Mall (Level 3, Rundle Place)
Adelaide, SA 5000 Australia
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Phone:
08 8203 7990
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WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE AT ADELAIDE CITY LIBRARY

Philosophy Cafe – Whatever happened to Schrödinger’s Cat?

Schrödinger’s cat was born in 1935 when physicist Erwin Schrödinger first offered a thought-experiment designed to challenge the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.

The thought-experiment concerns the fate of a cat, a cat kept in a box containing a flask of poison and a Geiger counter connected to a radioactive source. When an atom decays, the Geiger counter registers this event and tips the flask, thereby releasing the poison and killing the cat. So, is Schrödinger’s cat alive or dead? According to Copenhagen, the answer is ‘both’, because quantum systems such as atoms exist in a superposition of states until we measure them. No measurement, no definite outcome.

This is clearly daft, but it’s not easy to say where things have gone wrong. Let’s find out what really happened to Schrödinger’s cat and in the process discover where physicists are at with the so called ‘measurement problem’.

Presented by Dr Jonathan Opie, Senior Lecturer from the Philosophy Department at the University of Adelaide.

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