Where in physics does randomness occur?

In summary, randomness in physics refers to the unpredictability and lack of pattern in certain physical phenomena. It is a fundamental aspect of quantum mechanics, where particles can exhibit random behavior and outcomes cannot be predicted with certainty. In thermodynamics, randomness is associated with entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. While classical physics is based on deterministic laws, randomness can arise in classical systems due to chaotic behavior. While we cannot completely control randomness in physics, it is possible to manipulate and control it to some extent, such as through quantum entanglement in quantum mechanics and careful design in classical systems.
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Electrons appear randomly in quantum physics, but are there any other places where particles behave randomly, is there any other true randomness in the universe, something we can not predict?
 
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How about radioactive decay? A uranium nucleus happily sits there for a billion years, then one day emits and alpha particle and decays. Why? There is no known reason.
 

1. What is randomness in physics?

Randomness in physics refers to the unpredictability or lack of pattern in certain physical phenomena. It is the opposite of determinism, which assumes that all events are caused by previous events and follow a predictable pattern.

2. Where does randomness occur in quantum mechanics?

Randomness is a fundamental aspect of quantum mechanics, where particles can exhibit random behavior and outcomes cannot be predicted with certainty. This is due to the probabilistic nature of quantum systems and the uncertainty principle, which states that the position and momentum of a particle cannot be simultaneously known with certainty.

3. How does randomness play a role in thermodynamics?

In thermodynamics, randomness is associated with the concept of entropy, which is a measure of the disorder or randomness in a system. The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy always increases in a closed system, leading to an increase in randomness.

4. Is there randomness in classical physics?

Classical physics is based on deterministic laws and does not account for randomness. However, randomness can arise in classical systems due to chaotic behavior, which is sensitive to initial conditions and can lead to unpredictable outcomes.

5. Can we control randomness in physics?

While randomness is inherent in certain physical systems, it is possible to manipulate and control it to some extent. In quantum mechanics, randomness can be controlled through the process of quantum entanglement, where the state of one particle can affect the state of another. In classical systems, randomness can be controlled through careful design and control of initial conditions.

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