Is randomness real?

Nov 2012
17,145
5,648
Michigan
#1
Consider billiard balls on a table. If one ball rolls into another at a known speed and strikes at a known measurement distance from the center mass, we can predict pretty well the direction and speed each ball will take after the collision. If 3 balls are involved the math becomes much more difficult. If we add spin on a wobbly axis to the equation we get past the point of where human reckoning can compute.

But just because the math is beyond our skills doesn’t mean that the sequences are random. It only means we are restricted to the descriptions we call randomness because of our limitations.
 
Nov 2012
17,145
5,648
Michigan
#3
suppose we throw marbles of identical size and weight but of differing colors into a bag. Then we reach into the bag and pull out marbles one at a time. The order of the colors would appear to be random.

But the randomness is a trick we play on ourselves by using the bag as a blindfold.
 
Apr 2013
37,215
25,391
La La Land North
#4
Your first post was reasonable. The second is plain wrong.

Pulling marbles out of a bag is the same as the bingo balls coming out of a bingo thingy, whatever they are called. And the same as are used for many lottery number draws.

There has been tons of mathematical analysis done on them to show it is in fact random.

Did you not do the coin flipping test at school?
 
Likes: Clara007
Jun 2018
876
286
Toronto
#5
Consider billiard balls on a table. If one ball rolls into another at a known speed and strikes at a known measurement distance from the center mass, we can predict pretty well the direction and speed each ball will take after the collision. If 3 balls are involved the math becomes much more difficult. If we add spin on a wobbly axis to the equation we get past the point of where human reckoning can compute.

But just because the math is beyond our skills doesn’t mean that the sequences are random. It only means we are restricted to the descriptions we call randomness because of our limitations.

"Pretty well" is the key word. When a ball strikes another ball, what happens is that the electrons of the outer atoms of the other ball repel each other, which is the force of the impact. It could theoretically be proven that there is some uncertainty in the position of the electrons that would result in some uncertainty about the impact. It's just that it averages because of the large numbers of atoms involved.
 
Nov 2012
17,145
5,648
Michigan
#6
Your first post was reasonable. The second is plain wrong.

Pulling marbles out of a bag is the same as the bingo balls coming out of a bingo thingy, whatever they are called. And the same as are used for many lottery number draws.

There has been tons of mathematical analysis done on them to show it is in fact random.

Did you not do the coin flipping test at school?
There are mathematical tests for characteristics of randomness, but no absolute proof.
 
Nov 2012
17,145
5,648
Michigan
#7
"Pretty well" is the key word. When a ball strikes another ball, what happens is that the electrons of the outer atoms of the other ball repel each other, which is the force of the impact. It could theoretically be proven that there is some uncertainty in the position of the electrons that would result in some uncertainty about the impact. It's just that it averages because of the large numbers of atoms involved.
Is it possible if the mathematics of every electron and every atom were known, then the math could be perfectly predicted?
 
Jul 2014
14,269
8,677
massachusetts
#10
On a large scale, everything can be predicted by Newtonian physics. But on a quantum scale there are random events, positions of particles aren't exact, they are averaged.
 

Similar Discussions