Woah, careful with that joke! It’s an antique!
Maybe, but that’s my take on it. I’m pretty sure I’ve covered the Schrodinger thought experiment with an earlier comic, but the basics are this… The cat in the box experiment was meant to illustrate the paradox of states as it relates to the Copenhagen Interpretation. Which is to say, that in quantum mechanics, you’re dealing with a lot of “probabilities”, (as in electron clouds of probable positions as opposed to the cartoons of an electron orbiting a nucleus like a planet) but when you go to actually make a measurement (observation), it causes the thing you’re looking at to choose a state to be in. Basically, it’s that whole light argument where light acts like a wave until you observe it and it acts like a particle. This is because the wave is an area of probability while the particle is an exact measurement. Thus in the cat in the box experiment, the cat is not either alive or dead, but both! Well… until you make an observation and open the box, thus collapsing the wave and forcing one state to occur (so when you look, the cat has to be either alive OR dead, not both anymore). So… curiosity killed the cat!
Mind numbing I know, but this goes back to my fun little theory that “the universe acts like a program”. Like, not is. Just wanted to clear that up before everyone thought I was insane. Anyways, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, I mean, the universe obeys certain laws and physics to make it work, and isn’t that just what programming instructions are? Equations and crazy math? Anywho, the math of this can actually be associated to gaming! Think about any of the large world or long leveled games you play. Now, your computer doesn’t process the entire thing all at once. To do that, it would take a majorly big computer or make your graphics card burst into flames. No! What happens is that only what you see (observe) gets rendered (wave function collapsed). So as you walk through a corridor, everything behind the walls still exists as just programming fluff. Once you turn the corner, that fluff has to be rendered into something tangible.
When you apply that to physics, think of it the same way as a game. Light, for instance, travels as a wave and acts like a wave until observed. Apply our game programming metaphor and it’s just easier to compute a wave moving and interacting than it is to compute an infinite number of particles. So, when you look, the program renders the wave into a particle and now you have a measurement! Woot! Not a bad connection, huh? (just a point of clarification, when we say “observe”, it’s not computing this for the sake of us humans, rather any interaction is an observation… meaning an electron being fired at your atom is making it react and collapse the any uncertainty. Just so we’re clear about this… we’re not that special…)
Moral of the story, don’t look in the box cause you have a 50% chance of killing it.