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Nothing is true random?

  1. Aug 18, 2012 #1
    I've been thinking about what random actually is and let me give you an example. If you made a machine that flips a penny, put the machine and and penny in a small room, place the penny upon the flipper and let it flip, now so long as the penny was placed in the exact same position every single time and there were no other variables, the penny would land on the same side every single time?

    Another slightly more complex test is with a die, if you made a machine to spit out a die into the air onto a table, as long as no variables were changed the die would land on the same side everytime, not only that, but slow the die down and you'd see it take the exact same flight path, it would rotate the same, bounce in the exact same spot and on the exact same angle(s)?

    Ok now for the ultimate test, the lottery, the lottery balls are always numbered 1(...)49. If the machine starts spinning the exact same speed and the balls are released at the same pace ect every single time, ok the balls would be bouncing around like mad and appear to be mixing up, but if the little sucker thing always took the first ball at say 10 seconds EXACTLY into the draw, it should always draw out the same ball if you ran the exact same test over and over again, without changing any variables... no matter for how long those balls bounced around the order they get mixed up in should never ever change.

    I know the lottery isn't run like this and the times are alternated but true random doesn't exist... if a human could master the art of flipping a coin at the exact same speed, angle, height etc it would no longer be random.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2012 #2


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    Dearly Missed

    Mathematicians couldn't care less if "true randomness" does not exist in the "real" world.
    Mathematicians DEFINE the worlds they are working with, and there, true randomness can well exist.
  4. Aug 18, 2012 #3
    But when we say flipping a coin is random, it isn't random at all, it seems random because humans are not precise machines but it certainy isn't random, neither is rolling a die. Or throwing a 52 deck of cards in to the air and having them fall in the exact same place in the exact same order every single time....
  5. Aug 18, 2012 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Random posts need to go in your journal.
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