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Verschränkung! Schrödinger's Hole Cards

24 February 2010, By: foldsworth
scrod cat
scrod cat

How does quantum mechanics and a half-dead cat relate to your ability to read your opponents' hole cards? Maybe a lot less than you think.

The Austrian physicist Erwin Schröder's famous experiment of placing a cat in a box with a Geiger counter, a radioactive substance and a flask of hydrocyanic acid is interesting in itself:

After a while, the radioactive substance might and might not (both are equally likely) have released a subatomic particle that set of the Geiger counter, which in turn would have released the poison and killed the cat. According to one interpretation of quantum mechanics, the cat would then be simultaneously alive and dead. (Obviously no peeking is allowed.)

For a long while I was unsure of how to apply this experiment to tournament poker. Then it came to me in a dream: the uncertainty principle doesn’t apply to my opponent’s hole cards or the cards in the deck at all – it should be used for playing perfectly on the bubble! How come I never thought of this before? Funny.

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