Christmas at the Schrödingers

Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger was an exceptionally strange chap and, if you believe the history books, somewhat of a science boffin.

As it happens, only one of these things is true. His infamous paradoxical thought experiment involving a cat was little more than an accident. He simply wrapped the poor feline up to send it to his nephew Éamonn and forgot to pop a few air holes in the side before he dropped it in the post. The rest, as they say, is history.

Three nights before Christmas, Éamonn rang his Uncle Erwin to complain of a  strange smell wafting from under the family tree of festivity. Erwin, quickly realising his embarrassing error, described in detail the wonderful cat he had sent Éamonn. He waxed lyrical about the intricate beauty of its fur, its playful nature and friendly disposition. Éamonn agreed that it did indeed sound a most wonderful cat. Erwin suggested that if they both agreed to simply believe it was a perfect cat, then really there was no need to open the gift then was there? Éamonn already knew how wonderful it would be. And (Erwin continued) isn’t the imagination better by far than most things in life?

Éamonn, being only 5 years old at the time, could hardly disagree. His uncle Erwin was, after all, very smart indeed. He decided to leave the gift unopened.

And thus again we see – “history” is merely one author’s opinion, propagated by better book sales.

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