Friday, November 21, 2014

Visuals, Cognition, and Schrodinger's Cat

I was thinking about Schrodinger’s Cat and how I don’t really understand Schrodinger’s Cat. It’s something that I am aware of and vaguely conscious of, but I do not understand. This is not necessarily unsurprising or uncommon, being not a quantum physicist and all. I decided to do a little bit of research and stumbled upon a TED Ed video that explains Schrodinger’s Cat through animation. It is a very short video and probably does not even scratch the surface of what’s going on with this cat thing, but it did help me understand more than I did previously. It did more for me in a 4-minute animation than an hour of reading did. Not to say there’s no value in reading about quantum mechanics, but the power of a visual is pretty substantial in understanding things that are completely out of your wheelhouse. The narrated video says a lot of the same words that I was reading and not grasping. The combination of words plus visuals was what made things make some sense. Visuals are able to convey things that words are just not capable of on their own. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I guess that’s true when it comes to quantum cats.

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