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Superpositions and the Wikipedia state - Think of a Number Between Everything and Two [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Superpositions and the Wikipedia state [Sep. 19th, 2010|02:34 am]
The most idle hour within my 8-hour toil is the one before my shift ends. This is because by that time, I have already submitted my tracker of shiznits (does not want to explain or go any further than “shiznits”) and refuse to make updates so as not to mess-up the next-day tracker (or ok, just too lazy to do it) thus, a perfect time to divulge in a gratifying act of world wide web surfing.

Usually, I read Wikipedia. I firmly believe it is a convenient tool (oh-so-convenient I suppose) to learn tidbits of almost everything within the known universe. It might not be accurate, but decent enough for everyday chitchat.

I reached Schrödinger's Cat link and found myself reading away. I remember, this has been mentioned, if I’m not mistaken, in Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking - one of my favorite readings even if some chapters are headache-inducing. I like reading stuff bigger than me, trying to test if I can actually comprehend it. It tickles my mind. Although, I do not currently possess a grandiose intelligent argument regarding Schrödinger's Cat so I would rather not you expect something of which I am not capable of. I prefer mostly to just revel in its wonderfully crafted absurdity in which I think what you are going to get from this entry. Ok, then.

So, (assuming you have searched for or is familiar with the concept) is the cat dead or alive? This very question states what they call a superposition – that state where everything is possible. Reality unfolds once the box is opened. Imagine a branching of the events – the “dead cat” event and the “alive cat” event. You open the box, you, as an observer, can only continue with one branch. Superposition is the event even before the branching starts. We reach this state for almost every single point or smallest fraction of period in our lives.

(Must I wear jeans today or that frilly dress?
Must I take the bus or walk?
Must I gawk at him or not?
Must I marry her or not?)

I like this idea a lot. Reminds me of the film, Mr. Nobody (Really nice film btw). Everything is floating in every possible angle and probabilities, in piles of superpositions atop of piles of superpositions atop of another pile and so on. We are a factory of superpositions! By the time we were born, this is the dawn of millions and millions of superpositions initiated by how every action will be executed by you and things and people surrounding you. Just imagine the very point at which the Big Bang starts. Imagine how much “branches” we have now. Lots. Crazy lots of dimensions of “could or would-have-beens”. It is just plain amazing and scary at the same time.

I wish I’m better at Math or weren’t too lazy solving those practice math problems as a student. I really like Physics and Astronomy but here I am struggling to understand the concept of qubits and wave functions. In fact, I don’t really understand them, maybe just a slight idea. This is what limits me and sometimes frustrates me. When I am at the peak of curiosity and admiration and long to learn more, the deeper I want to know, the less I would understand. I’m stuck with Wikipedia knowledge. Or barely. No, let’s term it as Wikipedia state, which I want to define, as just something general. A little bit of everything. Frustrating. It’s a gist. I want the whole film. Not the synopsis. But it’s difficult. Learn Math. Enroll in Physics. ( I did. I gave up. I’m not “equipped”.) But then, there is this Einstein quote: "Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.” True enough. I really like this guy. :)

However, even with all of these esoteric equations I encounter in the middle of my search for knowledge, I appreciate the efforts of scientists, researchers and writers who put effort in offering a palatable and digestible piece of simple explanation for every complex theories and concepts we have. Sometimes, we all just want to know and understand. Sometimes we just can't get enough. We are just so hungry for knowledge we can devour an elephant. Schrödinger's Elephant.