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DETERMINISM OR RANDOM? Pick a side 
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#19
Jan1712, 01:20 AM

P: 19

"we have heard examples above that were neither, and one that was both."
I disagree with this entirely. I have heard no such thing. Point out your examples and i will tell you why they are one or the other. 


#20
Jan1712, 01:25 AM

P: 19

Give me an example of truly chatoic phenomena? One that couldn't easily be accounted for due to a lack of understanding of how the phenomena occurs



#21
Jan1712, 01:26 AM

P: 1,164

And as to the ability of a layman to interpret the situation I would strongly disagree with your assertion that you can come to understand it (and I'm not quite sure why you list people like Newton and Einstein as 'everyman's" Newton held the most esteemed professorship of mathematics at Cambridge university and was the head of the royal academy of science, Einstein has a PhD in physics and was looking for a faculty job before taking a job as a patent clerk (which is a high paying job that requires an advanced degree in physics or engineering) because his first kid was born, his plan was to get a few papers out and try again for a faculty job, a strategy that worked out VERY well). If you don't understand the math, you simply can't understand what the issues are. The math doesn't hide the real concepts it IS the concepts. P.S. You REALLY shouldn't post so many messages in a rant like fashion, you're clearly very curious about physics which is good but that's the kind of thing that gets you banned. 


#22
Jan1712, 01:28 AM

P: 1,164

If you would like specific examples, taking only a minute to think about them: Stimulated Emission Spontaneous Emission The Results of a SternGerlach experiment Any of the Bell's inequalities experiments Alpha decay Beta decay Gamma decay Any decay Single particle slit experiments on light Single particle slit experiments on electrons Single particle slit experiments on buckyballs (C60) Positional measurement of a particle in a box Momentum measurement of a particle in a box Transition amplitudes for any tunneling event , etc. 


#23
Jan1712, 01:42 AM

P: 19

I didnt know you weren't allowed to post heaps of messages, it will be one at a time then :p Thanks
Also, there is something fundamental you are forgetting when you speak of quantum mechanics as being so sound that the maths behind it excludes the idea of determinism. Here is the fundamental thing you missed: "If you think you understand quantum physics, then you don't understand quantum physics" Richard Feynman Also when you say the maths is the concept so to understand the thing you must understand the maths. This must be true on many levels. But also leaves out the fact that the concepts AND the maths are only based on what's right infront of us, and are only created by US. And whats right infront of us, is a world in which we KNOW, the interactions on our larger scale are a direct result of the interactions that occur on the subatomic scale. We also know that when you divide a number in half over and over it will never reach zero. We have also NEVER been presented with evidence that suggests that the smaller scales ever stop. Every time we've looked closer in history we have found that the material is made of the chain made of the molecule made of the atom made of the subatomic particles. This could continue forever, and is just as likely, and makes more sense then if it were ever to stop. So now you tell me, when facing INFINITY, does one brush the infinite explanations for the things they are seeing away, and stick to one narrow minded way of thinking regarding them?? Also answer this, if indeterminacy is real, then why do we participate in physics? Are we trying to understand something with no meaning? Trying to figure out how the things work, even tho we already figured out that they work sometimes, and act differently others? just work and do **** because they just do and there is no reason behind it 


#24
Jan1712, 01:54 AM

P: 19

How can you say any kind of decay is truly chaotic, when half lives are fairly predictable? How can you say anything is truly chaotic, when others are not?
For something to be truly chaotic, everything would need to be truly chaotic. Everything would need to be indeterminacy. Every physical law, every interaction. All of it would be utterrly useless. It would have either popped up randomly or would have always been there, always acting randomly. Like you say maths is the concept. Yet if the concept can be viewed without maths, by people. And maths is nothing more than a logical arrangement of peoples thoughts. Then maths is as much evidence as logic. Its when you have the two unified that something becomes believable. And i can assure you, quantum mechanics has not unified maths and logic 


