Many Worlds Theory

Entry by: macdonald

17th November 2015
Many Worlds Theory

Hi darling! I'm home. How has your day been?
Oh, same as usual.
What's for dinner?
Mr Schrodinger called. You just missed him.
You know. The old gentleman who always uses the stairs because he doesn't trust lifts. He wants us to look after his cat. He's going to some sort of conference this weekend.
Ha, ha, very funny.
You're just trying to get your own back because you fell for my April fool that we'd managed to clone a baby woolly mammoth in the Genetics Lab. at work.
No I'm not. What's got into you? I like Mr Schrodinger. He's sweet. He sounds German.
Austrian actually.
If you say so. Anyway, I said yes of course.
So you're telling me we're going to look after this guy Scrodinger's cat?
Not going to. We are. It's in the kitchen.
Don't tell me. Let me think. It's in a box.
How did you know that? I thought it was strange, but he says the box helps to calm it down. It's very old as well and he's very worried about leaving it. You'd think he'd be retired at his age.
It'll be dead by now.
What are you on about? Did you stop off at the Crown and Mitre on the way home again? You're not making sense.
Quantum theory does tend to confuse people and I feel a bit confused myself.
Are you living in a parallel universe or something? And anyway, you knew he was bringing his cat. He told me.
No I did not. I knew nothing about it. It's a complete surprise. I don't even know the guy. Like you, I've only passed him on the stairs.
He told me he discussed it with you.
No way. And you say he's a gentleman? I've spoken to him once.
About his cat?
No, not about his cat. If you must know, it was about science.
What exactly?
The large Hadron collider.
Never heard of it.
It's that gigantic particle accelerator in Geneva. He was making funny noises when I was going downstairs a few days ago. I thought he was out of breath or having an attack or something but he was just laughing at a headline in the paper. "Will the large Hadron collider destroy the earth," it read and he showed it to me and I said something like 'funny thing to be laughing about' and he said 'Don't worry young man; the probability of total destruction is infinitesimally small.' It was a bit spooky actually. Even an infinitesimally small chance is too much of a risk as far as I'm concerned.
And he didn't mention his cat?
Not a word. I promise.
Well he left you a message.
He left you a message. I said you'd be home soon but his taxi was waiting for him.
What was the message?
He wrote it down and put it in an envelope with your name on it. It's probably a thank you note for looking after his cat. He has such beautiful handwriting.
Where is this message?
It's in the kitchen on top of the box.
On top of the box with the cat in it?
There's only one box in there.
Have you heard this cat moving? Has it been purring or anything?
No, I think it must be asleep.
Or dead.
Why do you keep on saying that? Why would it be dead? I'm sure that nice Mr Schrodinger would look after a cat properly.
I beg your pardon.
There's a tiny bit of radio-active material in the box and if just one atom of it decays, it's detected by a Geiger counter, which discharges, causing a tiny hammer to shatter a glass vial, containing a drop of cyanide. It would take less than a drop to kill a cat.
You scientists are so horrible!
It's not my box.
You're scaring me and are saying some very strange things. You must have been in the Crown and Mitre all afternoon. But I'm not opening the box if there's any cyanide about.
We can't leave a cat in a box in our kitchen all weekend.
You open the box then
Listen, the cyanide business is just a theory. There won't really be any.
Thank goodness for that. Will there be a cat?
Yes, but it might be dead.
I bet you it's alive. Loser makes the pasta. Let's open the box.
I better read Schrodinger's message first.
The box on the kitchen table was made of steel and had strange mathematical symbols scratched into its surface. There were two clasps on the front like those fitted on old fashioned suitcases and there were several small round holes drilled in the lid.
What does the message say?
'The mathematical framework of quantum theory has passed countless successful tests and is now universally accepted as a consistent and accurate description of all atomic phenomena.'
That doesn't sound like a thank you note. Perhaps he is going a bit senile. He is very old.
Are you ready?
The clasps clicked and the lid of the box sprung gently open to reveal a third option, not yet mentioned. There was no cat, dead or alive, just empty space and this space began to expand, escaping from the box and spreading into the kitchen and the young couple looked with surprise into the emptiness of the box and the spreading of the space and watched as the box melted away, followed by the table and when the whole kitchen began disappearing too, they understood that all material things including their own bodies were nothing more than shapes and variations in the structure of the space around them and when this realisation came to them, the illusion which had been their solid flesh only a moment before began to dissolve and when this dissolution had caused their flesh to be broken down into nothing more than subatomic particles their final thought, which came to them both at the same moment, was that each of them no longer had any meaning as isolated entities in the universe, but could only be understood as an interconnection between the preparation of this experimental essay and the reading of it.
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