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Random Numbers

  1. Aug 10, 2008 #1
    Simple question: Can computers create 'truly' random numbers?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2008 #2
    I guess you have to play the "define random" game to get a good answer.

    But simply put, no computer today can get a truly random number. They are all "pseudo random", which means you take a seed number (like, the amount of milliseconds passed since midnight) and run it through a one way hash.

    Quantum computers might be able to do it, due to inherent uncertainties in QM, which suggests you can get a truly random seed. How that would work technically, I am not sure.

    If you happen to believe in determinism on all scales, then there is no such thing as a random number. It simply cannot be made.

    k
     
  4. Aug 16, 2008 #3
    NO, but see this physical random number generator:

    The Araneus Alea I USB True Random Number Generator is a compact USB device that generates high-quality true random numbers.
    The Alea I uses a reverse biased semiconductor junction to generate wide-band Gaussian white noise. This noise is amplified and digitized using an analog-to-digital converter.

    http://www.araneus.fi/products-alea-eng.html
     
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