I’m sure many of you are familiar with Schrödinger’s cat. Those of you who aren’t, Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment devised by an Austrian physicist to explain one of the peculiarities of quantum mechanics – that a particle can exist in many different states at once but is forced into one state or another simply by the act of being observed.
Schrödinger imagined a cat in a box with a vial of poison. The vial may, at random, break out the noxious poisons within and kill the calamity-struck kitty. However, you can’t see inside the box so without opening it up, there is no way to know if the vial has broken and finished the forsaken feline. The key point is that while the mistreated moggy is in the box, it may be assumed to be both alive and dead at the same time – only when you open the box and check do you know one way or another. The act of observing the cat forced it into being one of its two possible states.
Anyway, that’s Schrodinger’s cat.
On an unrelated note, I have finished my medical finals, and in a couple of weeks, I get the results.