Name: Lewis C.
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2002 8:17:44 PM
I am curious if it is possible to create a Kitty-Ket.
The first goal is to measure a complete set of quantum
observables (commuting observables) to get a complete quantum
description of a cat.
The second goal is to do this without killing the cat.
The desired end result would be a living cat in a pure quantum state
Is there some known observable that would be consistent with the
classical notion of the "body temperature" of the cat, so that the
cat would not be fried by hard radiation (or frozen, for that matter)
by the measurement process? I am envisioning measuring the state of
each atom and/or molecule, perhaps there is some other method of
measuring the cat.
I do not believe such a process is possible. From a quantum point of view, a
cat is the total of an enormous number of particles. Since most of an
animal is water, divide the mass of a cat by the mass of a water molecule.
Although the energy and momentum of individual molecules is at a quantum
level, the motion of a cat indicates the sum of all the energies and all the
momenta. When trillions of trillions of particles are added together, the
uncertainties of the sums are small enough to be insignificant. To attempt
to express a wave function of a cat, you would need trillions of trillions
of wave functions as well as interactions between the wave functions.
Measurements of "cat qualities" would at best tell you the average
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012