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A Many Worlds View and The Life of a Mouse Or the true Story of Schrodinger's Cat
The year is 1925 in a small laboratory at the University of Zurich. Annemarie, the wife of the soon to be great professor, disrupts him in some thought experiment, his hand covered in chalk and equations written all over the blackboard behind him.
“Yes Anne what is it now?”
“Erwin you just received a letter from the United States. It’s a legal document.”
“Read it to me,” he says in a dismissive manner.
She begins, “Dr. Erwin Rudolph Alexander Schrodinger, Professor University Of Zurich, you are herby commanded to appear before the Federal District Court, Hollywood, in the Republic of California to answer the following complaint:
ASPCA vs. Dr. Erwin Schrodinger…”
He interrupts, “the charge?”
“Cruelty to animals…” she replies.
“What are you talking about? This is insane.”
“Dear, it seems that your foul little pet mouse Micha, the one that disappeared, that you blamed on me, is living in California with some artist as his protector or something like that. They brought the complaint to the ASPCA.”
“And what does this idiotic complaint allege?”
Annemarie holds back a chuckle as she reads the complaint to make sure she has all the facts correct.
“Well what does it state? I have work to do.”
Annemarie summarizes, “It goes on to state that Micha Mouse claims you attempted to murder and not murder him by way of a wave function and superposition experiment. Said mouse escaped by gnawing his way out of a wooded box designed to possibly release a deadly poison, and then possibly not, within which he was held against his will.”
Erwin interrupts her. “You mean to tell me that Micha, as smart as he might have been, was smart enough to escape from here, find his way to a ship, cross the Atlantic, and then manage to travel across the continent. And on top of that he moved in with this artist or some such nonsense convincing her, I assume the artist is female, no man in his right mind would play with a mouse and…”
Annemarie, her hands on her hips, documents scrunched in one hand, stares at Erwin and says, “Whose pet mouse was Micha? And who taught him mathematics and to type?”
Erwin stops. He rolled his eyes and says, “Yes you have a point. So Micha is in the United States. He convinced some hare brained artist to take him in and now I’m being sued and charged with cruelty to Micha.”
“Yes dear and it is California. And as I understand, California can be considered a totally different reality.”
“Mein Gott! Annemarie, that gives me another idea. I’ll write a letter to Dr. Einstein about the possibility of, what would you call it, hmmmm, let me think, parallel realities? Does it work somewhat with my ideas on superposition. I’m not sure. I’ll have to do the math.” He faces the blackboard, starts writing some equations when he turns to his wife and asks, “Are you sure this isn’t some sort of joke?”
”No it is not. The letter was delivered by a messenger form the American Embassy.”
“Can I ignore it?”
“No, not at all,” she says.
“What do they really want? There’s got to be something about this. They can’t actually expect me to travel to America to answer this absurd charge? And hiring a lawyer would cost a fortune.”
“Dear, there is a separate note. It’s sealed.” Annemarie opens it, reads it and then looks up at Erwin Schrodinger. “You are correct, again.”
“Of course, well?”
She continues, “The artist name is mentioned here but the document states we can never disclose it. The artist states that Micha is a wonderful animal and is healthy. He adds that as he understands it, Micha still belongs to you. And that Micha really has no rights to stand on.”
“So what has that do with anything except when I get that mouse back…”
“There’s more,” Annemarie interrupts her husband again. “If you allow this artist animator, aha an illustrator, to adopt Micha, he will have all the charges dropped. All you have to do is sign the enclosed documents, give up all rights to Micha and any thing that might become of him. There’s a signature and a paw print. How cute. By the way we can never mention the artist’s name, ever.”
“Have you ever heard of him? I can’t even make out his signature,” says Erwin looking the letter and the accompanying documents.
No. He must be young,” she answers. “What wife would put up with a husband with a nasty pet mouse?” She laughs at her own joke and gives Erwin a peck on the cheek.
He signs it and then says, “Give this copy to our lawyer and make sure the original gets posted to the embassy as soon as possible. I have work to do. All this for a mouse? My reputation is on the line for what?
“I have Rocky the neighbor’s cat here. We’ve become friends.” He points to a very fat black and white Sylvester looking beast curled up on the desk. The cat opens one green eye in a quite bored cat look. Erwin looks around and then says, “And I’ll use that damned cat. He’s too stupid and lazy. And next time, I’m going to construct a steel box just like Dr. Einstein suggested. And instead of poison I’ll use gunpowder. The explosion will eliminate the contradiction of observation and observer and the linear combination of possible states.”
Erwin stops and gives the almost sleeping cat a pet. “Yes you’re mine now and to hell with that mouse. Imagine getting all wrapped up about a mouse. I have a class to teach.”
“Rerooow,” said Rocky as he curled up into a ball.
Pippin91 - A good story, clever and well-written. I like all the references to quantum probability states, which are, of course, humorously inappropriate - or not.
This is absolutely hilarious. I watch the Big Bang Theory and they're always talking about Schrodinger's Cat - and this story is about the mouse - VERY funny.
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