Questions tagged [determinism]

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If you knew perfectly knew the initial state of everything, could you predict everything? [closed]

Due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, one cannot know the complete state of a system, or particle. And so, unable to know fully certainly the state of a system, it is impossible to perfectly ...
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Does quantum decoherence desctibe a deterministic universe?

QM describes a system, whose state evolve unitarily, which is deterministic. The apparent non-determinism comes from the measurement problem, where the state is projected to some subspace in a ...
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Entropy of a deterministic reversible system

Suppose a deterministic reversible system evolving from state A of gas located in a small bottle in an otherwise empty room, to state B where the gas is dispersed throughout the room. Why is the ...
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Is photon path pre-defined at the time of emission? [duplicate]

I am probably missing an important aspect here, but here are two thought experiments I came up with that make me quite a bit confused. Can some one explain to me, if I am missing any important aspects ...
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Does the many worlds interpretation not violate determinism?

Okay, consider me dumb here. I’m not a physicist but the question genuinely bugs me and i think there’s a gap in my understanding. But my question presupposes determinism as does the many worlds ...
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Why does Norton's thought experiment require a specific dome shape?

Norton's dome famously shows that Newtonian mechanics (as a mathematical model) is non-deterministic. To do this, a very specific potential is chosen. But why does this not work with any dome shape, e....
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Revolving pendulum contradicts laplace determinism

A question came once into my mind There is a pendulum having length of string 1metre and was initially at rest. Now the point of suspension suddenly starts to move in uniform horizontal circular ...
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Is superdeterminism just retrocausality?

I watched this YouTube video by Sabine Hossenfelder to try and better understand superdeterminism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytyjgIyegDI (Note: Physics begins around 8:12, before that she's ...
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About the determinism of the universe and decidability? [closed]

Note: I have a math/CS background and only basic knowledge of physics. Decidability has to be intended from a logic perspective. To the best of my knowledge, we have no proof if the universe is either ...
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Is Norton's dome valid (or does $\frac{d^2 \vec{p}}{dt^2} = \vec{0} \implies \frac{d^n \vec{p}}{dt^n} = \vec{0} \ \forall \ n > 2$)?

I came across Norton's dome and I don't agree that it proves anything. First, here's an obviously ridiculous and completely nonsensical example that I constructed from thinking about simple harmonic ...
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Is there consensus among physicists that reality is fundamentally deterministic? [duplicate]

Does Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle mean that the universe cannot deterministically be predicted by observers, or does it mean that the universe is inherently indeterministic, meaning that the ...
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Why is acceleration not usually count as a state? [duplicate]

Position, velocity and acceleration can vary over time. Although only position and velocity are usually count as states of the ODEs. Which makes me wonder why acceleration is not taken as a state?
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Are Superdeterminism and Many Worlds compatible quantum interpretations?

Pretty much as my title says... are Superdeterminism and Many Worlds compatible quantum interpretations? It seems to me that they might be compatible, or close to it, maybe even the stronger statement ...
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Halting-problem-like paradox due to predictability

Let's assume that the universe and humans are deterministic, and that I can perfectly predict the future based on the laws of physics and the environment. This means I can predict what you will do ...
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Is radioactive decay deterministic? [duplicate]

Suppose you know at time $t$ that there is some atomic nucleus that radioactively decays. If you were to magically roll back the universe to the exact same state and let it continue as per usual ...
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Is there any concept in physics, that could potentially in the future get rid of "randomness"? [duplicate]

This question was very interesting to a non physicists like me question (I am computer scientist and I work with "pure random" crypto hardware that uses quantum phenomena) Obviously string ...
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Is a coin toss pseudo-random or truly random? [duplicate]

I wonder if a coin toss is pseudo-random or truly random. Sure, you could say that a coin toss is pseudo-random because you don't know the speed of the coin or its rotation, but if you were to include ...
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Why is Norton's dome said to exhibit a non-deterministic behavior?

I have seen quite a few times the assertion "Norton's dome demonstrates non-determinism of ***" (replace *** by "Newtonian mechanics" or something else), cf. e.g. this Phys.SE post....
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Are quantum experiments superdeterministic? [closed]

Lately this recent video of Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder made me think if this theory deserves a serious review and has substantial ground. What are the rigorous arguments against this theory today? Please ...
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Determinism in quantum mechanics - a thought experiment [duplicate]

How does modern quantum mechanics treat determinism? Is the world predictable? According to the uncertainty principle, when we measure a micro-object with a measuring device, we cannot predict what ...
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Is the Past indeterministic?

Could multiple distinct past states of the universe have lead to the same present? Whether the difference is almost trivial or not is fine, though the greater the difference can be, the more ...
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Is Laplace’s demon compatible with other interpretations of quantum mechanics?

We know that Laplace’s demon is incompatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, because the Copenhagen interpretation is inherently non-deterministic. But there are other ...
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If time is an illusion, then is free will also an illusion under such illusion? [closed]

Space time has existed from the beginning of the universe and until its end and humans exist on 3D plane. Due to its limitations, it is only able to experience one period of spacetime, like being ...
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Are scattering experiments probabilistic in quantum mechanics?

Suppose we have a electron that will scatter into an atom. When the electron is far way of the atom long before the scattering the system is represented by the state $\left|\psi_\text{in}\right\...
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Does indeterministic event imply the violation of causality?

