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Physics of die bouncing

  1. Feb 9, 2008 #1
    Lets say you have a die and a galton board (a vertical array of pegs used to demonstrate the normal distribution), you build some kind of apparatus that will allow you to drop the die from the exact location, with the exact degree of tilt, ect, repeatedly. You also have a super slow motion camera to capture its decent.

    Question: Will the die follow the exact path each time, and land on the same side? I have heard that quantum mechanics says that the die would only have probabilities of where it would land.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2008 #2


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    It's more chaos theory, how accurately can you drop it at exactly the same angle in the same point. Then you have to worry about air motion, then the thermal motion of atoms on the surface of the die and the pegs.
  4. Feb 9, 2008 #3
    Yeah. Quantum effects are not going to manifest themselves very readily in your situation. the more exact you build the dropper, board and what not, the more consistant your die drop will be. If you use something as large as a cubic die, you can ensure that you get the same value. Something smaller like a BB would get you more random results.
  5. Feb 9, 2008 #4
    So would a BB actually be affected by quantum mechanics? Im just wondering if quantum mechanics theoretically happens on the scale of inches, feet, miles, ect, or if it is only something that occurs at the level of photons, electrons, ect.
  6. Feb 11, 2008 #5
    I would have though that the distane in which the die is dropped would have an effect, as the further it is dropped the greater any imperfection will be exagerated, this is the same as with the size of the bases of the die. This itself I do not think is in any way related to Quantum mechanics but I think it still apllies.
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