BBC Home

Explore the BBC

Browse: Rugby union


user rating: 3 star

Schrodinger's Cat and Jonny Wilkinson

comment on the article
Wilkinson has grown his hair to show his new-found sense of self

England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has revealed the secret of his new-found relaxed approach to life - the joys of quantum physics and Buddhism.

World Cup glory to inner peace via Schrodinger's Cat is certainly a road less travelled, but his interest in Erwin Schrodinger's famous thought experiment raises an intriguing posibility.

Schrodinger came up with his idea to illustrate the paradox of the sub-atomic world.

Put very simply, the experiment involves a poor moggy locked in a box for a specific time with a vial of cyanide that has a 50-50 chance of breaking and killing the cat.

As it is not being observed, according to quantum physics, the fearful feline is both alive and dead at the same time, which is clearly impossible.

The experiment shows that in the "real" world, it is impossible to be in two different states at the same time, but it is certainly possible at the sub-atomic level.

Experiments done with tiny guns show that a sub-atomic bullet (such as a stream of photons) can pass through two holes at once ie a particle can be in two or more states or places at any given moment.

It is a neat trick and given his legendary powers of focus, Jonny is surely the man to understand the process well enough to start to operate in a similar fashion.

All it needs is for BBC rugby experts Eddie Butler and Brian Moore to then observe him, and it's over to Eddie for the commentary.

"And now it's Wilkinson, who passes to Wilkinson, who scissors with Wilkinson..."

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Sep 25, 2008

J.W. has found a new way goodluck to him. You really do not think we have seen the last of him yet??? The Men of the rose team will not be the same without Jonny.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Sep 27, 2008

And anyway, if things go badly you can always kick the (Schrodinger's)cat, Jonny. winkeye

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Sep 29, 2008

"Maybe someone should tell Jonny that the observation doesn't alter the state, it's the method of observation. You can't see anything with visible light interacting with it. Therefore, you can never know what something 'looks' like in complete darkness."

My PERCEPTION on this story is as follows. Several people have come on here and said that Buddhism and Quantum Physics are not interconnected. Jonny, in his final comment in the piece has demonstrated how he finds a relation.

After a training session, he can now control whether he continues to practice kicking or whether he stops.

Before, due to his inability to find his inner peace he would have to continue practicing, in the pursuit of perfection. He was unable to grasp that he could stop practicing and as the results on the field were good it was an assumption that it was because of the practice. He has used his understanding and perception of these trains of thought to realise that he need not continue practicing to find inner peace, there is an alternative. And by being at peace with himself it has resulted in the same outcome (his perception of his own performance on the field) despite taking a different route (stopping practice).

Surely, Shrodinger's Cat is all about Perception. In our minds we make certain assumptions based on what we see. What we don't see we struggle to comprehend.

Jonny didn't see that stopping practice could help his game as he was driven in his pursuit for perfection, he became blinded to any other alternative other than Practice Makes Perfect.

This is my take on the whole thing anyway.

Mind you, his hair's a bit gay isn't it?

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Sep 29, 2008

I dare you to make that last comment to his face erm

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by Cowshot (U5877922)

posted Sep 29, 2008

Hi there pMb, glad to see you're still with us. smiley

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Sep 29, 2008

"Cowshot" It is my pleasure to be accepted young man. You are a charmer blush

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by Thunor (U10890672)

posted Sep 29, 2008

No, Schrodinger's cat is not about perception. It's about a system being in a state that combine two seperate states. In the Schrodinger Cat example there is a radioactive atom that may decay or not. While the box is closed it is in BOTH states (or neither). It is only upon opening the box that the system 'collapses' into one state (to decay or not to decay, THAT is the question). This is what quantum physics seems to suggest and it was supposed to be an example of how ridiculous the results of quantum mechanics are.

Jonny has done the usually thing of misunderstanding quantum physics and applying it wrongly (and possibly coming out with a positive outcome). There are several quotes along the lines, "If you think you understand quantum physics, you don't understand quantum physics".

I personally think it's based on the anomalies brought about by the Uncertainty Principle (get down small enough and you can't measure a system properly as you have to affect it to measure it). But it's the best we've got and it works so it's all good ok

Next week we'll cover the generation of high energy x-rays in a linear accelerater

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by dainut (U9281080)

posted Sep 30, 2008

He is a looney ! He should be careful of the men in white coats coming and cutting his hair !
Is he the David Icke of 2008 ? What about his "management people", how can they let him make such a prat of himself ? For God's (if he exists) sake just play rugby and enjoy it.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Sep 30, 2008

Rugby and football fans really are a different breed aren't they!!!

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Sep 30, 2008

I love this thread; it is the most random article I've ever read and you'd never find it on the football 606.

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.


Rate Breakdown

  • 5
    0 votes
  • 4 50.00%
    1 votes
  • 3
    0 votes
  • 2
    0 votes
  • 1 50.00%
    1 votes

average rating:
2.50 from 2 votes