Slavica Obradović & Vladimir Miladinović – Superposition of Schrödinger’s Cat

18.05. - 30.06.

Superposition of Schrödinger’s cat

A cat, a vial of poison, and a radioactive source are enclosed in a box protected from external influences. If the Geiger counter detects radiation (e.g., decay of a single atom), the vial shatters, and the poison kills the cat. The theory of quantum mechanics (Copenhagen interpretation, which is the most widespread interpretation) says that there is a moment of superposition when the cat is both alive and dead. Of course, if we look inside the box, we can see that the cat is either alive or dead. This raises the question of when exactly the quantum superposition ends, and one or the other possibility becomes reality. This is a description of Schrödinger’s cat, a thought experiment by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who wanted to point out the paradox, i.e. the conflict of theory with common sense, because the cat cannot be both alive and dead at the same time.

According to the theory of quantum physics, there is a moment of superposition when a particle can be in several different states at the same time. The quantum system remains in a state of superposition as long as there are no external influences that lead to “collapse”, which means that the particle “falls” into one of the possible states.

Individualism has taught me that I am important. I try to be unique, a bit different from everyone else, but to belong. I like to be with people similar to me. We are all special, we make sure that we are. We are surrounded by irrelevant characters. Extras. We are not interested in their stories…In other words, we are alive cats.
And then, suddenly, I realize that I am a supporting character. That it is irrelevant that I am special, because there are no longer enough of us, “specials”, to have any significance. I think I created the world, but I don’t really control anything. There are very few players left in the game we call life. There are NPCs all around us . There are so many of them, that such, generically created, characters are now running the game. I am not able to influence them, and they shape reality. I try to “play” the game of life, to influence the outcome, but I am inside the game, within the matrix, which is controlled by others. I guess I am a dead cat after all. And all “my” people are dead cats.

I hope that quantum physics is right and that there is a world where the superposition has not yet ended, and we are still living cats.

Curator and author of the text: Mia David

Cover photo: Vladimir Miladinović, © Eugster || Belgrade