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Accoring to the Wikipedia article Schrödinger's cat, the answer is yes. I really don't think so. I don't think Schrödinger's cat is a good example because in fact, it's not the case that it will with 100% probability die if and only if an atom decays. Let's instead consider the example of the homogeneous detonation of nitroglycerin where just a few atoms cause an explosive chain reaction. I think there is a way for it to function like it's in a perfect black box. I once read on the internet that for some black holes, it's possible to enter and then avoid reaching the singularity. To ensure that nothing other than the nitroglycerin container itself is affecting the nitroglycerin in any way, let's assume you're watching it from inside such a black hole and the nitroglycerin container is the only thing in the universe outside the black hole. There's no way it's not both exploded and unexploded just because you made a conscious observation because the information about your observation can't escape the black hole to tell its wave function to collapse. I think there's a total misunderstanding of what observation means.

I think this is a simplified model of what would really happen in that situation according to the Copenhagen interpretation. After enough time, a few atoms will happen to get into the right state after their wave functions all collapses and then trigger an explosive chain reaction at only one clear definite time and superposition really only exists at the atomic level. Isn't it only the many worlds interpretation and not the Copenhagen that predicts that the system is in a superposition of exploding at different times? Also, doesn't the many worlds interpretation predict that it is in superposition but not because you are observing it and your own observation puts you into a superposition of observing it explode at different times?

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    $\begingroup$ The cat is a bad detector for the quantum decay probability. But it draws attention. A Geiger counter would do the job. $\endgroup$ – anna v Sep 10 '18 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ @annav I already realized that. That's why I replaced it with the example of nitroglycerin where its explosion can be triggered just by a few atoms right next to each other happening to all go into the right state from quantum randomness. $\endgroup$ – Timothy Sep 10 '18 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ Cats are classical objects. Schrodinger is just emphasising the so-called weirdness of the quantum realm by reifying the quantum realm into the classical realm. Theres no quantum super-position for a dead and alive cat. $\endgroup$ – Mozibur Ullah Sep 10 '18 at 4:38
  • $\begingroup$ There's no need to bring consciousness into it. Standard Copenhagen does not require a conscious observer for a measurement to occur. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Sep 10 '18 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ Different interpretations of QM don't predict different outcomes. In fact, interpretations don't predict anything. It is QM that predicts outcomes. Interpretations are only people's attempts to rationalize the same results using different intuitive concepts. Interpretations exist only in people's minds as misnomers, but not a physical reality underlying QM. The deepest known level of reality is QM. There is no deeper level. Thus your question comparing "different predictions" of different interpretations has no meaning. $\endgroup$ – safesphere Sep 11 '18 at 6:02
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Entanglement does not require information to be transferred. Both possibilities exist simultaneously. Schroedinger's cat depends on the decay of a single radioactive atom,. The decay is described by a wave function, such that at each moment it is in a mixed state. Because the cat's life/death is coupled to the state of the atom, the cat, too, is in a mixed state.

An observer's state (I see a live/dead cat) is coupled to the cat's state, so the observer, too, is in a mixed state. That is what is missing in most descriptions of the Schroedinger's cat paradox: the mixed state of the observer. Two possibilities coexist: Observer sees a live cat, and observer sees a dead cat. The possibility "observer sees a cat that is both alive and dead" does not exist. Any measurement of the cat's state gives only one answer alive or dead.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't really understand. In the example where you're observing nitroglycerin except from flat space time and not from inside a black hole, do you mean the Copenhagen interpretation predicts that in the rare situation where all the particles in the system are entangled, the observer has 2 futures where it observes the nitroglycerin as having exploded and as observing it as not having exploded or do you mean that according to the many worlds interpretation, the nitroglycerin is in a superposition of exploded and unexploded? $\endgroup$ – Timothy Sep 10 '18 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Timothy I think you have your interpretations mixed up in this comment. One could even say, entangled (sorry I just had to do it). But seriously, I think you meant many worlds for the first case and Copenhagen for the second. $\endgroup$ – Aaron Stevens Sep 10 '18 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ @AaronStevens I already thought the Copenhagen interpretation predicted that the nitroglycerin could not exist in superposition of exploded and unexploded but then from what the answer said, after having read another web page that says entanglement can occur at the macroscopic level, I though maybe the Copenhagen interpretation predicted that in theory in might be possible for it to be in a superposition of exploded and unexploded if all the particles in the system are entangled with each other. $\endgroup$ – Timothy Sep 10 '18 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Timothy "the Copenhagen interpretation predicts that in the rare situation where all the particles in the system are entangled, the observer has 2 futures where it observes the nitroglycerin as having exploded and as observing it as not having exploded" This is actually a many-worlds interpretation. $\endgroup$ – Aaron Stevens Sep 10 '18 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ @AaronStevens Do you mean the Copenhagen interpretation predicts that all the particles in a macroscopic object can be entangled but never simulates muptiple noninteracting futures but according to the many worlds interpretation, there is a single universal wave function that is in a very ordered state at the time of the big bang and simulates a forwards arrow of time with time splitting only in the future direction after the big bang and a backwards arrow of time with time splitting only in the past direction before the big bang? $\endgroup$ – Timothy Sep 10 '18 at 18:50

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