Kel just called. Somehow he mentioned Schroedinger's cat. Rang a giant bell that I could not locate. From what I gathered, the cat is both alive and dead when the box is closed; if I were to open the box, I would be forcing a state on it, ie it will be either dead or alive. But then, why would I want it to be BOTH alive and dead? :p
Apparently this has to do with wave function. Oh dear, this maths major is completely useless now.. Kel's explanation fell like water on a hotplate.. I simply could not understand how the cat's state could be explained by Ax = ax*!! Oh, A is the operating matrix, a the eigen value, x the eigen vector. Supposedly.. well, I won't even try to relate his explanations!
He then tried to give me an analogy - btw, I was vetting his literature review on using analogies to teach earlier - to illustrate the Schroedinger's point. I had to imagine him outside a closed room where I was in. In the room, I looked into the mirror and decided that I was both pretty and ugly. Outside the room, Kel didn't know if I were pretty or ugly. But when he opened the door, he would decide if I was pretty OR ugly.
Ahhh, I now see how the cat can be both breathing and cold :) But I still don't understand the Ax = ax thing :p
Just find it odd that he should make such an analogy when I was just writing about myself being a cat.. Coincidence infers a good day! Be happy, peeps! :)