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First Evidence That Quantum Processes Generate Truly Random Numbers -
A quantum random number generator is a kind of a computer too... but it computes something which according to our current conceptions is incomputable - that which is the result of absolutely no conceivable algorithm! If Lewis Carroll was alive he could write another book... - Spaceweaver from Amplify
Randomness in Nature Part 2 (What is randomness): Part 2: (read the comments) - Alexander Kruel
Just because some things seem to magically appear doesn't mean they are random as in without cause. Randomness cannot mean anything other than unpredictability. We are part of an expression and can only interpolate based on prior knowledge. But that does not guarantee valid prediction. Nothing prevents this pattern of reality to include some, seemingly arbitrary, variable to induce rabbits materialising in "midair" every 10^100 years. That would indeed seem to be a random event, as it is unpredictable. But it was always part of this particular timeless pattern we call reality. Concepts like cause, arbitrariness, prediction and randomness don't really make much sense if you accept the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics or the notion of a mathematical universe. - Alexander Kruel
Of course there is nothing magical here. But this is a rather remarkable phenomenon. It shows that there is something not quite clear about how we understand the relation between physical processes and the concepts of information and computation. The 'strangeness' of the observation hints towards lack of understanding. Every deterministic (classical) physical process will yield a deterministic informational pattern. No matter how random it may look it is only pseudo random. When it comes to quantum process however things are different and we still do not have an adequate grasp of this difference. - Spaceweaver
There is a comment about quantum physics in the links I posted. - Alexander Kruel
My bet is that the problem is in the understanding of causation when quantum effects are involved. Causation works very clearly in classical situations. If we map events to numbers (or vectors) causation ensures an unambiguous mapping which is what we gather as determinism. Quantum effects cannot be mapped into distinct numerical entities without involving probability. The simplistic notion of causality needs if so improvement and extension. The randomness of quantum effects do not fit into computational models that are based on classical-mechanical views. - Spaceweaver
@Alexander - thanks for the links, interesting stuff... - Spaceweaver
What a great post and discussion, I am amazed about the intelectual level. I used to think that true randomness is impossible to do on a computer since any number obtained will depend on the algorithm used to generate them and thus cannot possibly be random. Nowadays I am not so sure.I am glad that trough this I got to discover echostreamer, who is a very interesting friendfeed participant, hope we could connect soon. - marianaº
I just noticed that I wrote 'permit' when I meant 'prevent'. - Alexander Kruel