Schrodinger‘s cat and her laboratory cousins

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In this paper I first briefly review the apparently bizarre consequences of attempting to apply quantum mechanics consistently to macroscopic bodies in certain kinds of situations (the ‘Schrodinger’s Cat’ paradox). The paradox results from the assumption that the linear superpositions of macroscopically distinct states, which are unambiguously predicted by the formalism, do indeed exist in nature. Until recently, this assumption was experimentally untested. However, recent advances in techniques of microfabrication, cryogenics and noise control have opened up the possibility of indirect and possibly even direct tests, in particular in superconducting systems incorporating Josephson devices. I describe some of these tests, review the current experimental and theoretical situation and discuss the implications of various possible outcomes to the experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-598
Number of pages16
JournalContemporary Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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