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Spider

Does Randomness Really Exist?

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I have a feeling spider favours determinism because he read that our futures are already written

 

For me it's both philosophical and theological at the same time.

 

If there was pure randomness at the most fundamental level of nature, it conveys the idea that Allah created the universe with no plan or a purpose behind it (maybe I'm wrong but I'm still thinking about it). Randomness negates purpose. But my disbelief in true randomness also has an epistemic grounding: If everything is random in the microscopic world, then it's not conceivable that we would find highly organized systems in the macroscopic world. The microscopic and macroscopic worlds wouldn't be so different if reality was fundamentally truly random.

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On 4/22/2017 at 4:45 PM, Spider said:

The idea that that there are no hidden variables in quantum mechanics is supported by the Copenhagen interpretation of QM. That's considered as the standard interpretation but there are other interpretations as well (and not just a few but multiple). I think you know that already. One alternate interpretation is called the de Broglie-Bohm theory or the pilot-wave theory (or Bohmian mechanics). Unlike the Copenhagen interpretation, this is a deterministic interpretation and it says that there are hidden variables in quantum mechanics.

 
The pilot-wave theory is one of the interpretations that have been left by the wayside as science marched on. It hasn't caught on like the Copenhagen view and the Many Worlds view of QM. Recently, however, some new experiments have fueled some interest in the pilot-wave theory and so it is possibly poised to make a comeback:
 
 
 
 
Who is the French dude, btw? Are you thinking of John Stewart Bell? If so, then he is Irish, not French.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_Aspect

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I've looked at the those experiments and what they imply about randomness and hidden variables.

Well, here is a quote, from one of the links above (Quanta Magazine), which states that the idea that Bell's theorem rules out hidden variables in QM is a misinterpretation:

 

"Later, the Northern Irish physicist John Stewart Bell went on to prove a seminal theorem that many physicists today misinterpret as rendering hidden variables impossible. But Bell supported pilot-wave theory. He was the one who pointed out the flaws in von Neumann’s original proof. And in 1986 he wrote that pilot-wave theory “seems to me so natural and simple, to resolve the wave-particle dilemma in such a clear and ordinary way, that it is a great mystery to me that it was so generally ignored."

 

I have more things to say about the Bell's inequality experiments. I had fun deconstructing them. And unsurprisingly I still do not see how they prove that true randomness exists. On the contrary, they seem to suggest that proving randomness is an impossible task, as I've been saying all along. But it's going to be a longer post, so I'll write that stuff later.

 

 

1) Yea it doesn't prove it impossible - especially the early experiments that had a lot of loopholes. But a lot of these loopholes have been ironed out over time. However pretty much every experiment performed has shown a violation of these inequalities, with each experiment ironing out loopholes of the previous.

 

I think most recently there was a breakthrough experiment in 2014 or so with very few loopholes that still showed a violation of Bell inequalities. In the present day, you really have to rely on very few loopholes to help save your belief that QM has hidden variables. I mean, pretty much every test has violated these inequalities. If you go with the evidence - then really you should veer towards QM being truly random.

 

2) How can you not? The inequalities are violated - QM is truly random. If they aren't violated then we have hidden variables. If you want to derive the Bell Inequalities there is a really good paper I can reference you that is very entry level proof. As long as you can do basic maths and have an open mind.

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On 4/22/2017 at 6:42 PM, superman said:

2) How can you not? The inequalities are violated - QM is truly random. If they aren't violated then we have hidden variables. If you want to derive the Bell Inequalities there is a really good paper I can reference you that is very entry level proof. As long as you can do basic maths and have an open mind.

 

Yeah I'm interested to see that.
 
But also, I'd like to know what you mean by "truly random." The definition is important and you haven't defined it yet. You gave examples of (supposedly) truly random events, and you said that things can be truly random and we can still predict phenomena, and you defined what pseudo-randomness is even. But I haven't seen you express what true randomness is to you. So can you define it?

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Yeah I'm interested to see that.

 

But also, I'd like to know what you mean by "truly random." The definition is important and you haven't defined it yet. You gave examples of (supposedly) truly random events, and you said that things can be truly random and we can still predict phenomena, and you defined what pseudo-randomness is even. But I haven't seen you express what true randomness is to you. So can you define it?

 

even if you know every initial condition you cannot predict the outcome of a single event with 100 percent certainty. Note - you can still predict the ratio of different outcomes for an ensemble of events.

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even if you know every initial condition you cannot predict the outcome of a single event with 100 percent certainty.

 

Well that also depends on the condition of our prediction capability. If you knew all the initial conditions of the entire universe AND you had a 100% complete and flawless method of predicting things, would you still fail to predict a single event with 100 percent certainty?

 

Where is the link to the paper you were talking about? If you don't have the link then that's okay.

 

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And basically if reality at the deepest layer is truly random, then that's like saying that we live in a fundamentally non-causal universe. And this is inconsistent because cause-and-effect is the core idea behind physics itself.

 

So, if you believe that reality is fundamentally random, and that this is supported by physics, then essentially you're implying that we can use physics to refute itself.

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no, random here refers to non determinism. Causality is not affected by that.

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you can't know initial conditions precisely - uncertainty principle.

 

oh yea !!

 

its really nice to see how random stuff you learnt in 2nd year actually makes a lot more sense after a very long time.

 

But this then implies that QM at some fundamental is deterministic but we aren't able to asses the initial conditions?

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no, random here refers to non determinism. Causality is not affected by that.

 

sometimes I feel as if Spider forgets everything I have told him 10 times already lol.

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oh yea !!

 

its really nice to see how random stuff you learnt in 2nd year actually makes a lot more sense after a very long time.

 

But this then implies that QM at some fundamental is deterministic but we aren't able to asses the initial conditions?

 

 

well, QM is deterministic. i.e,wave functions are deterministic. What's not deterministic are the observable. e.g., position, energy

Wave functions obeys deterministic equations like Dirac's or Schrodinger's.

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On 4/23/2017 at 5:53 PM, superman said:

 

sometimes I feel as if Spider forgets everything I have told him 10 times already lol.

 

try saying something that agrees with him. you won't be able to recant that ever again.

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well, QM is deterministic. i.e,wave functions are deterministic. What's not deterministic are the observable. e.g., position, energy

Wave functions obeys deterministic equations like Dirac's or Schrodinger's.

 

so if I know the momentum 100% then the position has a very large range of values the system occupies at the same time.

 

tbh I heard QFT is even weirder (haven't studied it) where there is a single electron "field" and the electrons we observe are just "spikes" in that field or something

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no, random here refers to non determinism. Causality is not affected by that.

 

Well if causality holds at every level of reality, even in quantum mechanics, then you can't say that anything is truly random (I know you didn't say that, but superman was). If all things follow cause and effect, then there is a pattern, but we just don't know what the pattern/cause-and-effect relationship is. Maybe that's what you meant by non-determinism. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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