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- TL;DR Summary
- How measurements inpact one or more wave function collapses in the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment

In the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment in its standard configuration, before the experimenter opens the box that contains the cat, has any relevant QM measurement been made by any objects involved in this instance of this experiment?

My speculation/understanding: Yes, the cat knows (is continuously measuring) whether it is dead or alive (i.e. whether a radioactive decay happened) which, from the cat's point of view, is an exceptionally relevant QM measurement. This measurement happens before the experimenter opens the box and peers inside. This is an ideal box, so not even information escapes it, and no entanglement is involved. Consequently, QM-wise nothing changes for those outside the box: for the experimenter it appears like no measurement had been made. Before the experimenter opens the box and sees the cat, from that experimenter's point of view a standard Copenhagen superposition of states exists.

I gather some deem it a scientific error to say the cat measures its state before the experimenter does, even if to the experimenter it appears like no measurement had been made.

Is it that some consider there to be one "master" experiment wave function that collapses for all from the cat knowing whether it is dead or alive? If you see things that way, for a moment please pretend the cat and the experimenter have separate relevant wave functions that can collapse separately from each other. I would like to learn what negative consequences can follow from such an interpretation. What experiment data contradict this understanding?

My speculation/understanding: Yes, the cat knows (is continuously measuring) whether it is dead or alive (i.e. whether a radioactive decay happened) which, from the cat's point of view, is an exceptionally relevant QM measurement. This measurement happens before the experimenter opens the box and peers inside. This is an ideal box, so not even information escapes it, and no entanglement is involved. Consequently, QM-wise nothing changes for those outside the box: for the experimenter it appears like no measurement had been made. Before the experimenter opens the box and sees the cat, from that experimenter's point of view a standard Copenhagen superposition of states exists.

I gather some deem it a scientific error to say the cat measures its state before the experimenter does, even if to the experimenter it appears like no measurement had been made.

Is it that some consider there to be one "master" experiment wave function that collapses for all from the cat knowing whether it is dead or alive? If you see things that way, for a moment please pretend the cat and the experimenter have separate relevant wave functions that can collapse separately from each other. I would like to learn what negative consequences can follow from such an interpretation. What experiment data contradict this understanding?