Path: cactus.org!milano!cs.utexas.edu!wupost!uunet!mtnmath!paul From: paul@mtnmath.UUCP (Paul Budnik) Newsgroups: sci.crypt Subject: Re: Are there truly random phenomena? Summary: Physicists have a bad record on this point. Message-ID: <148@mtnmath.UUCP> Date: 4 Aug 91 20:30:41 GMT References: <44901@cup.portal.com> <15218@ulysses.att.com> Organization: Mountain Math Software, P. O. Box 2124, Saratoga, CA 95070 Lines: 26 In article <15218@ulysses.att.com>, smb@ulysses.att.com (Steven Bellovin) writes : > In article <44901@cup.portal.com>, Christopher_C_Lapp@cup.portal.com writes: > > I think that trying > > to create random-appearing signals in itself proves that things in nature > > that by all criteria appear "random" are infact caused by something unknown. > > Please study quantum mechanics before making statements like that. > Here's a hint, though: virtually all modern physicists think you're > wrong. And it's not because no one argued the point. Physicists have a pretty bad record on this point. In the 1930s von Neuman published a famous proof that claimed no more complete model could produce predictions consistent with quantum mechanics. This was widely accepted until the mid 60's when Bell published a refutation. There is no basis for the widely accepted belief that randomness is fundamental to quantum mechanics. If you think about this as a problem in the theory of recursive functions you can see how difficult it would be to come up with a theoretical argument or experimental results that prove this. You are asking is there a recursively enumerable set that includes all the predictions of quantum mechanics (a recursively enumerable set) and all the observed results of experiments (a finite set). Since the union of a finite and recursively enumerable set is a recursively enumerable set the answer is yes. Paul Budnik