Questions tagged [determinism]

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Is the universe's Kolmogorov complexity growing over time?

The Kolmogorov complexity of a deterministic universe is constant. The Kolmogorov complexity of a nondeterministic universe grows over time. It grows whenever something happens that is not ...
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Is everything that has happened, is happening and will happen just a reaction to the action of Big Bang? [closed]

I think the question is vague but interesting. I was wondering if we trace backwards the cause of any event, and then cause of that cause and so on... where will we end up? Is there just one trigger ...
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What prevents chaos theory from being the principle of a deterministic universe?

One could potentially suggest observations of atomic locations partly with chaos theory by suggesting that the seemingly random pattern simply results from a sufficiently small Lyapunov time that ...
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If we know the inital state of a quantum field can we predict its later state?

If we have the wavefunctional $\Phi[\psi]$ which tells us the probability density for finding $\psi$. Let's say we know the exact field state at $t=0;$ $\psi(x,0)$. Can we use the wavefunctional $\Phi[...
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Does the $3$-body problem imply that determinism is false?

Classical mechanics is famous for its supposed ability to theoretically calculate the state of a system at any given time provided all the necessary initial conditions. I believe this is the ...
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Could a form of (temporally-limited non-superdeterministic) strong determinism resolve retrocausality in quantum theories?

It looks like "superdeterminism" is considered as a potential way to resolve EPR paradox/Bell's theorem/quantum theory. It seems "retrocausality" (or what could be or is called ...
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1answer
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What is the Main contrast between classical coin toss and superposition state?

We know that in normal coin-toss there is two probable states HEAD OR TAIL. When we commence for measuring only get head or tail,is it means two probable states collapse into one {H or T}.in ...
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Quantum Mechanics Thought Experiment

If a photon approaches a filter with a 0.5 chance of passing through, we have no way of knowing whether it will pass or not. All we know is that if we do the experiment many times, it will pass ...
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Is is true that if you could see and track every atom there is, you could see the entire history of the universe?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWO-cvGETRQ Is is true that if you could see and track every atom there is, you could see the entire history of the universe? I thought that when matter is changed ...
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CTC, determinism and valuedness of Riemann tensor

What I understood is that By the math, the Riemann tensor is obtained by parallel-transporting a vector along a closed curve in the considered space, then apply Stoke's theorem. Now if physics is ...
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Is This Hypothesis Correct?

I have constructed a thought experiment regarding whether the future is deterministic or not. It goes like this: Let’s take an Observer 100 light years away from earth. Now presently, if he looks at ...
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Given a collapsed state, can we derive the prior shape of the wavefunction?

More or less the title. Assume that we have found a box containing a completely isolated system of particles. We do not know for how long this system has been allowed to evolve. We do know what ...
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Are wormholes evidence for traversal of a higher dimension?

Warning, pop science coming.. please correct what I’m getting wrong. Einstein’s equations of relativity showed the potential for existence of wormholes that can connect different points in space time....
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1answer
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Global uniqueness and determinism in classical mechanics [duplicate]

Something always bugged me about Newton's equations (or, equivalently, Euler-Lagrange/Hamilton's): Determinism, which is the philosophical framework of classical mechanics, requires that, by ...
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1answer
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Quantum physics and hard determinism [closed]

Ok, I will try my best to ask my question without going too far into philosophy. I am more or less aware of quantum physics and as far as I know it defies hard-determinism by saying that sub-atomic ...
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Are irreversibility and unpredictability in a system caused by the huge number of molecules?

In my understanding, if we imagine two molecules in a system, we can predict what's going to happen and it's easier to reverse the process than to predict the motions of billions of molecules and ...
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2answers
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Space invaders and energy conservation [closed]

One of the examples that shows that Newtonian mechanics is non-deterministic is that of a "space invader" (see here) which comes in from an infinite distance at a given time (or with time ...
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Classical unpredictability

Consider, a box with $N$ particles each of mass $m$, arranged at time $t=0$ to be moving parallel to the $x$-direction, with mean velocity v and mean distance l. The particles are spheres of mean ...
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1answer
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Why is the assumption of free will important to physics [closed]

I have watched a few lectures and have heard in quite some places that free will is an important assumption in physics. For example Bell's theorem assumes that the two experimenters can freely choose ...
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Are (super)determinism and many-worlds compatible? (For past/future prediction purposes)

I recently finished the TV show Devs, whose core premise was the use of superdeterminism, and a powerful quantum computer, to simulate (and view) the past and future. Another important plot point was ...
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Quantum: Is it possible to determine the past knowing the present?

Due to quantum randomicity, it's impossible to determine the future knowing the present. But is it possible to determine the past knowing the present? As far as I understand, it is impossible because ...
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1answer
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Can macroscopic objects be influenced by quantum physics?

I was wondering if macroscopic objects can be influenced by QM in this thought experiment. A die is launched on a perfectly flat surface. The interaction between surface and die is elastic (no loss of ...
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Determinism and frame-relativity

It's a well known fact that classical mechanics isn't a deterministic theory if you only include the positions and masses of various particles as part of the initial conditions. You also need to ...
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Does quantum mechanics invalidate causality and determinism? [duplicate]

The conductors of this experiment claim that causality is broken or at least made fuzzy by quantum mechanics. Is this really the case?
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1answer
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How can we prove that pure randomness exists?

