The tag has no usage guidance.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
1answer
110 views

On a measurement level, is quantum mechanics a deterministic theory or a probability theory?

Quantum mechanics is a non-commutative probability theory. As such, it fundamentally behaves differently from classical probability theories. This manifests itself most pronouncedly in the uncertainty ...
1
vote
3answers
300 views

Can we predict throwing a dice?

What happens if we throw a dice from same position, with same force, by creating a vacuum environment on earth? Will it be predictable now i.e. will the dice have same results all the time? If answer ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Are random quantum phenomena happening without a cause?

In everyday life, most of us assumes every event and object has a cause in some sense. I am wondering if the same is true for quantum physics. Does the random nature of quantum phenomena mean they ...
-3
votes
0answers
39 views

Would it be possible to foresee the quantum theory via this thought experiment?

If the Newtonian understanding of universe (I only mean the philosophical understanding, not the scientific theory) would be correct, then we could build a machine that can observe the solar system ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

If randomness doesn't exist, how come the universe isn't a perfect sphere with predictable distribution of matter?

I'm presuming that the scientific community pretty much agrees that randomness doesn't exits, and that everything has a cause. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I've heard of quantum mechanics, but as ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Ball spontaneously rolling down hill [duplicate]

I'm trying to remember a problem in classical mechanics involving a special surface that allows a ball to roll to the top and lose all it's momentum in finite time. This leads to some interesting ...
21
votes
11answers
2k views

Why can't the outcome of a QM measurement be calculated a-priori?

Quantum Mechanics is very successful in determining the overall statistical distribution of many measurements of the same process. On the other hand, it is completely clueless in determining the ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What is happening over the 15 minutes it takes a neutron to decay?

I've read that free neutrons decay into a proton, electron and neutrino with an average lifespan of about 15 minutes. Is there anything physically different about a neutron that has existed for 14 ...
5
votes
5answers
182 views

What is the explanation for the interference patterns in MWI?

In Young's double-slit experiment, MWI states that in some "worlds" the particle goes through one slit, and in others it goes through the other. If this is so, why do we get an interference pattern? ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

How is no-conspiracy theory compatible with determinism? [closed]

Bell's theorem states that any physical theory that incorporates local realism and the no-conspiracy assumption cannot reproduce all the predictions of quantum mechanical theory. Hence, we cannot ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

What causes the universe to manifest a given value upon measurement in super-deterministic theory? [closed]

Bell's inequalities show that we have to give up freedom or local realism. If we give up freedom, we have super-determinism, if we give up local realism, we have free-will. In super-deterministic ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

Why was quantum mechanics regarded as a non-deterministic theory?

It seems to be a wide impression that quantum mechanics is not deterministic, e.g. the world is quantum-mechanical and not deterministic. I have a basic question about quantum mechanics itself. A ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Quantum mechanics - “God does not play dice” - does he? Or might he not? [duplicate]

I'm a mechanical engineer by training, so please forgive ignorance in my question. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states (to my understanding) that one cannot measure both position and momentum ...
-1
votes
2answers
81 views

If I repeated a quantum measurement, would it be the same? [closed]

I was thinking about the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics and that if I measured the position of an electron twice in succession, the outcomes would depend on a probability. However, what if ...
-1
votes
1answer
60 views

Equation for everything?

Suppose, I throw a ball and it bounce. If we observe it from the time of it hitting the ground, we can see it moves due to the initial velocity it had and the interaction it had with the ground. We ...
5
votes
2answers
174 views

“Randomness” versus “uncertainty”

Highly rated PhysicsSE contributor @CuriousOne regularly makes the following claim about quantum mechanics (e.g. here): There is no randomness in quantum mechanics, there is only uncertainty. I ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Shouldn't local realism imply the superdeterminism?

I see that Bell has ruled out Einstein's local realism but not supredeterminism. I see that Bell has confessed that superdeterminism kills his inequality. You cannot apply Bell's inequality if ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

How to quantify the level of non determinism / randomness in the universe

I recently read a little about the Bell test (I'm not a physicist, but reasonably well educated) and I started wondering if there is a way to express the level of non-determinism as a single number ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Would two identical universes evolve identically? [duplicate]

What if there were 2 universes (completely disconnected - not part of the same multiverse) which were identical and a given point in time (say when they first began). Would these 2 universes evolve in ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

Could the randomness of quantum mechanics be the result of unseen factors? [duplicate]

The possibility of randomness in physics doesnt particularly bother me, but contemplating the possibility that quarks might be made up of something even smaller, just in general, leads me to think ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

What does it mean that an electron's position is described by probability?

I just read an answer to a Phys.SE question about why electrons don't collide with protons where an answering user said: In quantum mechanics, an electron doesn't have a definite position or ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Bell's Theorem - Why does $\lambda$ have a probability?

I'm reviewing Bell's theorem. In his proof by contradiction, he assumes the world is deterministic and defines a vector $\lambda$ as the set of all hidden variables which play a role in determining ...
6
votes
0answers
128 views

Uniqueness of solution in newtonian mechanics

Recently I came across the problem of Norton's dome. I thought of two questions, for which I found no answer. Does there exist a newtonian initial value problem, where the total force on each body ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Quantum physics and determinism [duplicate]

According to classical physics if we know space-time coordinates of every atom in the universe, we can predict the future. But quantum physics introduced probability throwing determinism out of ...
64
votes
6answers
28k views

Is the universe fundamentally deterministic?

