Posted Nov 20, 2012 22:41 UTC (Tue) by man_ls
In reply to: Good piece
Parent article: LCE: Don't play dice with random numbers
Yes, my examples are mostly based on statistical mechanics, which provides a nice framework to generate randomness. But I disagree about this part:
Systems may /seem/ random, but this randomness is only epistemological, caused by insufficient knowledge about the (initial conditions of the) system.
In fact the second law of thermodynamics
(which incidentally was postulated before the first) ensures that knowledge about the system will degrade in time, so even if perfect information is held at the start, any system will quickly degrade into random patterns. It is not an artifact of our limitations, but an essential principle of nature. We will never be able to predict the minute variations in thermal noise, no matter how much we know about the system.
As for macroscopic randomness, the humble three-body problem in gravitation generates a chaotic system using only classical equations: minor deviations cause major, unpredictable changes in the system.
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