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King_Pariah's avatar

Is the outcome of every possible action predetermined and quantum mechanics as me know them are an unfinished theory? Einstein thought so.

Asked by King_Pariah (11446points) September 27th, 2011

So does Brian Greene, who is actually working on this alongside other physicists. So what do you think? Is every outcome of every possible action predetermined?

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15 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

Well, that’s called determinism, and I know many people who believe in it. The idea is that if you have all the data in the universe and were able to analyze it, you could predict everything else.

Personally, I don’t subscribe to that. I feel that there is pure randomness that is out there that is not predictable.

tranquilsea's avatar

I agree with @Rarebear surprise surprise. I think we love to impose order on randomness.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I agree with rarebear and tranquil! I believe that’s the point really. The beauty of randomness, however that being illogical, and therefore unable to be measured, scares the finite mindset. It will always be about theoretical physics vs applied physics.

What happens when you put a bologna sandwich into a blender and try to put it back together?

The point is to always, always try *Mostly because bologna tastes REALLY bad in liquid form

It’s all there all the molecules are still present… and if we believe in determinism, we stop looking for answers in the right way. someday, as long as we continue to believe the story isn’t all that easy, and the picture isn’t complete, although fractal, and spread out, we will be able to do that one day!

*Personally, I can’t wait for those automatic food machines they had on the Jetsons!

GabrielsLamb's avatar

*Basically, in a nutshell *The size of the universe, I think that kind of thinking and mindset creates mental laziness and stifles the type of imagination on overdrive, *like Michio Kaku has, necessary to proceed into areas that not predetermined. If we start believing everything is possible, we will cease looking for the things that are not.

CaptainHarley's avatar

No. Just look at the Hisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

wundayatta's avatar

Quantum uncertainty makes it impossible to predict the consequences of any given action on the quantum level.

flutherother's avatar

But is quantum theory the ultimate truth? I don’t think we know. Einstein put it this way – that God doesn’t play dice with the universe. I like to have it both ways. I think that there is both randomness and order in the universe and that order comes from randomness and that randomness comes from order.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@flutherother That’s one of my fav Einstein quotes! ;)

GabrielsLamb's avatar

*Whoops… I think I said that backward… Hmmm, Now I’ve confused myself. LOL

Jeruba's avatar

God doesn’t play dice with the universe.

And why not, if the outcome of every throw is a predetermined consequence of a predictable and controllable physical process?

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Bet against Einstein on relativity? History shows you probably shouldn’t.

Bet against Bohr (and Heisenberg and Born and Jordan and Dirac) on quantum theory?
History shows you probably shouldn’t.
And you can also do the math.

King_Pariah's avatar

Actually scientists may have just disproven Einstein on relativity by accident.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

We’ll see. The situation is complicated and there may be deeply buried errors in the analysis, which is why they’ve opened everything up to scrutiny. And even if FTL neutrinos are confirmed, relativity has ways of accommodating such things (albeit at the cost of causality).

Recall that CDF at Fermilab was tantalizing people with not-quite-five-sigma evidence for a new particle earlier this year. After D0 reported seeing nothing in that mass range things got awful quiet.

King_Pariah's avatar

True… Guess we’ll see.

Rarebear's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop is correct. It’s most likely a measurement error. If neutrinos really were FTL, then we should have detected neutrinos prior to the supernova explosion in M101.

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