The "brilliance" of QM
- Well, here's why they should never put an 'I' in front of "QM." Man, I just
"Schrödinger's cat illuminates something sticky at the heart of quantum
mechanics. The most successful physical theory of all time, it has been
used to construct or understand everything from lasers to snowflakes. But
pure contradiction lies at its heart, because in the quantum world particles
can be in multiple locations simultaneously, and doing incompatible things,
and in multiple states, and acting in ways that make you wish you were not a
quantum theorist. This is called 'superposition'--and superposition
persists until somebody looks into the cat box, atwhich point the
possibilities collapse into something real and classical--something we can
hear, touch, feel, see, and maybe even understand.
"According to quantum theory, superposition should be possible at any scale,
but in the real world, things like keys, cats, and cars don't bilocate. If
quantum theory holds true at the tiny scale of photons and electrons, when
does it stop working and why?"
(Jill Neimark, "Save Schrödinger's Cat," SCIENCE & SPIRIT, 2002;
I've got a possible - and, surprise-surprise, *logical* - answer for Ms.
Neimark: Maybe QM "stops working" at the macro-level because it _never
worked at all_. One of the hallmarks of a bad theory is the continual
addition of implausible adjustments to force the theory to fit the data. If
you insist on doing that, then *of course* your theory is going to become
the "most successful physical theory of all time"; how could it *not* become
that if you keep padding it with ad hoc components to stretch its
But that hardly means you've proved anything. If "pure contradiction lies
at its heart," then quite simply QM cannot be a true model of reality. The
notion of superposition is *logically impossible*. If a theory leads you
directly into the logically absurd - then, hello, why wouldn't you come up
with another theory...? Why on earth has the Scientific Establishment
embraced a logically impossible theory?