Happy Birthday (or not)

Today’s Google Doodle, reproduced below, directs us to honor physicist Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961) on the occasion of the 126th anniversary of his birth. How many of you recognized that?

S's Cat

The dead and living cats in the box should have been a dead giveaway as to the subject.  Schrödinger formulated a wave-equation that accurately gave the energy levels of atoms. It formed the basis of the work that would earn him his Nobel prize in physics in 1933. He subsequently and repeatedly criticized the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics by using the paradox of what would become known as “Schrödinger’s cat,” a thought experiment designed to illustrate the problem of applying quantum mechanics to ordinary objects, resulting in a contradiction with common sense. The scenario posits a cat that may be both alive and dead, depending on an earlier random event. Happy Birthday (or not).

S's Cat2

 

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