Review on a Science Fair Project and Paper Model of Schrodinger’s Cat

Category: Physics
Last Updated: 11 May 2023
Essay type: Reflection
Pages: 3 Views: 123

So It's Alive and Dead?

In our lives, we have goals: goals that in all our hopes we may achieve. These can be goals of intellect, goals of physical sports, or goals of human character. Now, different people have different standards and goals; sometimes a goal seems just too difficult or too big to accomplish. Yet, we still consistently see these large extraordinary goals that seems improbable to be accomplished. Why do we still see such high hopes and such? Well...

Back in the days of sixth grade, I was to do a science fair project on some discipline. At that age, I was fascinated by physics and decided to tackle a complex field of physics, quantum physics. We were allowed to work with another individual, and there was only one other of my peers who share the same interest with me: my faithful comrade whom people know him as Ari.

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Now, we were debating what our main topic should be when I recall something of interest from a book I was reading authored by the famous Stephen Hawkings. In one of his papers, he mentioned a thought experiment called "Schrödinger's Cat" which was devised by Erwin Schrödinger. In this experiment, a cat is inside of a metal bunker along with an unstable radioactive substance that, upon decaying, will cause a hammer to break a glass vial with a poisonous gas.. Now, the substance have a 50% chance to decay and a.50% chance to not decay.

According to quantum physics, this substance is in what is known as a "superposition", meaning the substance has decayed and has not decayed at the same time. When we look into the bunker, nature is forced to collapse on one reality. Now with this statement, it is somewhat agreeable as we are dealing with microscopic particles; however, what Schrödinger has done is that he proclaimed that since with the contraption will give the cat a 50% chance to live and a 50% chance to die, the cat is therefore also in a superposition and is both dead and alive, a highly questionable and controversial idea.

Thinking about this outrageously complicated experiment, I consulted with my partner about creating a presentation for this experiment in which he agreed. We asked our teacher if we could use the experiment for our presentation, and she permitted us, delighted to see us tackling such a complex physics concept. For about a week, we set off on researching the thought experiment and trying to grasp the ideas of superpositions, quanta, the quantum theory, and whatnot.

Along with the research, we had to present some physical model of sorts, so Ari and I decided to make a paper model to demonstrate the experiment. When we were finished, it was a crude paper contraption with a funnel that was connected to one large tube followed by two smaller tube. The idea was that we would drop a marble into the funnel which would fall into the tube and then into one of the two tubes. After testing the model several times to make sure it was about 50% chance to fall into either tube, we were quite content. It was fairly rudimentary, but it sufficed as the main point of our presentation was our lecture on the subject.

Now, our teacher had provided projects pertaining to science or the arts an opportunity to be presented to high school teachers, so Ari and I set up our model and display board in another room to be judged and observed by the high school teachers.

There, when anyone came to observe our board and project, we spewed out a flurry of words about our discipline (that is, physics), the experiment "Schrödinger's Cat", what it meant, and modeled it with our paper contraption. Amongst the high school teachers who viewed our presentation, it was successful. They were impressed with our vocabulary and comprehension of the concept with one stating she nearly cried after we were done presenting. Furthermore, our own primary school teacher was impressed as well, ranking us in 2nd place.

Goals are important to us humans. Goals tel a lot about ourselves. When attempting to accomplish a goal, it tells us about our strengths and weaknesses, our boundaries and capabilities. However, making and setting goals can tell a lot about ourselves as well. The goals people set can tell if they are willing or shy to try new things, confident or unsure about themselves, determined or unwilling to work hard. So why do we see all these great dreams? Well, I guess people just want to make something out of themselves.

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Review on a Science Fair Project and Paper Model of Schrodinger’s Cat. (2023, May 11). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/review-on-a-science-fair-project-and-paper-model-of-schrodingers-cat/

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