Questions tagged [determinism]

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What causes a physical closed system to be probabilistic and not truly random?

I try to understand what is in general the deciding factor, property, that causes a closed physical system to behave probabilistic (i.e. Gaussian Curve) and not totally random (i.e. white flat noise)?...
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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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If I make decision based on quantum random number generator does that make my decision not predetermined or non deterministic?

If or assume the quantum random number generator generates true random numbers and the result is not predetermined by anything due to quantum mechanics. I make a decision such as choose between A and ...
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44 views

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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2answers
339 views

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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1answer
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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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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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71 views

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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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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45 views

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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679 views

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
90 views

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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Space invaders and energy conservation

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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1answer
60 views

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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112 views

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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146 views

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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3answers
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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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2answers
89 views

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
41 views

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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51 views

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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56 views

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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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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114 views

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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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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5answers
262 views

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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