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Formula for Randomeness

  1. Dec 14, 2011 #1
    Now, this is a difficult question to categorize (I'm new here, if I should move this somewhere else, send me a message) and I think I know the answer to it but I wanted to see what anyone else thought.

    Suppose you are without a computer or any type of hardware. Is it possible to use a formula to create random (or pseudorandom) numbers? At first, it seems impossible. Formulas are quite possible the most linear thing ever created and randomness is exactly the opposite - quite nonlinear. Whenever you run numbers through a formula, the numbers will always stay the same - nothing random about it at all.

    However, I'm not sure. Is it possible to create a working formula that uses a seed - a defined series of numbers? You could then feed that into some type of equation for getting random numbers - some computers do it in that method, but they have hardware which is capable of processing millions of calculations, and providing randomness.

    It's probably a silly question but I just wanted some input on what other people thought.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2011 #2
    Why not use the same simple formulas that the computers use?:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_number_generation

    E.g. a "linear congruential generator" as mentioned in that article.

    Using a set of dice is probably much faster, since calculating by hand is pretty slow for most people.
     
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