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If we left Schroedinger's cat in a superposition for a week would it begin to start smelling 50% like a dead cat and 50% like a living cat? Would the smell of death immediately disappear if we opened the box and saw that it was alive?

My hunch is that the box would need to be impermeable to smells but would like this confirmed.

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marked as duplicate by WillO, AccidentalFourierTransform, Cosmas Zachos, John Rennie quantum-mechanics Sep 27 '18 at 17:23

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    $\begingroup$ Indeed the box is a symbol for total isolation. If you smell a dead cat, it counts as a measurement that things don't go well for the cat. $\endgroup$ – Stéphane Rollandin Sep 27 '18 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ The box is just a metaphor. The setup is an abstraction since it doesn't provide for food, water, or oxygen in the box. Nor does the problem setup provide any time limits. So it isn't clear if the cat is in the box for an hour or a year. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Sep 27 '18 at 16:12
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Particle decays are computed in quantum mechanics and there exists a probability distribution for a particle to decay.

In my opinion the cat is an inhumane macroscopic detector of the basic quantum mechanical process, the probability of a particle decaying. A geiger counter would do the job of telling us if a particle decayed, the poison and the cat are just props to emphasize the probability distribution. The cat itself is alive until the poison is released, as it is a macroscopic object following classical physics equations.

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