Saturday, July 21, 2007

Schrodinger's Happy Feet

A friend asked me why I like watching depressing movies. Depressing? He was referring to some of the foreign films that I watch. Well I watch them cause they are realistic (I watch comedies too). We had seen this movie called 'Central Station', which he felt had a lot of depressing things in it. On the other hand I felt it was overall a very warm movie. He then mentioned that he likes to make people happy and thats why he likes watching happy movies. Which I feel is fine and yes thats the way it should be. This friend is a nice chap and I like hanging out with him. But then again if you really want to make people happy then you need to understand their unhappiness, however depressing it may seem. You can't have one without the other..

Which leads me to my variant of 'Schrodinger's Cat'. Confused, here is an explanation for a sixth grader. A sixth grader ???? Ah well someone even wrote a poem about it :-)

So here it is, the "Schrodinger's Happy Feet" paradox:
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Take a pair of Happy Feet and put them into a glass shell (chamber), along with a device containing a vial of life-changing quantum events. In that chamber are also a few radioactive atoms. If even a single atom decays, a relay mechanism will be triggered which will in turn trip a hammer which will break the vial and the quantum events will be realized, resulting in the metamorphosis of the 'Happy Feet' to 'Sad Feet'. Before an observer looks into the glass chamber, no one knows the state of the feet, cause we cannot know whether the atom has decayed, the vial broken and the quantum events occured. From the outside the feet appear happy. So at that point the feet are in a kind of nether state; because of a superposition of possibilities; simultaneously happy and sad. According to the "many worlds" interpretation, Schrodinger's experiment splits the universe around those feet into two parallel worlds; one happy the other sad. Each subsequent quantum event resulting in those imaginary lands; darklands, never never lands, wonderlands and real lands. Its only when an observer opens the chamber and looks deeper into it would they realize if the feet are happy or sad.

The observer's paradox lies in the fact that the feet are happy or sad if and only if an observation is made in the first place. The observation affects an outcome. If the observation is not made, you will never know if the feet are happy or sad.



In between darkness and light, sadness and happiness.



White support






Overshadowed





Said the old feet to the young feet








Happy feet, sad feet... seen it all.


9 comments:

Charuta said...

hmm..u just underscore my point when rather i was hoping for the answer in your blog after our scraps :P -- how u do you define they are Happy or Sad to define change, in your words, how do you take an observation?

Alistair D'souza said...

you make an observation by delving into the glass chamber instead of just making a judgement/classifying someone from the outside.... the problem here is that usually an observation affects the behaviour of the observed... the observation affects an outcome... which is the observer's paradox...

also you need to make sure that you give them the freedom to be whosoever they are...

about the feet... its just a metaphor...

about the transition... its pretty glaring.... what I tried to do here is to capture emotions thru hands and feet.... cause the mood you are in does percolate to your whole body... voluntarily or involuntarily...

Vaidehi Dongre said...

hey, i like to watch sad/depressing movies too, just for as u mentioned they are so realistic. being sad is like any other facet of life which cannot & shud not be avoided.

Etchen said...

I can still remember the first time I read Schrodinger's experiment...I felt rather anxious about the poor kitty hanging between life and death.
Provacative post-I think we all all cats of Schrodinger

Alistair D'souza said...

@ vaidehi and julieanna

yup we are all cats of schrodinger :-) happy at times and sad at times... you need to know both to understand ppl better..

Reema Banerjee said...

so u did it...finally!

Alistair D'souza said...

@ reema
well as of now its just in pics.... the whole thing seems to hae run out of steam.... or maybe others are doing stuff....

Goli said...

Alice the whole thing has not run out of steam.... there is lot of steam, but the road ahead looks little tuff....Efforts are on the go...

Hopefully sometime soon...

Alistair D'souza said...

@ goli
yeah... we need to do something...