Sunday, July 6, 2014

Schrodinger's Carrot

While we are thinking about paradoxes, there is a famous thought experiment in quantum mechanics called Schrodinger's cat, in which a cat is sealed in a steel box and through a random atomic decay is either killed or spared. In this theoretical experience the cat is purported to be simultaneously alive and dead. Not to worry, no cats are killed, this is just a hypothetical discussion that very smart atomic physicists have.

Well I think there is a garden phenomenon that is equally as random to think about. I call it Schrodinger's Carrot. It goes like this..

A farmer plants a row of carrots in the middle of the summer. It is kind of dry and they are too far from the well to water. About two weeks after planting there is a good soaking rain. The paradox is, will the carrots come up or not. Are the carrots simultaneously alive and dead?

Not to worry no carrots were killed in this thought experiment either. Generally most of the time the carrots do come up eventually.

This is the type of hypothetical discussion that very bored gardeners have when there children are taking AP Physics in high school.

Mr. Schrodinger if you are out there reading this. It is time to plant your summer carrots. If you can water them well once a week and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results, they aren't random at all.

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