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Question about the relationship between quantum mechanics and Newtonian physics

 
 
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2020 12:50 pm
I'm a layman with no formal science education beyond a physical science class freshman year of college. I know that quantum mechanics is in-deterministic, while Newtonian physics is generally deterministic. I've read that in theory, if you could control all the initial conditions, you could perform a coin toss infinite times and always achieve the same, predictable, deterministic outcome. Whatever you are using to make the hypothetical coin toss is a physical object made of atoms containing electrons. Electrons behave both as particles and waives and are therefore in-deterministic (I might be misunderstanding so please help me out). You can only measure probabilities when it comes to electron behavior. (again, I might be misunderstanding). Why is it then that the in-determinism of the subatomic particles that make up the physical macroscopic objections do not make the outcomes of that physical object's actions indeterminate?
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Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 293 • Replies: 2
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Olivier5
 
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Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2020 01:49 pm
@billdozer,
The short answer is: the indetermination of subatomic particles does make the outcomes of pretty much every single thing somewhat indeterminate, at least in theory. In practice, quantum physics are able to predict some outcomes, in statistical terms. For instance we can accurately predict how a radioactive material composed of a large number of atoms will decay over time but not when each single specific atom will decay.

In short, macro events are the sum of many micro events. And we can predict somehow the outcome of a large number of micro events, statistically. That what makes some (not all by far) macro events predictable, in spite of the quantic messiness underwriting them.

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thegreatgatsbo
 
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Reply Fri 1 Oct, 2021 12:37 pm
you can measure probabilities with electron behaviour , if you have a rudimentary understanding of quecsics law. the penistensin abduluol problem is particularly thorny though.
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