Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What does it actually mean that Schrödinger's cat is both alive and dead?

Here's my answer to the question as posted on the Quora forum:

Schrödinger's thought experiment about the cat was indeed meant to draw attention to the absurdity discovered in quantum physics, quanta being the particles that make up atoms and particles of energy such as electrons and photons (particles of light).

Physicists were saying that until a quantum is observed and measured it exists in a quasi state of realty. It is only our observation and measurement of quanta that causes them to condensate out of all their possible locations into a single location in time and space and take their place in our world as either matter or energy. This notion was being accepted by scientists but Schrödinger thought we ought to be looking for an explanation that made more sense. Things either are or aren't, exist or don't, are here or are there--just like his cat has to be either dead or alive, whether or not we can see it.

 

To this day, however, physicists believe in and follow the Copenhagen interpretation of the nature of quanta and all experiments seem to prove that it is true-- at the subatomic level, matter and energy do not exist in a tangible state until we observe them. In an effort to make sense of this, physicist Hugh Everett came up with his Many Worlds Theory that hypothesizes that everything that can possibly happen, does happen--in a universe somewhere. Each quantum exists in every possible state in every possible location at every possible moment in time although we can only observe a single state.

What does this mean for Schrödinger's Cat? It means that reality splits in two the moment the scientist opens the box to observe the state of the cat. In one universe the scientist finds the cat alive and in another universe, he finds the cat dead. This supposedly makes more sense than having a cat that is neither dead or alive until it is observed.

This also means in a universe somewhere I won the lottery, and in many others, I don't even exist. Do we get to choose which universe we observe and inhabit? Can we communicate with alternate universes? Is fate, choice or circumstance creating our lives, our worlds, our universe?

Here's the link to the original question, my answer and others' answers on Quora

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Eileen Schuh, Author
DISPASSIONATE LIES
FIREWALLS
FATAL ERROR

Schrödinger's Cat
THE TRAZ

Criminal Minds at Work: Convoluted motives

Criminal Minds at Work: Convoluted motives: But...why?   Although in Canada proving a motive is not needed to obtain a guilty verdict, knowing why someone committed a crime certain...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

In the Cold Light of Day



Please can I just say a big thank you to you Eileen for allowing me to guest on your fabulous Blog, Magic of the Muse.  We first met when your book, The Traz was published and from then on we have become special social media friends.



My latest book, In the Cold Light of Day was published on 26th October and I have once again returned to the sixties as the time frame to set my story. I just love to write about the times when mobile phones, lap tops, the World Wide Web and computers in general were nothing more than a futuristic dream. Set in the London area, In the Cold Light of Day is a moving story about gambling addiction taking the reader into a world of lies, deception and eventually fraud. This book, like all of my books, it is an emotional read, one that gets to the very core of the characters feelings. A little warning; readers may need a tissue close by. I admit to having felt emotional when I was writing this book!

You asked what inspired me to write about gambling. “The initial idea came to me after I had heard how a business man had lost everything he owned through gambling. A few weeks later I met a woman who had a family member who was addicted to internet gambling, again another story of unnecessary loss. From then on my story slowly began to unfold. It took several months to write and edit before I was happy enough to send it to my editor. Even then I was nervous about her reaction. Thankfully in the end I had nothing to fear as her final words to me after delivering my manuscript back were, “Good luck! You deserve it. I’ve loved this story.”

Here is the blurb….

Bertie Costain has worked hard all his life in the building trade and now owns his own London-based company. In 1967, approaching fifty and still unmarried he enjoys a playboy lifestyle, but when he meets Kitty, an attractive, wealthy widow ten years his senior, he swiftly proposes.

Swept off her feet, Kitty adores him. The happy couple seem to have it all, but Bertie has a secret. Kitty has no idea their home is mortgaged to the hilt, or that the many expensive gifts he brings her come out of his winnings at roulette.  Proud of his apparent success and ignorant of his gambling addiction, she happily loans him large sums of money, ostensibly for his business.

Convinced with each spin of the wheel that his run of bad luck will change, Bertie gambles for increasingly high stakes, falling deeper and deeper into debt until, facing financial ruin and with nowhere to turn, he resorts to fraud. As their lives begin to unravel, Kitty learns the horrifying truth.

In the cold light of day can their love survive the pain and destruction Bertie’s addiction has wrought?


Pauline’s Bio:


I am a Yorkshire girl from the UK, but have lived in several different locations over the years; Suffolk, UK, Surrey, UK and the Netherlands.  Today, I live on one of the beautiful islands of the Canary Isles with my husband and our two gorgeous rescue doggies.

Years ago I gained a BA (Hons) degree from the Open University, today I spend my time writing fiction. I have five books published, plus a 20 minute short festive story.
My passion is to write about events that happen in life and change everything for those involved as well as those caught up in the maelstrom. I want my characters to sit at your side, steal your attention and sweep you up in their story. Stories that will bring tears to your eyes, have you laughing out loud and sometimes, what they share with you, will stay in your hearts for a very long time.


