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Is there anything random?

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  1. Apr 22, 2015 #1
    Hi,
    I'd like to ask you if is there (in universe) anything random - any event which hasn't a reason. I say no but I haven't enough knowledge about physics so perhaps there are some things I don't know.

    Thank you
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2015 #2

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    If you are asking if there are effects that happen without cause, then no, there are not. Not according to physics.
     
  4. Apr 22, 2015 #3
    So that mean the future is already defined, doesn't it?
     
  5. Apr 22, 2015 #4

    Drakkith

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    It means that future events must have causes, nothing more.
     
  6. Apr 22, 2015 #5
    If by a "reason" you mean that based on the previous situation this had to happen, then you are asking whether the universe is deterministic. This depends on how you understand quantum mechanics. According to the standard way of formulating QM, there are only probabilities about a range of things that may happen. But there are other interpretations such as Bohm's which are deterministic. Then you have the "many worlds" idea: That all the "options" happen but we see them as parallel universes, so looking at the whole picture there is determinism, but any one copy of you, in one of the worlds, seem a random process. These different interpretations are still the subject of much debate, so one can say that your question is still open.
     
  7. Apr 22, 2015 #6

    Drakkith

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    I think maline's post sums up the standard argument pretty well. This thread seems destined to spiral down into the depths of a philosophical discussion, so I'm going to lock it now before it reaches the philosophical event horizon. Tepster, if you have a non-philosophical question, feel free to start a new thread.
     
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