# Re: Why do particles decay randomly?

Telmo,

I can only give you my opinion. You are of course referring to the double
slit experiment where one photon can follow at least two different paths,
and potentially an infinite number of paths.

But even diffraction of a single photon will do that: in the simplest case
send a photon on to a semi-infinite metallic plane and the photon
potentially scatters into an infinite number of paths from the edge of the
plane. We only know which path when the photon reaches a detector plane on
the far side. The actual deterministic diffraction pattern only emerges
when the number of photons sent approaches infinity in plane waves. The
actual path of a single photon is random within the constraints of the
infinite-photon diffraction pattern.

So I say the way to deal with that is to propagate a large number of
photons or do an EM wave calculation for the diffraction pattern.

I wonder how comp treats such single photon instances. Does it use
algorithms that are random number generators?
Richard

On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 10:35 AM, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com>wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 4:24 PM, Richard Ruquist <yann...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Mathematics itself seems rather magical.
> > For instance the sum 1+2+3+4+5.....infinity = -1/12
> >
> > And according to Scott Aaronson's new book
> > when string theorists estimate the mass of a photon
> > they get two components: one being 1/12
> > and the other being that sum, so the mass is zero,
> > thanks to Ramanujan
> >
> > If that sum is cutoff at some very large number but less than infinity,
> > does anyone know the value of the summation.?
>
> Hi Richard,
>
> Ok, but in that case physics is deterministic, just hard to compute.
> How do we then deal with the fact that two photons under the precise
> same conditions can follow two different paths (except for some hidden
> variable we don't know about)? I'm not a physicist and way over my
> head here, so this is not a rhetorical question.
>
> >
> > On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 10:15 AM, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 3:30 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <
> stath...@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >> > On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 5:35 AM, Craig Weinberg <
> whatsons...@gmail.com>
> >> > wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> On Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:29:51 PM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:
> >> >>>
> >> >>> On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> >>>
> >> >>>> > If matter is deterministic, how could it behave in a random way?
> >> >>>
> >> >>>
> >> >>> It couldn't.
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> Are you saying then that matter is random, or that it is neither
> random
> >> >> nor
> >> >> deterministic?
> >> >
> >> > Matter behaves randomly, but probability theory allows us to make
> >> > predictions about random events.
> >>
> >> In my view, randomness = magic.
> >> The MWI and Comp are the only theories I've seen so far that do not
> >> require magic to explain observed randomness.
> >>
> >> >
> >> > --
> >> > Stathis Papaioannou
> >> >
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