Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quantum Superposition and Daisy

"Sometimes we're on a collision course and we just don't know it. Whether it's by accident or design, there's not a thing we can do about it."

If you've never seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, watch this scene called Daisy's Accident

Everything in life is a collision course towards every other moment. Last week I stumbled on the theory of quantum superposition that has something to do with an Austrian physicist's cat in the explanation. It is mindblowing. It makes you question how things we think are certain and set actually work and if we are wrong about them. 

For example, there's the double slit experiment. Light and matter (?) act one way on their own but when humans try to measure them they behave differently. Scientists have loosely decided that the very act of observation causes them to behave another way than unobserved. Google it but prepare for a rabbit hole. 

Sometimes I try to control life. Who doesn't? But I can get cripplingly controlling and fall into the more normal concept "analysis paralysis" where you over analyze situations to the point you never make a decision. Life goes along whether you observe it and participate in it or not. Accidents happen regardless of how you live. You can live in a box in your house and stray bullet could hit you or a piano could fall through the floor above you. You can smoke six packs a day and Evil Knievel your way through life and live to a hundred. 

As I make a list to pack and prepare for leaving for New Zealand I wonder how Shrodinger's cat and the double slit experiment applies to daily life. That if you try to observe and control life too much, maybe it behaves differently, or no differently and leaves you wasting time and energy overly concerning yourself with it. Does it even matter if the cat is dead or alive in most situations? Is worrying about it going to affect it? Well, perhaps...but let's not go there. For now with what we know of the world, it doesn't. 

Daisy's accident happened because everything she did for her entire life led up to that moment, the same way everything else in life happens. We think a lot of flash changes in life are freak accidents when really, being hit by a car is as normal as opening a gum wrapper. Brilliant minds that hash and conceptualize pre-destination and string theory are necessary for us as humans, but in daily life you can make yourself crazy. We live in a world of variables with results that vary from happy coincidences to devastating moments that ruin our lives in an instant. 

Observing and analyzing life is no way to live, I've learned that much. Based on all this, I've concluded two things:

Theory A) the act of actively observing and measuring light and matter pass through the double slits of your own life changes the outcome only in that it makes you miss out on life 

Theory B) the act of passively seeing light and matter pass through the double slits causes no change to life because every moment is a collision course towards every other (see Daisy's Accident). 

Mostly, I've realized how little I understand physics and still don't care for cats and am working out the kinks in those theories.