Erwin Schrodinger Honoured With Google Doodle Showing Quantum Cat

Erwin Schrödinger the Austrian physicist who developed theories of quantum physics is honoured today with a Google’s doodle. Born 12 August 1887, Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger, was an Austrian physicist who developed a number of fundamental results in the field of quantum theory, which formed the basis of wave mechanics: he formulated the wave equation and revealed the identity of his development of the formalism and matrix mechanics.

The Erwin Schrödinger Cat which is prominently displayed in the illustration was the main tool used to explain his theories of apparent conflict between, what quantum theory tells us is true about the nature and behavior of matter on the microscopic level and what we observe to be true about the nature and behavior of matter on the macroscopic level, everything visible to the unaided human eye.

The Erwin Schrödinger Cat theory puts a cat inside a steel chamber, along with a device containing a vial of hydrocyanic acid. There is, in the chamber, a very small amount of hydrocyanic acid, a radioactive substance. If even a single atom of the substance decays during the test period, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer, which will, in turn, break the vial and kill the cat.

Since we cannot know, according to quantum law, the cat is both dead and alive, in what is called a superposition of states. It is only when we break open the box and learn the condition of the cat that the superposition is lost, and the cat becomes one or the other (dead or alive). This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer’s paradox: the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that the outcome as such does not exist unless the measurement is made, that is, there is no single outcome unless it is observed.

Erwin Schrödinger was presented with a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933 and was also awarded the Max Planck Medal in 1937 for his contributions to the advancment of modern science.

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