Technology & Science

Schrödinger's cat explained on physicist's 127th birthday

A group of modern physicists released a YouTube video starring the internet's favourite animal to explain Erwin Schrödinger's famous thought experiment for his 127th birthday.

Erwin Schrödinger co-won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933

Schrödinger's Cat is a famous thought experiment created by Nobel-Prize winning physicist Erwin Schrödinger. (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics/YouTube)

A group of modern physicists released a YouTube video starring the internet's favourite animal to explain Erwin Schrödinger's famous thought experiment for his 127th birthday.​

Born in 1887, Schrödinger co-won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1933 "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory," according to the Nobel Prize website.

On the day of his 127th birthday, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ont., released the video trying to explain his famous thought experiment, called Schrödinger's cat, to the everyman.

Schrödinger's cat is a parable about quantum superposition — or how something can occupy all of its quantum states at the same time.

In Schrödinger's thought experiment, a cat is locked into a completely isolated box. Also inside the box is a hammer, a beaker filled with cyanide and a control mechanism.

Watch the institute's video below to see what happens and what Schrödinger was trying to say about quantum mechanics.