Thursday, January 26, 2012

Schrodinger's Cat and My Frustration for Cards

The last of my diamond giveaway codes didn't give me squat. I am frustrated with the whole thing, for 2012 I think I will sell my codes on ebay...After I calmed down, I realized I was upset because I looked forward to entering my codes all day. I waited till after dinner and after I put my kid to bed, just to be let down. Getting emotional about cards is stupid, so I starting thinking about it more scientifically. I have been thinking a lot about the human desire to purchase baseball cards in packs, not knowing what could be inside. The thought that a pack could be a hit, a pack could have something great inside. The odds are printed on every pack, and we don’t care about the odds. Baseball cards seem to give the sense that the average man can have a lucky day, much like the lottery. Regardless of what item we are considering, we are faced with adversity. We want the item, regardless of the possibilities of what’s inside, cost, and the desire to find something greater than anticipated. Buying a pack of cards is truly based off human emotion and desire. Even when seen from an entrepreneur’s point-of-view. Does this pack yield cards that can be used for profit? If you go about it as a statistical standpoint, you still don’t know specifically which pack yields a hit card, rather one is aware that one of them will contain a hit card. When you start to think about this situation, Schrodinger’s cat came to mind. Erwin Schrodinger, an Austrian physicist, and a founder of quantum mechanics once proposed a thought experiment. Schrodinger suggested that in his experiment a cat could be alive and dead at the same time. He suggested a cat be placed in a sealed box containing a poison, Geiger counter, and rigged hammer. The radioactive poison had the potential to breakdown within one hour, making it unstable and deadly to the cat. However, in one hour the poison could not break down, and the cat could be ok. If the radioactive poison decayed, the Geiger counter could measure this, releasing a mechanism and hammer breaking the poison gas vile, and killing the cat. His theory was that the cat existed in a state in which it was alive and dead simultaneously. You would never know unless you opened the sealed box, yet influencing the experiment. The theory applies to a pack of baseball cards. Every pack of baseball cards contains a hit card and no hit card at the same time.  Until we open/feel the sealed pack, the pack contains a relic and no relic. Though Schrodinger’s cat is just an interpretation of quantum mechanics, the Copenhagen interpretation clarifies, we know exactly what is inside when we open the pack. In our minds, every pack we buy has a hit card in it, thus we buy them with great anticipation. At the same time, our mind knows that there is not a hit card inside, yet be buy it anyway. This the a pretty good example of Copenhagen interpretation and Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment. So, next time you are about to tear into a pack of cards, think about the quantum mechanics behind it and go easy on the cat.

1 comment:

  1. I rarely understand anything about quantum physics and yet I love it just the same. Thanks for combining two of my interests.