Schrodinger's Quantum Kittens
- Alan Moore was in the following:
Robin Ince examines Schrodinger's Cat, the paradox at the heart of
quantum physics, and discovers its influence on science and popular
culture. Fifty years after the death of Nobel laureate Erwin
Schrodinger, the quantum mysteries of his cat-in-a-box paradox still
continue to drive physicists in research today. Can a living thing be
both alive and dead at the same time?
Schrodinger's experiment was an almost playful creation, but one that
stabbed at the heart of the 1930s physics establishment. By the 1950s,
US physicist Hugh Everett concluded that, indeed, both a dead cat and
an alive cat can exist, but in separate universes. His 'Many Worlds'
theory inspired authors, from Philip K Dick to Philip Pullman.
Robin follows in the Austrian physicist's footsteps to Oxford
University, where Schrodinger was once a fellow, and unearths some
original archive at Magdalen College. Physicist Sir Roger Penrose
speaks about its impact on quantum theory to this day. Why has
Schrodinger's Cat gained such currency not just in science but popular
culture? Writer Alan Moore tells how it created a new wave of 1960s
So why has Schrodinger's Cat caught the imagination of non-scientists?
How is it misinterpreted and used to explain mankind's many unknowns?
What is its place at the cutting edge of quantum physics? Robin meets
today's physicists and thinkers who still tangle with the idea. And we
find, no doubt, that Schrodinger's Cat (in all probability) is very
much alive today.
Producer: Dominic Byrne
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.