CommunityMy FDL

Tuesday Watercooler


Tonight’s video is “What can Schrödinger’s Cat teach us about quantum mechanics?”

The classical physics that we encounter in our everyday, macroscopic world is very different from the quantum physics that governs systems on a much smaller scale (like atoms). One great example of quantum physics’ weirdness can be shown in the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment. Josh Samani walks us through this experiment in quantum entanglement.

Lesson by Josh Samani, animation by Dan Pinto.

Hitchbot, a simple, friendly robot, just completed a journey across Canada with the help of strangers. From the Toronto Star:

HitchBOT’s 6,000-kilometre journey began in Halifax on July 27 and ended in Victoria on Saturday, and while the robot is pretty exhausted from the expedition, it made a ton of new friends along the way. The talking, GPS-tracking machine relied solely on the generosity of strangers to get where it was going, and co-creator David Smith was delighted to report that the robot’s journey went off without a hitch.

‘We’re elated,’ said Smith, a university professor at McMaster University. ‘It’s been really great fun and to me it seems like it [has] brought people together in a really interesting way.’

HitchBOT was initially left on the side of the road near the Halifax airport and was offered a ride minutes later.

‘It was literally less than two minutes from the time we set the ’bot on the road and the first vehicle pulled over,’ said Smith. The first people to give a ride to the robot were a couple on their way to camp in New Brunswick, he said.

HitchBOT’s done a lot since then. It’s crashed a wedding in British Columbia, made a guest appearance at a powwow in Northern Ontario, and even showed off its dance moves when it did the Harlem Shake in Saskatchewan.

The collaborative research project, which was designed to explore topics in human-robot interaction and test technologies in artificial intelligence, also demonstrated to [project member Professor Frauke] Zeller that ‘robots can trust human beings.’

Check out some more great photos of Hitchbot’s adventures on its Twitter account.

Housekeeping notes:

  • Please review our About Us page if you need a refresher on site rules, and
  • We encourage you to use our flag system — if you see an abusive comment, user or post, please flag it rather than replying. We review every flag and take the best action available to us.
  • If you have questions or concerns about Firedoglake-specific issues, please limit their discussion to Watercooler posts rather than starting new posts or making off-topic comments in others. But remember,
  • Firedoglake editors and staff are not allowed to comment on any moderation decisions.

The Watercooler is an open conversation. Ask questions, share links and your thoughts.

Previous post

Late Night: The Endless Gothic Summer

Next post

Truly Respecting A Woman's Right To Choose

Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and