Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Twice in One Night??

Shroedinger's Cat made two appearances on prime time TV last night. Uncalm already mentioned the first reference on The Big Bang Theory, where Sheldon used the infamous cat quandary to help Penny decide if she should go on a date with Leonard (...the cat's alive... whee!!). Over on the Fox network, the nerdy "squint squad"(a sometimes affectionate term for the scientist characters) on Bones needed our favorite cat to help a team member understand the confusion over a crime scene. In typical Bones fashion, this shout-out to "geek-lore" was dropped in so seamlessly, that I had to hit the quick rewind on my DVR (the PhysicsBabe could not survive without her DVR).

Cam: "It's a pickle. The platform is a crime scene, but we need to access it to investigate the crime."
Angela: "A cake-and-eat-it-too situation."
Zack: "Is it a cake or is it a pickle?"
Hodgins: "It's Schroedinger's Cat."
Zack: "That makes sense to me. Cakes and pickles mean nothing to me."

The paradox of Schroedinger's Cat is one of those quirks of quantum mechanics that has really found a home in pop culture, but I can't decide if this is a good thing or not. While I love a good reference to physics in unexpected places (maybe TBBT isn't so unexpected), I sometimes worry that physics is the butt of the cat jokes...

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