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.

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92
votes
7answers
45k 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 ...
58
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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 ...
11
votes
4answers
808 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
380 views

How do we know that certain quantum effects are random?

I was looking at a website that claims to generate random numbers from observation of quantum effects. This lead me to question how we know that the numbers are truly random. When we observe a ...
26
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

What triggers a nuclear decay?

I am not a physicist but I have been wondering about this: I understand that the decay of a nucleus is a random event and one cannot predict exactly when it will happen for a particular nucleus. ...
2
votes
5answers
422 views

Could the universe be accurately simulated with an infinitely powerful computer? [duplicate]

This would mean that every event happens because of what has hapened before it and there is no randomness factor. At a microscopic level, the motion of atoms is a result of the motion of other atoms ...
0
votes
4answers
677 views

Is the quantum world affected by the law of causality, or it is just really random? [closed]

If the quantum world is really random why a random quantum event 'e' happend in the way 'a' and not in the way 'b' . what caused that ?
49
votes
7answers
6k views

Are random errors necessarily Gaussian?

I have seen random errors being defined as those which average to 0 as the number of measurements goes to infinity, and that the error is equally likely to be positive or negative. This only requires ...
9
votes
4answers
510 views

Is there a mathematical basis for Born rule?

Wave function determines complex amplitudes to possible measurement outcomes. The Born Rule states that the probability of obtaining some measurement outcome is equal to the square of the ...
2
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0answers
235 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
160 views

How can we certify that the randomness in the measurement outcomes is not due to randomness in the state preparation?

According to the theory of quantum mechanics, if a spin state is prepared along axis "x", and then measured along axis "z", then the result of the spin projection is probabilistic: half of the times ...
1
vote
1answer
267 views

Randomness v. complexity

There are a few other topics I found that explore this idea from a different perspective: Is randomness deterministic? Can randomness exist? Is the universe fundamentally deterministic? My question ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

How to introduce dimensionality in a dimensionless framework?

This question is an extension of this one. I have been told that to introduce dimensionality in a dimensionless quantity I need to multiply with suitable parameters. For instance, for velocity I have ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

How to deal with motion on a 2-D lattice in terms of dimension?

I am reading a paper titled: Random walks of molecular motors arising from diffusional encounters with immobilized filaments. There the authors consider the molecular motor moving on a 1-D protein ...
0
votes
1answer
247 views

Can Chaos Theory be used to explain the Ising model in paramagnetic phase?

Is it possible? How can I explain the randomness of spins in the paramagnetic phase with chaos theory? In this case, is the randomness apparent? If yes, I think the temperature would be a reasonable ...
-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 ...