Nothing is fixed in this world
I took my children to Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) in Odaiba the other day.
There is a globe wrapped in LED panels hanging in the huge soaring lobby.
A bit too scary android ladies greeting.
There are various interesting things to check out on exhibit, however since I have interest in the quantum world, I went straight over to the elementary particles section.
The guide there and I chatted for a while, and what he put a special emphasis on was the ambiguity of the quantum world.
The basic condition of the quantum world is that nothing is fixed.
Mathematically speaking, this would be the world of imaginary quantity which is very hard to understand - the more we try to understand the more incomprehensible it seems.
According to researchers though, apparently we just have to accept the fact that nothing is fixed and all is ambiguous.
All is ambiguous because in the quantum world, a quantum can be immaterial (waves) or material (grain) with both possibilities existing at the same time.
In addition, only our consciousness determines in which form a quantum can be.
Furthermore, any and all matter including our bodies consist of quantum.
"Well, we just need to accept this fact. Hahaha!", the guide laughed it off rather philosophically.
True, since none of this makes real sense, frankly we just have to laugh it off.(^▽^;)
Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger however, was successful in writing an equation for this incomprehensible phenomenon.
It is called the wave equation, matching various results from demonstration experiments, making it the basic equation for quantum mechanics and basic principles controlling the micro-world.
Apparently, Schrödinger was quite an eccentric man. He tried so hard to deny quantum mechanics even though he was responsible for writing the wave equation himself.
Not sure if he suddenly thought "no way, it just doesn't feel right" or "this can't be true" but it is quite understandable to want to deny quantum mechanics, for even a genius like Einstein did too.
In order to attack quantum mechanics, Schrödinger invented a thought experiment called Schrödinger's cat - a paradox - highly regarded by a select few.
Let me try to explain in an extremely simple format.
First you put a cat in a box.
In the box is a device with 50% ratio of releasing toxic gas after a certain period of time passes.
This thought experiment focuses on what could happen to the cat after a certain period of time.
The experiment never took place however, for doing it could have killed the cat.
From a commonsense perspective, the cat would survive if lucky, or would die if unlucky.
However with quantum theoretical (quantum mechanical) interpretation, both the dead cat and the living cat exist at the same time before confirmed by human beings.
What the hell?! - I can hear some say.
Would you not think that whether dead or alive should already be determined regardless of human confirmation?
I guess Schrödinger wanted to say the principle doesn't make sense at all, throwing a case of quantum behavior in a real life size even though he wrote the wave equation himself...again, quite strange.
Then a mathematician started telling Schrödinger that his equation is actually accurate.
This mathematician drilled down the wave equation with rigorous mathematics and proved that the dead cat and the living cat do exist at the same time before humans beings open the box and confirm.
He mathematically demonstrated the fact that nothing is fixed but only possibilities before human consciousness is involved.
Are we feeling uncomfortable enough now ?