The Austrian physicist's theory to explain quantum physics has been expanded and could help revolutionize computing systems.
Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s famous explanation of quantum physics – that a cat can be dead and alive in a box at the same time – has been used by scientists to illustrate the idea that quantum particles can be in many states at once.
But now researchers at Yale University have published a new addition to the theory with the help of a second cat and a second box – the second cat sits in a box with poison next to it with the poison only being released with the decay of a radioactive subatomic particle. The idea being that in quantum mechanics, particles exist in all states at all times until a measurement is made (opening the box) at which point the particle becomes a single state.
This, like Schrödinger’s cat, shows that the particles are decaying and not decaying at the same time while the poison is being released and not being released until the box is opened and the cat is either one or the other.
Confused? Well, lead author Chen Wang of Yale University, admits it doesn’t make any common sense.
“It’s understandable that people don’t understand it. You can’t understand it using common sense. We can’t either.”
The added dimension to the theory shows that two objects can be intimately linked despite considerable distance between them – something Einstein had previously described.
The added theory is important as the quantum mechanics play a big role in computing and has the ability for computers to simultaneously process vast amounts of calculations. At the moment, these processes are extremely fragile but the new vamped up theory could hold potential for systems to be more stable.
To understand more, the additional theory has been published and can be found in the journal Science.