It is Erwin Schrödinger‘s 126th birthday today.
Google is celebrating the occasion.
I was thinking about Erwin and his cat two days ago. I was prompted by Nikita Bastian’s post titled The Schrödinger’s umpire’s call in Cricinfo’s The Stands.
Schrödinger’s Cat is a fascinating thought experiment that resonates particularly well with the decision review system in cricket. I liked Nikita’s post title as it amplifies the paradox of the Cat experiment.
In his discussion of The Odd Quantum, Sam Treiman includes umpires’ decisions in his discussion of quantum mechanics. He quotes Heisenberg (“we can no longer speak of the behaviour of the particle independently of observation”) and Bohr (“an independent reality can neither be ascribed to the phenomena or the agencies of observation”). Sam says of three baseball umpires:
- First umpire “I calls them the way I see them”.
- Second umpire: “I calls them the way they are”.
- Third umpire: “They ain’t nothing till I calls them”.
These positions make an interesting synthesis of entanglement in quantum mechanics and decision review.
I thought this tweet in Nikita’s post summed it up nicely: