We try to bring you interesting stories from the world of science at Pop Geeks, but sometimes it’s nice to remind ourselves that science can be fun. This video does that for me.
First, though, let’s recall the most famous kitty in quantum physics. Scientists, geeks, and people stoned out of their heads have mused since 1935 about Schrödinger’s Cat.
Schrödinger’s Cat is a thought experiment/paradox proposed by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in which a cat is sealed inside a box with poison and a radioactive material, and is useful in thinking about quantum mechanics. If an atom in the box decays the flask breaks and kills the cat, but according to ideas about quantum superpositioning in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, the atom’s state isn’t definite until one observes it.
That means that until the box is opened, that cat is both alive and dead within. Contrary to the popular belief of the geeks and stoners, Schrödinger’s Cat was not proposed in support of that interpretation, but instead as an absurdist critique of it.
But it’s also about a cat, and those tend to have strong opinions about the being and not being of deadness. Sarah Donner has written a hilarious rebuttal of the experiment from the cat’s perspective.
“In multiple states, at the same time, I’ll take the one, where I’m still alive,” the endangered kitty says, as imagined by Donner.
Donner also has the cat say it will chase the theory because it’s “just made of string,” a reference to string theory, and sings “I would not be in this box, with cyanide, If could call PETA in 1935.”
The song is refreshingly sciencey and a bright light in an era when most of our entertainment is dedicated to making us just so, so stupid. At least we have the internet. There aren’t too many videos where a lot of the action is centered around writing equations on a whiteboard. And the video is filmed on location at the Princeton Quantum Physics Laboratory, so there’s major geek cred there.
The song is on Sarah Donner’s new album “That Is a Pegasus.” You can find more about Sarah Donner and the song at sarahdonner.com.