#25
Jan1712, 02:04 AM

PF Gold
P: 3,135

Randomness is similar many physical theories used randomness as part of the theory (statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, chaotic dynamics, etc.), and have done so for centuries. These are aspects of a theory, not aspects of reality. We don't get the latter, that's not what physics does. Yes, sometimes a statistical theory that invoked randomness turned out to be underpinned by a more fundamental theory that invoked determinism, and sometimes a deterministic theory turned out to be underpinned by a more fundamental theory that invoked randomness. And so on why should we ever expect that state of affairs to end? Are you one of the people who believes there is an "ultimate theory" that explains everything, and that this ultimate theory will have to be deterministic? On what basis do you hold this religious faith of yours? (Oh yeah, you base it on the fact that people said Newton couldn't do what he did, etc. but as I said, that's quite a flimsy basis for your logic.) The actual truth is, we have no diea, and I doubt we ever will, but that's fine because that's never what physics was about knowing. Physics was, is, and will be, about making models, and we will invoke whatever concepts we need at the time, be they deterministic, random, or who knows what else. Then the same thing happened again in quantum mechanics, except this time the "ball" we had to run with was indeterminism, and so again we changed our concept of what physics was supposed to do. And so on. This is all perfectly natural, it's just how physics works. We have no idea where the next turn will be, but we find "meaning" all along the path and we have no reason whatsoever to equate meaning with determinism, that's actually a rather limited and possibly even uneducated view (I don't mean to be harsh, I think your view is rather common) of what physics has done and can do. 


#26
Jan1712, 02:08 AM

P: 19

Also you didnt understand what i meant when i spoke of Newton and Einstein as layman.
Newton came up with gravity based on simple logic. Einstein came up with special relativity based on simple logic that can easily be explained. The fact that you can come up with a theory without maths, and then it be proven by maths. PROVES that logic is as valuable as maths. So why are you telling me i can't understand the concepts without the maths? 


#27
Jan1712, 02:09 AM

P: 1,164

If quantum mechanics and special relativity are true then determinism is wrong, it's as simple as that. Just quickly coming back to the point of random vs. probabilistic, quantum mechanics is probabilistic. If you perform an exactly identical experiment multiple times you will get different results, however, you will not get RANDOM results. Quantum mechanics will tell you the exact DISTRIBUTION of results, i.e. you will get this results 73.3415% of the time, this result 12.1412532%, etc. And the equations of motion in quantum mechanics are DETERMINISTIC, the conceptual difficulty is that the THING that is moving (motioning) is a PROBABILITY wave (amplitude actually), and not a particle. And there is extremely strong indication that the wavefunction is not a mathematical abstraction, it is REAL. Regardless, the very structure of quantum is NOT one where the wavefunction is a way of hiding our lack of knowledge of the system, that math is called CLASSICAL statistical mechanics, and it makes some very different (incorrect) predictions. Quantum is not a smoke screen hiding experimental error/lack of information, this issue is so well understood and explored, it is something fundamentally different. 


#28
Jan1712, 02:18 AM

P: 1,164

[tex] F_g = G \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2} [/tex] I'm not quite sure what you think he discovered but that's what he discovered and he came to it through a geometric/calculus (i.e. math) PROOF. (the apple story is bull fyi, he himself started telling it in his old age, decades after he developed his theory of gravitation). Einstein's theory of special relativity comes from the MATHEMATICAL insight by Lorentz, that Maxwell's EQUATIONS governing electromagnetism and light have a special mathematical symmetry different form Newton's Laws. Einstein basically whipped classical mechanics in to a form that obeyed this mathematical symmetry (what is called Lorentz Invariance), the result looks like this [tex]E=\sqrt{m^2 c^4 + p^2 c^2} = \gamma m c^2, \gamma = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1  \frac{v^2}{c^2}}} [/tex] THAT is what Einstein discovered, not some vague notion of "if I'm riding on a light beam and I emit light to a mirror in front of me what happens". You really must realize that when you watch some PBS Nova show or what have you and they tell some story about Einstein sitting on a rock and thinking about light bouncing of a mirror or what have you that these things are MADEUP for pop science viewers/readers to hide the actual math and concepts. You really think that's what physics is? That that's how it comes to be? You simple CAN'T come to understand the vast majority of physics (arguably any of physics) without the math. 


