Sunday, 27 April 2008

Schrodinger's cat continued...

This "painting" represents my understanding of the quantum probability of the assorted detritus on my studio floor. Because the stuff all has me in common it an be considered entangled and represented as a correlated supersystem (although still a subsystem of the entirety of the floor). As a supersystem, even though its components were scattered, it was in an eigenstate of lower entropy than if considered as individual "particles" in which case the combined entropy would have been higher still, however, by adding together the eigenvectors of the components by way of the aforementioned entanglement a lower albeit, still high entropy eigenstate could have been observed.
The "painting", then, represents a quantum leap to a new low entropy eigenstate of the supersystem and a collapse of its position wave function due to subsequent observation/measurement.
Even though the total entropy of the supersystem has deminished, the second law of thermodynamics is not violated because the total additional heat entropy of the universe has exceeded the accompanying decrease in gravitational entropy (achieved by the raising the altitude of the supersystem within the gravitational field of the Earth), which is to say that it took more heat energy to stick all the bits together than will be generated by the realisation of the potential gravitational energy that will be released when the stickytape gives up and all the bits fall back on the floor (entropy increases as homogenaity increases).
It is interesting to note that the position wave function of the system was preserved until I pressed the shutter release on the camera. The taking of the photograph equates with a measurement of the eigenstate of the system and reduces its potential value to unity; uncertainty is reduced to zero and the probability that it would be found as it was is realised.
Schrodinger's Cat's fate is, so to speak, sealed but whether or not the cat still lives can only be determined by opening the box and having a look; for we still cannot know whether, in the time it took for the supersystem of studio floor components to jump to a lower entropy eigenstate and be subsequently measured, an atom in the uranium sample in the other box had decayed and released the photon that triggers the geiger counter that activates the hammer in the cat's box that smashes the glass vessel that contains the prussic acid that dissolves the cat.


  1. What is also interesting to this physical stuff is the parallel universe of mind (soul) - the non material exerting a force on your physicality to move the objects. Does the non-physical exhibit any signs of entropy - and what system does it belong to? Or is the cat the only thing in the box? Does information devoid of it's carrier have any force in the universe or even exist? Does the connotation we have about the artwork effects it's physicality? Is a thought a burp in the universe?

  2. Lets break it down and address this comment one bit at a time:

    What is also interesting to this physical stuff is the parallel universe of mind (soul) - the non material exerting a force on your physicality to move the objects. Does the non-physical exhibit any signs of entropy - and what system does it belong to?
    In what manner is the mind (soul) parallel to the physical universe and why must it be considered “non material”? Thought requires considerable amounts of energy - levels that fluctuate according to the degree of mental activity - and generates heat in the process. This heat - like any other heat - can be described by physical laws that do not depend on parallel universes or non material phenomena. It seems then, that the mental activity required to knock together the painting is very much a part of the same physical realm as the painting, the painting activity and that the thought processes involved. All are entangled physical processes not only in the relationship between artist and art but also as complying with the fundamental laws of physics.
    There is an increase in local thermal entropy associated with the muscular effort required to raise the constituents of the painting (work) within the gravitational field of the earth and also in the energy used in the thought (“non-physical”) processes that drive the muscles and solve the problems associated with getting all the components to stay on the painting (maintain their lower state of gravitational entropy). All are parts of one entangled supersystem governed by one set of laws.

    Or is the cat the only thing in the box?
    This is the central question and can be interpreted as stated in which case the answer is no; there is also a hammer, a release mechanism activated by a Geiger counter and a bottle of prussic acid (plus air and energy etc). Secondly it can be taken in the context of the previous statement where-in it becomes circular, appealing to the unproven assumption thet the mind/soul requires a parellel universe to exist and thirdly it can be taken as an appeal to faith in things unseen - in which context it has no rational answer.

    Does information devoid of it’s carrier have any force in the universe or even exist?
    Emphatically not. Information is integral to the carrier - all particles are carriers of information and no information exists without a carrier. Neither is information lost, it is mearly redistributed; conservation of information (which has long been a problem for evaporating black holes - what happens to the information contained in a black hole when it finally evaporates? I think, myself, that it can be explained by ultimate time dilation).

    Does the connotation we have about the artwork effects it’s physicality?
    If this alludes to the meaning that we attach to an artwork, involving context, fore-knowledge, preconceptions etc. Yes it does, because the artwork itself in not a perfectly sealed independent system - it is entangled with the primary observer(s) - the mind(s) of the observer(s)/spectator(s) and will carry different information to each observer in accordance with their being.

    Is a thought a burp in the universe?
    A thought has a past and a future light cone - it propogates at the speed of light and is contained in the wave form of the radiation emanating from the brain.

  3. In the same way that art has little to do with science, it is my opinion that religion also has very little to do with science; this after all is what we are really talking about here, mind I also might add that I think art has much in common with religion. This is probably why I have never really seen myself as an artist, more a person who likes to rearrange the interesting bits I find.

  4. art has little to do with science... I don't know about that, surely art is a personal expression of the way in which an individual perceives and interprets the world and science is the tool that facilitates our understanding of the world. The two go hand in hand; I cannot yet do the maths required to walk in the frontier of human understanding and require an intermediary to explain the theories to me in language that I can understand. Some of this is still so complex that I need to express it in an alternate manner so that I can fully grasp it. I naturally think in pictures not advanced calculus but both are valid interpretations of the observable. If I attempt to write an essay on quantum mechanics the result will be something that is filtered by my comprehension of the subject... no different to if I do a tap-dance about quantum mechanics. Science is a tool, art in whatever form from calculus to whistling in the dark is the expression of the information revealed by the tool.
    Religion is faith and religious art is, just like any other art, an expression of understanding.
    If you rearrange the interesting bits you find you are doing art and are therefore an artist. You are the filter that turns the bits that you find interesting into something that others might find interesting. You raise mundane personally interesting bits to a level of spectacle accessible by a greater audience.

  5. There is some connection no doubt, it probably depends on the the kind of art we are talking about. In the initial stages I guess all three(art religion and science) start with an idea, but where they go after this varies. It seems to me that they can be drawn together in different mixes depending on the will of the individual. If you are a scientific type you might want to support your religion with facts, likewise if you are an artistic scientist you might deal more with broad concepts as Einstein did. Though the artist can move in almost any direction that interests, there is no wrong subject for art and no wrong way to make it. But for me personally I see art and religion as being primarily about imagination where facts are rubbery tools, but science is concerning itself with how things work in the real world and the figures must be right. I know this is a simplistic view and I am aware that there are many crossover points between these three disciplines, valid and not.

  6. Religion is like science without the burden of proof

  7. Science is like religion without the proof of burden.

  8. If art isn't fun its work and then you only do it if you get paid which I don't, so I'll go for fun then maybe one day someone will pay me to have fun.


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