Berlin: Julius Springer, 1935. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT OF ERWIN SCHRODINGER'S SEMINAL THOUGHT EXPERIMENT KNOWN AS "SCHRODINGER'S CAT," present here in all three papers.This is not an ex-library copy.
In May of 1935, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen’s published a paper (the famous EPR paper) on quantum entanglement that argued, in part, that quantum mechanics was not a complete physical theory. After its publication, and in a series of letters between Einstein and Schrodinger, Schrodinger became intrigued by what Einstein believed was an absurd contradiction in the application of Heisenberg and Bohr’s Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics to the world of tangible objects.
The experiment Schrodinger designed – as famous in physics as it is in philosophy -- illustrates the conflict Einstein and Schrodinger perceived between what quantum theory argues is true about the nature and behavior of matter on the microscopic level, and what we observe to be true about the nature and behavior of matter on the macroscopic level. Rather than an everyday object Einstein had discussed, however, Schrodinger applied his depiction of the absurdity of the Copenhagen interpretation to something living – to a cat.
In the experiment, Schrodinger wrote: "A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter, there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small that perhaps in the course of the hour, one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges, and through a relay releases a hammer that shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts."
To Schrodinger, the Copenhagen interpretation insinuates that the cat remains both alive and dead until the box is opened. "Schrödinger did not wish to promote the idea of dead-and-alive cats as a serious possibility; quite the reverse. The thought experiment serves to illustrate the bizarreness of quantum mechanics and the mathematics necessary to describe quantum states. Intended as a critique of just the Copenhagen interpretation, the Schrödinger cat thought experiment remains a topical touchstone for all interpretations of quantum mechanics. How each interpretation deals with Schrödinger's cat is often used as a way of illustrating and comparing each interpretation's particular features, strengths, and weaknesses" (Wikipedia). Item #1655
CONDITION & DETAILS: Berlin: Julius Springer. 4to (10.5 x 7 .75 inches; 262 x 194mm). 870pp. This volume is NOT an ex-library copy and there are no stamps whatsoever. Rebacked in black with a paper label at the spine; marbled paper boards. Slight toning to a few pages. Very good condition.