In many cases, an indeterministic event were accompanied by the violation of causality in certain theory. However, does indeterminstic event in general imply the violation of causality in classical (...
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Past prediction of a damped harmonic oscillator (a follow-up of a previous question)

Consider an ordinary differential equation (ODE) of a 1D damped oscillator of the form $$\ddot{x}+\gamma\dot{x}+\omega^2x=0.~~(\omega^2,\gamma>0)$$ I want to know if this ODE is reversible i.e., ...
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In classical physics, by knowing the present, can we always uniquely construct the past? [duplicate]

In classical mechanics, by knowing the present, is it always possible to uniquely reconstruct the past? By knowing the phase space point at present i.e., the set of coordinates $\{q_i(0),p_i(0)\}$, ...
2 votes
2 answers
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Does quantum mechanics tell us when the next measurement will occur?

In many interpretations of quantum mechanics, the result of a measurement is regarded as non-deterministic. However, my question is: is the time at which a measurement occurs deterministic? To be ...
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Is it theoretically possible to reconstruct physical scenes in the past from current physical situation? [duplicate]

I have lately been in a rural area. In this rural area, my father had a hunting lodge. It was a very special place for me as I spent many exiting days of my childhood there. 30 years later, my father ...
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Is weather a phenomenon impacted by quantum randomness?

Im trying to find phenomena that impact our everyday lives that are subject to quantum randomness. And I was wondering whether weather might be one of them. Can an electron behaving slightly ...
2 votes
2 answers
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What does superdeterminism mean in the context of Bell inequalities?

I see superdeterminism come up as one way that local realism and all that other good stuff can be preserved, but it also seems like it's a minority view. I've been trying to understand why, and really,...
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Are there known situations where the non-deterministic property of QM is notisable in human perceptions (seconds to hours or cm to meters) [duplicate]

QM is non-deterministic. In QM you can calculater the chance that a particle is at a certain position. But as a human we cannot experiance one particl, only a vast number of particles (eg constant of ...
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How can one distinguish between a random process and a chaotic process? [duplicate]

Chaos is not a random process, although it may look like one. If I am given a set of observations, is it possible to determine if the observations are generated by a random process or if they are ...
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From the initial condition problem of the Euler-Lagrange equation to the principle of least action

I browsed through many similar questions about the Initial Condition Problem (ICP) and Boundary Value Problem (BVP) for Euler-Lagrange equations, here some interesting but (in my opinion) incomplete ...
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Could an external being predict quantum uncertainty given all the information of our Universe? [duplicate]

I'll elaborate and be more specific. I understand that this is almost a metaphysical question but nonetheless I want to give it a try. Could an external being outside our Universe create 10 ...
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Deterministic and stochastic chaos

I have a question about chaos, but first a foreword of what I understood. Noise refers to the random variation of values. Usually unwanted, noise causes a measurement to fluctuate over time. Chaos ...
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How much do quantum fluctuations affect our lives? [closed]

In other words, how deterministic is our daily lives given the probabilistic attributes of quantum mechanics? How much does the randomness of quantum mechanics affect our thoughts and our actions? To ...
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Could quantum world be deterministic even though there would be no hidden variables at play?

To my knowledge it is quite widely accepted in the scientific community that at the quantum level physics is not deterministic, only probabilistic. I know that there were some efforts to find some ...
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How is superdeterminism a loophole to Bell's theorem?

I read wiki about superdeterminism and Bell's theorem and the lecture on free will, and I struggle to understand what free will has to do with the Bell's theorem. From my understanding, for Bell's ...
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Is the deterministic block universe compatible with human free will? [closed]

Is Einstein's deterministic block universe compatible with human free will?
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Can you have an overall probabilistic many body quantum system with deterministic body mechanics but probabilistic interaction mechanics among them?

I try to understand if it is possible a quantum many body system in total to have a probabilistic time independent behavior (not stochastic which has a time-depended evolution) but with its elements (...
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Would we "see" some quantum mechanical effects if we investigated with bowling balls instead of photons?

As an layman and outsider who has read some of Dirac, I want an understanding of how important absolute size is to quantum mechanics - like wondering if it is a necessary or sufficient condition (...
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How deep our experiments on non-determinism are?

Disclaimer: Sorry in advance, because I've probably misunderstood something from this introductory quantum physics lesson, or something else related to quantum physics or math. But, hey, I need to ...
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Is quantum computation possible in a superdeterministic universe?

I've seen many renowned scientists arguing that the universe is superdeterministic, but superdeterminism is a "hidden variable" theory. Is this compatible with the concept of quantum ...
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What is the definitive evidence we have that quantum theory's probabilistic nature is physical and not epistemic?

For example does superposition or wavefunction really occur in the physical quantum world or is it only a property of the quantum theory's framework and formalism to help us to make accurate ...
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Is it possible the quantum world to be actually deterministic after all? [closed]

Possible the "Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle" (HUP) describes the fact that we are not able to probe beyond a small size scale into the quantum world because the relative long light waves ...
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If electron moved in a definite orbit, would that violate Heisenberg uncertainty principle? [duplicate]

If hypothetically a electron does manage to move in a specified orbit (we always find it anywhere on a particular locus), would it break Heisenberg uncertainty principle?
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Does the 'No-Superdeterminism' assumption of the 2020 Wigner's friend experiment excl backwards/block-wise/holistic consistency & limited nonlocality?

In "A strong no-go theorem on the Wigner’s friend paradox" authors conclude that one of three possible options is necessary for reconciling quantum physics with more classical physical ...
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Is there a proof of the uniqueness of the solutions of Maxwell equations with non-fixed charges?

I know that if $\rho(t,\vec x)$, $\vec J(t,\vec x)$, $\vec E(0,\vec x)$ and $\vec B(0,\vec x)$ are given beforehand, with $\nabla \cdot \vec E(0,\vec x) = 4\pi\rho(0,\vec x)$ and $\nabla \cdot \vec B(...
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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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