On Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 05:10:34AM -0700, Nick Prince wrote:
> Well suppose the "device" triggers the flask smashing part of the
> detector apparatus depending on whether the electron is moving up and
> spinning up or vice versa as in my analysis. Also say it does this on
> recieiving a click from one of two geiger counters, one in the upper
> area and one which picks up electrons in the lower area.  The cat (or
> a human in the cat's place even) can hear a click whichever area the
> electron ends up in.  Moreover if it takes a while for the hammer to
> fall and hit the flask and this is all in full view of the cat  (there
> inevitably must be some  length time for the device to work which is
> why I pointed out the locally causal requirement) then the cat will
> know that it will die if it sees the hammer start to fall. It must die
> because as I have said all devices are assumed in the ideal system to
> "work properly" so the cat is in a cul de sac from the time it sees
> the hammer start to fall to the time it chokes on the gas - and it
> knows it! (or a substituted human would) . If you replace the ideal
> apparatus with non ideal systems then you can use something like the
> alternate evolutions to model the situation
> 

OK, this is different from the usual thought experiment. You have
engineered a cul de sac here. A QTI enthusiast will point out that
macroscopic devices working perfectly is impossible, of course. Just
because you hear the vial smash, does not entail you will die the next
second, just rather likely to!

BTW - this same impossibility of perfect devices really prevents you
from exploiting QTI to get rich from winning the lottery.

My point about the unitary evolution was that the clicking of the
Geiger counter is not a unitary process - and until you hear it, you remain in
superposition. 


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Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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