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question. I realise that this maybe a borderline philosophical question at this point in time, therefore feel free to close this question if you ...
1
vote
3answers
308 views

How can the past, the present and the future coexist at the same time? [closed]

We all heard it many times, the theory of Time suggest it is parallel rather than being linear. This leaves the door opened for alternate realities and well, immortality. However, even after reading ...
1
vote
0answers
173 views

Quantum Mechanics in your face

In this lecture Quantum Mechanics in your face by Sidney Coleman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtyNMlXN-sw Does he state that there's only evolution according to Schrodinger's equation in QM and it ...
-1
votes
1answer
70 views

Probabilistic realism

On consideration of Bell's inequalities and this Why is quantum entanglement considered to be an active link between particles?. Either localism or realism has to be given up. Can't we have a non-...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Does the “Andromeda Paradox” (Rietdijk–Putnam-Penrose) imply a completely deterministic universe?

Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rietdijk–Putnam_argument Abstract of 1966 Rietdijk paper: A proof is given that there does not exist an event, that is not already in the past for ...
5
votes
4answers
458 views

Radioactive decay - What mechanism decides when an unstable nucleus decays?

My first question on Stackexchange (if it is formatted wrong or something please tell me so I know in future) - here it is: Given an unstable nucleus (exactly which nucleus is not particularly ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

Have David Wolpert's findings really “slammed the door” on scientific determinism?

I recently read an article describing how mathematician/physicist David Wolpert's research closed the door on scientific determinism. I have huge doubts about the implied conclusion, considering the ...
3
votes
4answers
645 views

Is quantum physics truly random or does it just appear that way because of Heisenberg uncertainty principle

The behavior of an electron (and other tiny things) is said to be probabilistic because we can't say where an election will be when we measure it, but only where it will probably be. As I understand ...
-2
votes
1answer
89 views

Does the uncertainity principle actually attack determinism? [closed]

It's not really clear to me how does QM attacks determinism. It sure attacks computability, which is a component of newtonian, naive determinism, but it's often claimed to destroy determinism itself (...
25
votes
2answers
3k views

Norton's dome and its equation

Norton's dome is the curve $$h(r) = -\frac{2}{3g} r ^{3/2}.$$ Where $h$ is the height and $r$ is radial arc distance along the dome. The top of the dome is at $h = 0$. Via Norton's web. If we put ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Is the movement of electrons truly random?

The result of rolling dice is considered pseudo-random because it depends on an almost endless list of factors (how you roll it, the terrain it lands on, etc.), but it is not TRULY random. Is the ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the Stern–Gerlach quantum spin experiment conflict with classical mechanics?

My understanding of the Stern–Gerlach experiment is that neutral (0 total charge) particles are sent through a non-homogeneous magnetic field, with the expectation that the field will push that ...
0
votes
2answers
146 views

Does Bell's theorem exclude local hidden variables as explanation for radioactive decay?

Often it is said that Bell's theorem (and the observed violations thereof) rules out local hidden variable theories as the explanation for the seeming non-determinism found in quantum mechanics. I'm ...
21
votes
8answers
4k views

Deterministic quantum mechanics

I came across a very recent paper by Gerard 't Hooft The abstract says: It is often claimed that the collapse of the wave function and Born's rule to interpret the square of the norm as a ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Generalised velocities enough to be deterministic in Lagrangian mechanics?

In classical determinism we need to know $2n$ quantities of our system and the equation of motion to predict it's future. In Lagrangian mechanics this is equivalent to knowing $q$ and $\dot q$, the ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

Why is superdeterminism generally regarded as a joke? [closed]

Before anything, I'm sorry for being an outsider coming to opine about your field. This is almost always a stupid decision, but I do have a good justification for this case. I've been reading about ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Does the Heisenberg uncertainty principle preclude moving in a straight path with certainty?

The uncertainty principle is σₓσₚ ≥ 0.5 ℏ where x is position and p is momentum. Consider a 2d plane. If one moves along a straight line along the plane (possibly backtracking or moving forwards but ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Can cellular automata be reconcilied with quantum mechanics?

CAs are deterministic representations of the universe, which, according to the Bell's inequality are not entirely accurate. Cells interact "locally" (only with the closest neighbours), while quantum ...
2
votes
3answers
613 views

How do particles “know” when to decay?

So, as I understand it, in a substance that is made of radioactive elements, the half-life tells us how long until the half of those atoms decay into their next atom [is there a name for that: the ...
3
votes
5answers
440 views

How do we know that there isn't a classical solution to the measurement problem/Quantum Mechanical uncertainty?

It was mentioned to me that it can be shown that there is no classical explanation for the uncertainty in Quantum Mechanics -- i.e. that there are no hidden workings that we have just not yet seen, ...
-1
votes
1answer
92 views

Is there anything random? [duplicate]

Is there (in universe, wherever) anything random? Do we know any event (or whatever else) which has no reason? Of course there are some things that we cannot see, measure but it doesn't mean that they ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Deterministic universe for dummies [duplicate]

Is there a general consensus about whether the universe is deterministic? Is it still up in the air? I have attempted to read other physics.stackexchange answers and do some independent research, but ...
0
votes
3answers
190 views

Can universe or anything be simulated with absolute accuracy? [duplicate]

In a simulation everything is known which makes any apparent random event a pre-calculated event. Taking that into account is it possible to simulate the universe with absolute accuracy in a way that ...
32
votes
5answers
5k views

Is Stephen Wolfram's NKS, an attempt to explain the universe with cellular automata, in conflict with Bell's Theorem?

Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science (NKS) hit the bookstores in 2002 with maximum hype. His thesis is that the laws of physics can be generated by various cellular automata--simple programs ...
3
votes
3answers
222 views

Collisions and time-reversal

Shorter version: I am wondering if non-elastic collisions preserve time-symmetery; i.e., given a set of objects with positions and velocities known at a given time, we can calculate forward in time ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Determinism of Quantum Mechanics [duplicate]

I am sorry for the title, which seems to be into the philosophical discussions about reality going random in quantum scale. My aim is to approach the question in a definite and most reasonable, though ...