#29
Jan1712, 02:18 AM

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P: 3,135

Note for example that there are (at least) two very different versions of determinism itself. There is the determinism of motion under gravity, which is all about the initial state leading to the final state, and there is the determinism of motion under friction, which is all about the final state (lack of motion) being controlled by friction and not caring about how fast the object was originally moving. Motion under friction is the kind of motion the Greeks could handle, and they tended to create teleological theories (objects found their "proper place" and so forth). Motion under gravity, without friction, was where we really needed Newton's laws, because objects didn't have any proper places any more, they just went whereever they were destined to go by their initial states. Of course, as I said, there was no accounting for the initial states, so in that sense this latter type of determinism was not really determined at all it was conditional motion, conditioned on whatever determined the initial state, which was left undetermined by the theory. Of course today we could trace that situation all the way back to the Big Bang, not there there would be any reason to trust classical models to succeed in doing that. 


#30
Jan1712, 02:25 AM

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#31
Jan1712, 02:39 AM

P: 19

Ken g You act as if there is no logical evidence toward determinism? that it is simply a belief in the only other thing thats left when you disregard indeterminacy.
Think simply. Think like anyone with logic can do. When much smaller constituents create a much larger thing, and this much larger thing contains hundreds of imitations, patterns, laws and even beings that can think themselves. The only conclusion is that the constituents were arranged. For indeterminacy to be correct, it would mean that if we were to go back to whenever. and replicate what was there EXACTLY, in every minute detail, that it would turn out DIFFERENTLY then it is now. That makes as little sense as 1+1=3. So don't say maths told you its indeterminacy, you are the ones that did the maths and got confused SOMEWHERE. I mean right now they need a quantum gravity theory or the things they know don't even make sense. Physicists do not know as much as they pretend too. Accounts for why they always seem to be wrong, right? For quantum indeterminacy to be final, it would mean that two 100% identical twins in 100% identical situations and environments, would turn out differently. Even tho we already know we are only a product of our environments. Its staring you right in the face. Do you disagree with the following statement in any way? If every variable in a closed system is known. Then there are no unknown variables in this closed system. For indeterminacy to be correct, it would mean that even with every single possible variable 100% understood, the system would act differently than intended. You would ask, what variable made it act differently? as common sense says. But your answer would be, "no variable, it just acted differently cause". You say determinism is the silly one that sounds like we believe in some silly higher power. When really indeterminacy is so silly it believes in this mythical higher power which effects things in unknown unpredictable ways, even tho its actually not effecting them because it isnt in the equation! it aint a variable! it aint a number! it just does it! And there is no way to explain it! Determinism is the only thing that makes sense. Have you ever heard the phrase science without religion is lame? You guys are lame. ( And by religion, i don't mean the church, temple or mosque kind.) Think about this, when Newton's laws of motion were introduced, i can bet there were hundreds of mathematical equations built off of these laws. This maths would have branched in a direction, based on the fundamental laws that it was based. And now we know Newton didn't know all that much. That these hundreds of mathematical equations were built off laws which weren't accurate!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE LIKELIHOOD THAT THEY ARE WRONG NOW? " you want to maintain that the universe is truly deterministic, you can always do that you could have done it in Aristotle's day, in Newton's, in Einstein's, and in the year 2450," Cant you see that the theory that always holds is usually the correct one??????????!!!!! 


#32
Jan1712, 02:53 AM

P: 19

Drakkith
I am convinced that order of our scale could never truly come out of chaos. It makes much more sense that it is misunderstood chaos. Also, proof of a narrow minded way of thinking Theory 1 Theory 2 must either refute theory 1 or include it in theory 2 Theory 3 must either refute theory 2 and 1, or include 2 and hence one etc Can't you see that when people try to build off a way of thinking for such a long time, that it will always go wrong somewhere? Think about how hard it would be to present a theory today that opposed some basic aspects of quantum mechanics. As soon as the opposition becomes "highly unlikely" in the minds of the opposed, narrow mindedness is present. 


#33
Jan1712, 04:52 AM

P: 641

Kaku has made many contributions in the development of string theory. Check out his publication list, starting in 1974: http://inspirehep.net/search?ln=en&l...m=&rg=100&sc=0 Brian Greene has also made respectable contributions. Obviously they have changed their focus after many years of hardcore research, but their qualifications are undeniable. Still, I agree that even they often overestimate the importance of speculative/hypothetical theories. 


#34
Jan1712, 04:54 AM

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#35
Jan1712, 04:57 AM

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P: 11,904

Given the OP's strong opposition to learning absolutely anything, I motion that this thread be locked.



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