Schrodinger's Tat [Science Tattoo]

By Carl Zimmer | September 5, 2009 10:23 pm

schrodinger.jpgBerg writes, “I’m a big fan of quantum mechanics (regardless of how little I truly understand it), so getting a tattoo of Schrodinger’s cat seemed like a no-brainer. It’s on my right forearm, which means it ends up being a good conversation starter after a quick handshake. Either people get what it is right away, or I have the pleasure of explaining ‘No, it’s not two cats fornicating, it’s one superpositioned cat,’ which is fun in its own right. Huzzah!”

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Comments (13)

  1. Camo

    It DOES kind of look like the one cat is mounting the other cat against its will.

  2. No doubt though the tattoo artist was thinking along… ‘hmmm, 2 cats fornicating…’

  3. It’s Schrodiner’s tat. You don’t know what those cats are doing with any certainty until you ask the wearer about it.

  4. ELN


    Um, like Occam, even as a Schroedinger fan I wouldn’t have gone there. Would’ve gone right to the fornicating. Unless at a physics conference, perhaps.

    But then physicists have strange sense of humor and would probably have just made two cats fornicating, which they’d explain as Schroedinger’s cat, then giggled secretly about as they got others to believe their cats fornicating was a symbol of their genius. And it would be, but only for getting people to think two cats fornicating is the best thing ever.

    At least that’s how I would play it.

  5. ARJ

    How much tequila had Berg downed before choosing this cattoo???

  6. Wouldn’t it be good if we could get tattoos that only collapsed when others looked at them? Schroedinger’s Tattoo.

    I don’t like tattoos at all, but this could be the next step to a halfway tattoo idea (unless you use those non permanent ones). Can’t add any comment pic with this comment to aid my idea here, but will try next time! Lol!


  7. Nalm

    The badness of the cattoo is an insufficient means by which to measure the amount of alcohol ingested.

  8. S Johnson

    Here is another twist you can add to your explanation. A self-fornicating cat. Is it gay or not? It’s not certain, nor is it’s gender.

  9. ok, I admit, the explanation is cool. I have also read the wikipedia page you link to. However, the tattoo sucks. No offence. It is ugly, how deep and clever its meaning may be, it has no style, no beauty at all.

  10. A. C.

    It would be more fun if it were a temporary tattoo which appears somedays on the right and somedays on the left arm. That way people can wonder which universe they’re in.

  11. skeeelz

    I agree with Samantha (no. 1) — best one yet. “tattoos” (no. 10) is WAY off. Has tons of style, beauty.

  12. Elinor

    I like the concept, not sure on the style but only because it wouldn’t suit me.

    Contemplating something similar, maybe more like this one:


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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