Viral ‘Schrödinger’s Cat’ Photo Has People Confused

We all love a good photo challenge. But there is one picture that is making the rounds on Reddit that really did confuse people.

Had it not been for the references I’d previously heard on shows like “The Big Bang Theory” or “Rick and Morty,” I probably would’ve been lost as well. But whose who are familiar with the work of Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, they’d probably get it right.

The photo features a tease of the proverbial Schrödinger’s Cat which was a thought experiment first thought up by Schrödinger in 1935.

Schrödinger’s cat from r/pics

For those not familiar with the paradox, Schrödinger discussed what he interrupted as a problem with Copenhagen’s interpretation of quantum mechanics as applied to everyday objects. The physicist then presented the idea of a hypothetical cat in a box that could be both alive and dead – something that is known as a state of quantum superposition.

Schrödinger further pointed out that in order for this to be possible, a random subatomic event would have to occurred while also not have occurred. Confusing, I know.

But the way that Schrödinger came up with the paradox was to imagine that a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source were all placed together inside a sealed box.

The interpretation of this imagined scenario is that the cat is thought to be either alive or dead but no one knows for sure because it can’t be seen, therefore it is both alive and dead.

While that has gone on to be a well-known scientific paradox, it also has become a viral picture on Reddit. And thankfully for this cat, he’s very much alive and out of harm’s way. It just so happened that he was sitting in the perfect spot in order to catch the reflection of the box. And it made the rest of the internet smile.

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Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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