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Random happenings? (trying to figure out what it was)

  1. Mar 25, 2009 #1
    Took physics in 11th grade.. ssoooo many years ago.

    I remember my teacher showed us this one educational show about this one phenominon or something.. was trying to figure out what it was called..

    the 2 examples that i remember in the movie were

    -If you lined everyone up against a wall and everyone pushed on it for LONG ENOUGH, eventually randomly one person would go THROUGH the wall.

    -If you tuned a tv on somewhere in space, youd EVENTUALLY find an anomolie.. then eventually a picture.. and then even a whole episode of *some random tv show*

    I duno it was something explaining about how RANDOM things can happen..
    not sure if it was 100% real + proven.. or a theory..

    anyone know what im talkin about? been buggin me. :/

    Thanks! ^^
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2009 #2


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    Gold Member

    Welcome to PF, Cait.
    Although I'm unfamiliar with the references that you posted, it's quite reminiscent of the old 'monkey' theory. Turn a bunch of chimps loose with typewriters. Given enough time, they'll reproduce the works of Shakespeare.
  4. Mar 25, 2009 #3
    The reference to someone going through the wall is almost certainly a (misleading) truth about quantum theory. Basically (and WAY over-simply), in quantum physics, a particle's position is determined by a probability wavefunction. In other words, you can imagine a particle on one side of a wall that would have a VEEEERY low probability of suddenly, randomly, jumping to the other side of the wall (an effect known as quantum tunneling). If you can imagine it happening with a single particle, you could (kind of) imagine it happening to all of the particles in your body, all at once.

    Needless to say, the chances are silly small. "Long enough" would definitely be billions and billions of times longer than the age of the universe. But hey, it could happen!
  5. Mar 25, 2009 #4
    I think you might be thinking of Nova's Elegant Universe...
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