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Jun 3, 2019

Physicists can predict the jumps of Schrodinger’s cat (and finally save it)

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Yale researchers have figured out how to catch and save Schrödinger’s famous cat, the symbol of quantum superposition and unpredictability, by anticipating its jumps and acting in real time to save it from proverbial doom. In the process, they overturn years of cornerstone dogma in quantum physics.

The discovery enables researchers to set up an early warning system for imminent jumps of artificial atoms containing quantum information. A study announcing the discovery appears in the June 3 online edition of the journal Nature.

Schrödinger’s cat is a well-known paradox used to illustrate the concept of superposition—the ability for two opposite states to exist simultaneously—and unpredictability in . The idea is that a cat is placed in a sealed box with a radioactive source and a poison that will be triggered if an atom of the radioactive substance decays. The superposition theory of quantum physics suggests that until someone opens the box, the cat is both alive and dead, a superposition of states. Opening the box to observe the cat causes it to abruptly change its randomly, forcing it to be either dead or alive.

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