APOD: 2022 April 24 – Split the Universe


APOD: 2022 April 24 – Split the Universe<br />

Discover the cosmos!
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is
featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2022 April 24

Split the Universe
Image Credit:
NASA, Erwin Schrödinger’s cat

Just now, before you hit the button, two future universes are possible.

After pressing the button, though, you will live in only one.

A real-web version of the famous
Schrödinger’s cat experiment
clicking the red button in the
featured astronaut image should transform that image into
a picture of the same astronaut holding one of two cats — one living, or one dead.

The timing of your click, combined with the
wiring of your brain and the millisecond timing of your device, will all conspire together to create a
result dominated, potentially, by the
randomness of quantum mechanics.

Some believe that your personally-initiated
quantum decision
will split the universe in two, and that both the
live-cat and dead-cat universes exist in separate parts of a
larger multiverse.

Others believe that the result of your click will
collapse the two possible
into one — in a way that could not have been predicted beforehand.

Yet others believe that
the universe is classically
deterministic, so that by pressing the button you did not really split the universe, but just carried out an action predestined since time began.

We at
APOD believe that however
you may feel clicking the red button, and regardless of the outcome,
you should have a thought-provoking day.

Or two.

Tomorrow’s picture: great carina

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Authors & editors:
Robert Nemiroff
(MTU) &
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman
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& Michigan Tech. U.

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