Back in 1935, physicist Erwin Schrödinger imagined a thought experiment involving a cat in a closed box with a lethal poison that will be released if a sample of radioactive material decays. At any given time, quantum math says the cat is both dead and alive until you open the box. Opening the box and peering inside then determines if the cat is dead or alive.

Fortunately, Schrödinger never tested his experiment with a live cat but it wouldn’t be tragic if he had tested his experiment with live politicians. However, scientists have conducted a real laboratory version of the experiment using microwaves inside a superconducting aluminum cavity that takes the place of the cat.

Inside the specially designed cavity, the microwaves’ electric fields can be pointing in two opposing directions at the same time — just as Schrödinger’s cat can be simultaneously alive and dead. These states are known as “cat states.” Thus it’s possible for a cat to be alive or dead at the same time just as it’s possible for a politician to appeal to liberals and conservatives depending on who they’re talking to at the moment.

To read more about Schrödinger’s cat, click here.