### Season Finale, Romance and Quantum Mechanics

In the season finale of the Big Bang Theory, Sheldon uses ShrÃ¶dinger's cat to "console" a worried Penny over her decision to go on a date with Leonard. He compares Erwin Schrodinger's 1935 thought experiment to Penny's chances of having a romantic relationship with Leonard: "either the cat is dead or alive".

Of course, ShrÃ¶dinger's cat was created as an attempt to show the absurdity of particular views on quantum mechanics at the time, collectively known as the Copenhagen Interpretation.

The thought experiment, roughly speaking, goes something like this: A cat is placed in a sealed box with a flask of poison. There is a 50/50 chance of a quantum mechanical system triggering the release of the poison and killing the cat.

Here's where it gets tricky. There is no way of knowing what happens to the cat unless the box is opened. If we open the box, we are taking a measurement of a certain state, and this act in itself causes the cat to be either dead or alive. If we never open the box, the cat can be thought of as both alive AND dead (think quantum superposition, existing as a superposition of multiple states). The quantum system doesn't have to conform to one state or the other if a measurement is never taken.

Sheldon thinks (from a scientific standpoint-not from any emotional opinion) that Leonard going on a date with Penny will either work, or will be a disaster.Their relationship can't be successful and be a disaster simultaneously.

Towards the end of the episode, when Leonard picks Penny up before the start of their date, he asks her if she's ever heard of ShrÃ¶dinger's cat. She respond yes, and he kisses her. The cat's alive.

1. Is there a time limt. I mean, if you do nothing then the cat will surely die. Leaving you with only one logical conclusion: open the box. So the whole concept of the cat being dead or alive is moot.
Relating this to quantum computing, leaves you with one result; on or off.
The time limit intrest me in that can the cat be saved shortly after the release of poison. Finally, is there a prosses in quantum theory where there is an on/off logic where modern detectors are unable to tell us the transition leaving us to conclude an on/off state at the same time

### How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

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### Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know: "What's going on in this video ? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

### The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream. (We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux ) Image Credit: St0rmz via Flickr Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?