Who killed Schrödinger's cat?


Schrödinger's cat has come to symbolise everything that is strange about the famously strange theory of quantum mechanics. Simultaneously poisoned and not poisoned, the cat exists in a superposition state, being dead and alive at the same time. That such superposition states should exist isn't the only counter-intuitive prediction of quantum mechanics, yet it is one of the most successful theories we have.

In this package of articles we give you an accessible introduction to this fascinating theory. There's no hard maths to wade through, just some interesting concepts to get your head around — so enjoy!

Who killed Schrödinger's cat? — Here's a quick introduction to the most famous cat in the history of science. We hope it whets your appetite for quantum mechanics!

Why quantum mechanics? — Why did physicists at the beginning of the twentieth century feel they needed a new — and strange — theory? This short article will give you an idea.

A ridiculously short introduction to some very basic quantum mechanics — Some general ideas of the theory in very few words and without equations.

Schrödinger's equation — what is it? — A closer look at Schrödinger's famous wave equation, which encapsulates quantum mechanics.

Schrödinger's equation — in action — Now it's time to see Schrödinger's equation in action, using a very simple physical system as an example. We'll also look at another weird phenomenon called quantum tunnelling. This article does contain some maths, but you can skip it if you like.

Schrödinger's equation — what does it mean? — Here comes the really interesting bit: how should we interpret the predictions Schrödinger's equation makes about the world we live in? From parallel realities to collapsing wave functions, this article explores the famous equation's potential meaning.

A brief history of quantum field theory — Quantum mechanics was only the beginning. After its development the challenge was to create a full physical theory taking into account quantum mechanics as well as other physical theories. It's a challenge that's still on-going. Find out in this series of articles.