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Installation: Paint, Acrylic on Plastic, Sound, Other.
Yurii Yermolenko, Green-Grin Quantum Superposition Of Schrödinger's Cat & Cheshire Cat, (day lighting), 2019, ("GOLDILOCKS ZONE" project), fluorescent acrylic on vinyl, 30x30 cm.
"The Cheshire Cat" is a phenomenon in quantum mechanics in which a particle and its property behave as if they are separated, or when a particle separates from one of its physical properties. To test this idea, researchers used an interferometer where neutron beams passed through silicon crystal. The crystal physically separated the neutrons and allowed them to go to two paths. Researchers reported "the system behaves as if the neutrons go through one beam path, while their magnetic moment travels along the other."
The Cheshire cat's grin has inspired scientists in their naming of visual phenomena. A merger of galaxy groups in the constellation Ursa Major is nicknamed "Cheshire Cat galaxy group" by Astronomers due to its suggestive appearance.
In linguistics, cheshirization, when a sound disappears but leaves a trace, just like the cat disappears but leaves his grin.
Quantum superposition is a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics. It states that, much like waves in classical physics, any two (or more) quantum states can be added together ("superposed") and the result will be another valid quantum state; and conversely, that every quantum state can be represented as a sum of two or more other distinct states. Mathematically, it refers to a property of solutions to the Schrödinger equation; since the Schrödinger equation is linear, any linear combination of solutions will also be a solution.
An example of a physically observable manifestation of the wave nature of quantum systems is the interference peaks from an electron beam in a double-slit experiment. The pattern is very similar to the one obtained by diffraction of classical waves.
The prevailing theory, called the Copenhagen interpretation, says that a quantum system remains in superposition until it interacts with, or is observed by the external world. When this happens, the superposition collapses into one or another of the possible definite states.
Schrödinger's cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects. The scenario presents a hypothetical cat that may be simultaneously both alive and dead, a state known as a quantum superposition, as a result of being linked to a random subatomic event that may or may not occur.
The thought experiment is also often featured in theoretical discussions of the interpretations of quantum mechanics. Schrödinger coined the term Verschränkung (entanglement) in the course of developing the thought experiment.
The Heisenberg uncertainty principle declares that for any given instant of time, the position and momentum of an electron or another subatomic particle cannot both be exactly determined and that a state where one of them has a definite value corresponds to a superposition of many states for the other.
The Cheshire Cat is a quantum cat popularised by Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and known for its distinctive mischievous grin. While most often celebrated in Alice-related contexts, the Cheshire Cat predates the 1865 novel and has transcended the context of literature and become enmeshed in popular culture, appearing in various forms of media, from political cartoons to television, as well as cross-disciplinary studies, from business to science. One of its distinguishing features is that from time to time its body disappears, the last thing visible being its iconic grin. "Grinning like a cat that got the spilt cream" (Cheshire was the pre-eminent milk, cheese, and cream-producing county for several centuries) with Cheshire's unique privileged political status. On their own, either of these would have been something to grin about.
Importantly, the county was described as a palatinate from the 1290s and was promoted to be a principality in 1397, following the support its men gave King Richard II. No other English county has been honoured in this way or was accorded such unusually wide privileges. These included its own "borderland" laws and taxes, and a considerable measure of independence from national government, which persisted into the sixteenth century. These privileges attracted many who "arrived as fugitives from justice and this seems to have become the principal motivation [for escaping to Cheshire from the Kings laws] as the Middle Ages wore on". Once safely across the border into palatine Cheshire's jurisdiction, these transgressors could grin cheekily at any pursuing King's Sheriffs, and "disappear" into the countryside.
The Cheshire Cat is now largely identified with the character of the same name in Lewis Carroll's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alice first encounters the Cheshire Cat at the Duchess's house in her kitchen, and later on the branches of a tree, where it appears and disappears at will, and engages Alice in amusing conversation.
She was a little startled by seeing the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off.
The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.
`Cheshire Puss,' she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it's pleased so far,' thought Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
`I don't much care where--' said Alice.
`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
`--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.'
Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. `What sort of people live about here?'
`In that direction,' the Cat said, waving its right paw round, `lives a Hatter: and in that direction,' waving the other paw, `lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad.'
`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
Alice didn't think that proved it at all; however, she went on `And how do you know that you're mad?'
`To begin with,' said the Cat, `a dog's not mad. You grant that?'
`I suppose so,' said Alice.
`Well, then,' the Cat went on, `you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.'
`I call it purring, not growling,' said Alice.
`Call it what you like,' said the Cat. `Do you play croquet with the Queen to-day?'
`I should like it very much,' said Alice, `but I haven't been invited yet.'
`You'll see me there,' said the Cat, and vanished.
Alice was not much surprised at this, she was getting so used to queer things happening. While she was looking at the place where it had been, it suddenly appeared again.
`By-the-bye, what became of the baby?' said the Cat. `I'd nearly forgotten to ask.'
`It turned into a pig,' Alice quietly said, just as if it had come back in a natural way.
`I thought it would,' said the Cat, and vanished again.
Alice waited a little, half expecting to see it again, but it did not appear, and after a minute or two she walked on in the direction in which the March Hare was said to live. `I've seen hatters before,' she said to herself; `the March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won't be raving mad--at least not so mad as it was in March.' As she said this, she looked up, and there was the Cat again, sitting on a branch of a tree.
`Did you say pig, or fig?' said the Cat.
`I said pig,' replied Alice; `and I wish you wouldn't keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy.'
`All right,' said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.
Cheshire Cat fading to smile.
Then the Cheshire Cat appears suddenly at the Queen of Hearts' croquet field; and when sentenced to death, baffles everyone by having made its head appear without its body, sparking a debate between the executioner and the King and Queen of Hearts about whether a disembodied head can indeed be beheaded. At one point, the cat disappears gradually until nothing is left but its grin.
`Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin,' thought Alice; `but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!'
According to recent analysis by scholar David Day, Lewis Carroll's cat was Edward Bouverie Pusey, Oxford professor of Hebrew, and Carroll's mentor.
A hanging chain forms a catenary!
The name Pusey was suggested by Alice's deferential address of the cat as "Cheshire Puss". Pusey was an authority on the fathers of the Christian Church, and in Carroll's time Pusey was known as the Patristic Catenary (or chain), after the chain of authority of Church patriarchs. As a mathematician, Carroll would have been well familiar with the other meaning of catenary: the curve of a horizontally-suspended chain, which suggests the shape of the cat's grin.
RIDDLE: What kind of a cat can grin?
ANSWER: A Catenary.
Size: 11.8 W x 11.8 H x 0.1 in
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