Questions tagged [randomness]

Randomness covers questions having to do with the concept of randomness in physical processes and questions about determinism vs indeterminism or interpretations thereof. Question related to concepts of probability may also use this tag.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
0answers
183 views

In the process of Diffusion Limited Aggregation (DLA), why do the particles prefer to form something which has the shape of a tree?

In the process of Diffusion Limited Aggregation (DLA), why do the particles prefer to form something which has the shape of a tree instead of just a front line?
2
votes
1answer
419 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
292 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

Generalizing a Gaussian distribution

Perhaps this a nonsensical question but hear me out. I have a random variable $x$ whose moments I can calculate. The first moment $<x>$ is zero and the second $<x^2> = X^2$ is something ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

Quantum fortune teller

A diffraction pattern in a double slit experiment only occurs if randomness is preserved for which way the photon goes and once certainty is determined by actual measuring the pattern is lost. Can ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Introducing Randomness into Lagrangian Mechanics

Let's say at $t_o$ we have a ball rolling along a (rigid) tight rope. Is there anyway that we can solve for the trajectory of the ball knowing that at some $ t' $ there will be a random constraint ...
2
votes
0answers
228 views

Temperature as the independent variable of Lagrangian

I was thinking about applications of the Lagrangian and I started to toy with some ideas and tried to come up with interesting twists. Immediately I thought it would be interesting to use temperature ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
2k views

Are radioactive decays truly random? [duplicate]

By truly random I mean that IF we knew the position and velocity of every particle in radioactive isotope, could we predict when the decay would happen?
3
votes
1answer
513 views

What do we mean by “typical state”?

My question is somehow simple, but not trivial. I'm reading many articles about the ER=EPR correspondence. There are some articles which study this proposal from a field theory point of view (one ...
1
vote
0answers
626 views

What is a stochastic process in a physics context? [closed]

In my mind, a stochastic process is simply a "random" process, one where the outcome is informed by initial conditions but not in a deterministic way. Is this a correct definition? What are some ...
-4
votes
2answers
192 views

Proving (instead of discovering) the laws of quantum mechanics

A single toss of a fair coin cannot be predicted. But if we observe a large number of tosses, we can prove mathematically the law that roughly half of them will show up heads. The movements of ...
2
votes
2answers
665 views

Can string theory get rid of randomness in quantum processes?

I am not a physicist, but I am very much into popular science, especially string theory. I would like to know if it is conceivable that string theory might be able to get rid of the randomness ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Randomness of submolecular phenomena

Why do models of submolecular phenomena involving randomness work? Do these phenomena appear random to other submolecular particles? For example, people can use Einstein-Smoluchowski to characterize ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

Quantum random numbers from a laser — simplest setup?

I'm a software / maths guy who would like to build a physical setup for generating quantum random numbers. I have no physics background, so bear with me. Background The project is for a public ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Non-random observations (regarding physical quantity)?

Are there completely deterministic observations? More detailed: Talking about an observations process for which of the following sentences would you vote: Version 1 (always random): "These ...
11
votes
4answers
804 views

What is an interpretation of quantum mechanics?

In the sense of "Copenhagen Interpretation", what exactly is an interpretation? What purpose does an interpretation serve? Can an interpretation be tested or even be correct or incorrect independent ...
1
vote
1answer
186 views

Argument for proving that the universe must be indeterministic [duplicate]

Can there exist an argument that could be used for proving that the universe is indeterministic? If this one seems to be too strict (rigorous), I would also be interested to know a 1-sentence ...
58
votes
9answers
5k views

Is the uncertainty principle a property of elementary particles or a result of our measurement tools?

In many physics divulgation books I've read, this seems to be a commonly accepted point of view (I'm making this quote up, as I don't remember the exact words, but this should give you an idea): ...
5
votes
4answers
23k views

Is radioactive decay spontaneous or random?

When it comes to radioactive decay, what is the difference between random and spontaneous? For example, when the count rate of a radioactive isotope is measured, the readings fluctuate. Is this a ...
92
votes
7answers
44k 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 ...