Schrödinger's cat and Wigner's friend
Textbooks and printed lectures have still failed to give a clear solution to the Schrödinger cat problem [E. Schrödinger, Naturwissenschaften 23, 807 (1935)]. The solution is actually quite simple. Each observer has a different wave function. When Wigner’s friend [E. P. Wigner, in The Scientist Speculates, edited by I. J. Good (Heinemann, London, 1961)] observes the cat, his friend’s wave function collapses. When Wigner‘s friend tells me what he saw, my wave function collapses to probability 1 or 0 for the aliveness of the cat. It is a matter of Bayesian probability. Probability depends on information. The same is true for probability amplitudes. Each observer may have different information and thus different probability amplitudes. The collapse of the wave function is not a mysterious event; in fact, it is not an event at all. It is merely another way of saying that an observation has occurred. If you estimate the probability that your opponent in a poker game has the ace of diamonds, the probability changes drastically or “collapses” if you peek at his hand.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2016
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- Physics Essays has been established as an international journal dedicated to theoretical and experimental aspects of fundamental problems in Physics and, generally, to the advancement of basic knowledge of Physics. The Journal's mandate is to publish rigorous and methodological examinations of past, current, and advanced concepts, methods and results in physics research. Physics Essays dedicates itself to the publication of stimulating exploratory, and original papers in a variety of physics disciplines, such as spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, particle physics, electromagnetic theory, astrophysics, space physics, mathematical methods in physics, plasma physics, philosophical aspects of physics, chemical physics, and relativity.
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