Pauline’s Author Showcase Trailer




In the Cold Light of Day is available in Kindle from ALL Amazon stores (paperback to follow in the New Year)

Pauline’s Links…
Twitter: @paulinembarclay

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Adelle Laudan ~ Author: 4.5 Stars - The Traz by Eileen Schuh

NEW REVIEW! Adelle Laudan ~ Author: 4.5 Stars - The Traz by Eileen Schuh: The Traz —Book One of Back Tracker Series One girl, one undercover cop, one dangerous gang…   Thirteen-year-old Katrina is desper...

Eileen Schuh,Canadian writerwww.eileenschuh.com

Finding the words....


Assault: why it doesn't get reported

This blog is not a comment on the innocence or guilt of Jian Ghomeshi, nor on those who have leveled accusations against him.  NOTE: None of the allegations against Jian Ghomeshihave been proven. No charges against Jian Ghomeshi have been laid.

In light of the ongoing saga about Canadian media star Jian Ghomeshi and allegations against him of assault and sexual assault, I’d like to explore why victims of trauma often don’t talk about it—to anybody.

Although sexual assault plays no role in any of my novels (so far), violence does. In THE TRAZ 13-year old Katrina witnesses violence and her reaction to that terrible event—refusing to talk about it—is common. 

In media interviews with some of the women leveling accusations at Ghomeshi, they're asked if they reported the assault to police. To many of us, it adds validity to an allegation if a victim took such  action. If they didn't feel compelled to report it, it seems to increase our suspicions that it didn't happen or that the event must have been insignificant.

Well, here are some reasons victims don’t report assaults.

Victims don’t know what happened, so talking about it is impossible. Even first responders, trained to deal with unbelievable tragedies, often find themselves sitting at their desks after attending a traumatic event—pen in hand, unable to find a single word to put in their incident report, unable to say what they saw and did.

This is because we deal with reality by comparing what is happening to previous experiences. If something happens that doesn’t fit with anything we know about life, or anything we’ve ever before seen or experienced, we won’t have words for it and without words, we cannot analyze it, share it, or research it. 

Victims know what happened, but don’t have the words for it. This is often true of child victims with limited vocabulary, but also for others. Few of us are well versed in the violent side of life, or the sexual side of life. Our experiences with such things are limited, as is our vocabulary. Even though we may have watched violent TV programs or movies and have a visual appreciation of violence, those images are often devoid of descriptive phrases. Here’s an excerpt from FATAL ERROR where young Katrina is being questioned by police officers, Debra and Chad, about what she saw in that metal shed, one cold October night.

"You've never talked about it, have you?" Debra said.
Katrina shook her head.
"I could tell by the way you flinched every time Chad said 'murder.'"
"Words will make it worse."
"I don't think so, Katrina. If you can say the word 'murder,' you can say 'suspects, evidence, motive, opportunity.' These are tangible things to chase down and handle. If you just have a bunch of horrible feelings floating around, how do you do anything with them?"
Victims are afraid talking about it will ‘make it real’. It is easier to not talk about and pretend it didn’t happen. Here’s an exchange from FATAL ERROR when Katrina explains why she won’t talk about the trauma. (Excerpt: FATAL ERROR)
 "Words will make it real,” Katrina said.
Chad's eyes zeroed in on hers. "It's not words that make it real. With or without your words, the murder was real. I can show you the crime scene photos. You can see how real it was." His jaw clenched and unclenched. "There was real blood all over the real place, Katrina. I bet there were real screams too, weren't there?"
Rather than report an assault, victims dismiss the event, adopting their abuser’s explanation of what happened. If victims have had little experience with violence and are fearful of their abusers, dependent on them, or hold them in high esteem, they are in a very vulnerable state following an assault. This paves the way for victims to quickly believe what their abusers say happened. 

An abuser's explanation is often accompanied by threats, veiled or outright. Perhaps the abuser says it was an accident, it’s a secret, their career will be over if  the victim reports it, the victim’s career will be over. Perhaps the abuser says the victim deserved it, or that it was just rough sex, that it was nothing and that the police deal with enough shit, they don’t need to hear about this trivia.

They might say the victim won’t be believed because there are no marks, no evidence, and the abuser will be more credible than the victim because they have a higher station in life, powerful contacts, no criminal record, etc

The effect on the victim’s loved ones may also be brought up, such as telling the victim to consider what it will do to their kids if the assault is reported. Abusers often promise that it will never happen again. 

Abusers might not say a thing, continuing on as if nothing untoward happened, insinuating strongly that an assault did not occur, that everything was and is normal.

The news headlines and accompanying social media commentary about the Ghomeshi events are therapeutic for all victims of assault. We are all learning words for what happened, and with that we are increasing our understanding of things like date rape and domestic violence. 

With words, we can share what happened to us with others and get perspectives on the violent events in our lives aside from our own shallow understanding of events and those of the abuser. We can research our situation.

With words, we can finally face up to events and begin the process of healing.

Aside from all that, we’ve learned the necessity of speaking out, as soon as possible, not only for our own benefit, but to prevent the aggressor from victimizing others.

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