I want to know does real randomness ( no cause-effect law ), really exists? And if it exists how can we prove it? because saying something doesn't have a cause is akin to saying we don't know the ...
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If photon experiences time in an instant, does it mean that it's predestined to be consumed? [duplicate]

That one bothers me a lot. If time is collapsed to an instant for the photon, and it experiences it's own end of lifetime, what should happen if photon is never going to be absorbed? Especially ...
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Does my thought experiment adequately address quantum entanglement?

My friend and I (both still undergraduates) were discussing philosophy. He is a fairly strong supporter of determinism, and I am still trying to find out my opinion. So in the spirit of good-natured ...
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What is the relation between non-contextuality and Bell's hidden variable model?

While reading about contextuality in quantum mechanics, I stumbled upon the following statement (in Peres (2002), top of p. 190): in a two-dimensional Hilbert space, it is possible to construct hidden ...
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1answer
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If 1 photon hits 1 atom, will the departing angle be deterministic?

Consider a single photon fired towards a single atom. After interacting with the atom, the photon heads away from the atom (assume no absorption). Is the angle at which the photon departs ...
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1answer
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Determinisitic system with a probablisitic initial condition [closed]

Consider a deterministic system like a spring mass damper. Lets say we do not know the exact initial condition but we are given a probability distribution function (PDF), $p(x,v,t = 0)$ of the mass's ...
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1answer
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Is instability + sensitivity to initial conditions = Chaos?

Please correct me where wrong. I am having trouble finding answers to these specific questions. (1) In chaotic systems, does the presence of chaos and a strange attractor indicate that there is no ...
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1answer
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Are there any experimental or statistical tests to check deterministicity or stochasticity of a dynamical system?

Are there any simple experimental or statistical tests to check whether a dynamical system is deterministic?
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Are there systems in classical mechanics that are provably non-deterministic? [duplicate]

N body problems mostly don't admit any algebraic solutions although they can be solved numerically at least in principle. Determinism basically is the claim that given any system and its initial ...
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1answer
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Does exist a (truly) stochastic but causal physical process?

I wonder if it is possible for causality to be held, but not determinism. Does any real-world example exist? If yes, please explain how does that satisfy causality and not determinism. (for example, ...
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I could prove that Copenhagen QM and causality are incompatible; is it right? [closed]

A quantum system consists of some states. It is in all of the states but beCAUSE of the act of the measurement, the wavefunction collapses into one state. I am really confused because I can repeat the ...
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1answer
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Is 'measurement' deterministic in the pilot wave theory?

From what I read, measurements in pilot wave theory affect the particles as well as the guiding waves. Is it a random process or is everything deterministic according to the theory?
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Why is future 'deterministic' but not the past?

From what I saw, it seems that if theoretically you know the current states of a system (which seems impossible), you can predict its future wave function. But since there are wave function collapses, ...
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Shouldn't classical physics force us to assume that there is determinism on a quantum scale?

I'm not a physicist, I have read a lot about Bell's theorem and the Einstein/Bohr debates and I have the following question: Judging by only classical physics, it seems we live in a 100% ...
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How do we formally define “indeterminism” of physical expressions?

I recently read Emperor's New Mind, by Sir Roger Penrose. In it he talks at length about "determinism" in science. How does the Uncertainty Principle bring about the notion of so called ...
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Is the future set? [duplicate]

If we know the state of the universe at a certain point in time, is the future set? There have been quite a few similar questions on here and some of the answers were quite useful to me. But there is ...
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Is dynamics in GR unique?

Quote: "... a map $h$ of an open set $\Theta$ of a Bnach space $B_1$ into a Banach space $B_2$ is Lipschitz in $\Theta$ if there exists $k\in \mathbb{R}$ such that $||h(a)-h(b)||\leq k||a-b||$ for ...
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Does uncertainty principle imply that the past history of universe is also undetermined?

I read the page here: Is the Uncertainty Principle valid for information about the past?, but I am still somewhat confused. If you measure the momentum/position (with uncertainty) of a particle, what ...
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Could quantum randomness be transformed into classical, macroscale randomness?

If measurements of quantum phenomena can show results that are truly random wouldn't it be possible to establish a macroscale-dependence on such a non-statistical result and thereby introduce ...
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Flipping a coin with same initial conditions

Today, in my physics class my teacher was talking about how we can never predict the outcome of a coin flip. So I thought: Will the outcome of a coin flip be the same if we do not change the initial ...
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Is Gerard 't Hooft's Cellular Automaton Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics background independent?

In Gerard 't Hooft in his Cellular Automata Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/...
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Can a perfectly symmetrical round bead dropped into a perfectly level Galton Board indefinitely balance on a peg?

Probability implies that "The Galton Board consists of a vertical board with interleaved rows of pegs. Beads are dropped from the top and, when the device is level, bounce either left or right as they ...
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Block universe and quantum mechanics [duplicate]

Can a block universe (complete determinism) ever be compatible with quantum mechanics?
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1answer
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Quantum mechanics limits to understanding the Universe [closed]

By definition, a wave function does not describe a particle's state exactly, we can only know that information when we make measurements and thus collapse the wave function. This gives us a lot of ...
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1answer
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Quantum Mechanics - How do we know that the observed locations of electrons are random? [duplicate]

How do we know that the observed location of a electron (or any quantum object) is purely random (there is no way to predict it) within the probability-function instead of normal randomness (we don't ...
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Question reg. reasoning of deterministic reversible cyclical laws - The Theoretical Minimum

I recently started reading "The Theoretical Minimum: What you need to know to start doing Physics". In the first chapter, the authors define the "Minus-First law", and state that reversible ".. laws ...

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