## Golden Ratio Discovered In a Quantum World 191

Posted
by
Soulskill

from the nanites-are-excellent-architects dept.

from the nanites-are-excellent-architects dept.

FiReaNGeL writes

*"Scientists have for the first time observed a nanoscale symmetry hidden in solid state matter. 'In order to study these nanoscale quantum effects, the researchers have focused on the magnetic material cobalt niobate. It consists of linked magnetic atoms, which form chains just like a very thin bar magnet, but only one atom wide.' By artificially introducing more quantum uncertainty, the researchers observed that the chain acts like a nanoscale guitar string. The first two notes show a perfect relationship with each other. Their frequencies (pitch) are in the ratio of 1.618, which is the golden ratio famous from art and architecture. The observed resonant states in cobalt niobate are a dramatic laboratory illustration of the way in which mathematical theories developed for particle physics may find application in nanoscale science and ultimately in future technology."*
## Oblig. Square One TV's MATHNET reference... (Score:5, Funny)

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, Eureka!

## Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

Modded Redundant? Who else posted this? This was First Post!

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

Although I agree that in this context 'redundant' was a lame mod. However, 'redundant' doesn't mean "already posted in this thread". I know I'm being pedantic, and I apologize for that, but we see so many memes here that I cannot believe anybody would still be confused about what 'redundant' means. A first post in a thread about Nexus One that says "why doesn't Google just make a phone that is just a phone without all the bells and whistles?!?!" is 'redundant'.

## Re:Oblig. Square One TV's MATHNET reference... (Score:4, Funny)

2. 1

3. 2

4. ???

5. Profit!

## Summary wrong (Score:5, Funny)

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

It's an irrational number...

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:4, Funny)

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:4, Funny)

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

You're ALL irrational.

This really is interesting, though. The Fibonacci sequence shows up all the time [world-mysteries.com] in nature, but this is, to my knowledge, the first time in a non-biological function.

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:5, Funny)

Wow... the mods really hate this thread. I say they may be the irrational ones.

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

Sort of. The golden ratio is apparently related to the E8 lie group, which shows up in string theory and supergravity. WIkipedia says the golden ratio also shows up in relation to quasicrystals.

This one is cool though. My first thought was "creepy."

PS: to the mod who gave all discussion of the irrationality of the golden ratio an offtopic mod: get a life.

## It is the "most irrational possible" number (Score:5, Interesting)

The golden ratio phi is "the most irrational number", in some sense. If you try to take better and better rational approximations to phi, obviously you need to go to bigger and bigger denominators in the fraction. In the limit as the error tolerance goes to zero, the necessary size of the denominator grows at a certain asymptotic rate. One can show [ams.org] that for phi this rate is the largest possible, so the golden ratio is the hardest number to rationally approximate.

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re: (Score:2, Funny)

Weird. For a few takes there, I kept reading

IE8 lie group, which just didn't make sense coupled withwhich shows up in string theory and supergravity.## Re:Summary wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

if you ask me the deity that needs to constantly fiddle with the universe to make things go its way isn't very intelligent after all. a real show of intelligence would be to interact as little as possible and yet have the universe with its simple, derivable nature inexorably lead toward whatever said deity had in mind.

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

That's pretty much how the Anglican Church came to grips with evolution. Regrettably, many other religions are highly offended by the concept of a

more competentgod.-jcr

## Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:4, Informative)

I wish there was more geometry in the mathematics syllabus.

## Curious (Score:2)

Does this ratio show up in any texts? Specifically the word breaks, paragraphs, etc?

## Re: (Score:2)

The golden ratio turns up in anything that has a pentagon, so

d12s,d20sClarified that for you.

I wish there was more geometry in the mathematics syllabus.

I think someone wants more statistics ;)

## Re: (Score:2, Funny)

this is, to my knowledge, the first time in a non-biological function.

It is not! Hydrogen atoms have one proton. One! A Fibonacci number!

## Mod Parent +Funny (Score:2)

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:4, Informative)

## Re: (Score:2, Informative)

Wrong.

Depends on parsing. He could've meant (half of one) plus (the square root of five) or half of (one plus the square root of five), the latter being the correct value of phi as you stated.

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

The real question is, can anything in the quantum world really involve a non-rational number (or even a non-terminating decimal)?

Take a simple circle. A mathematical perfect circle is effectively a polygon with an infinite number of sides, and pi is infinite because of this same fact. A 'circular' object in the real universe has faceted sides, each of at least the lengths between adjacent atoms. (It's also 'fuzzy' when measured at that scale, and part of that is also QM). The whole concept of Planck length

## Re: (Score:2)

Are you saying an orbit in an atom is not round? It's at least an oval...

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:5, Informative)

Oh there's been some speculation about possible 'deeper' significances of Planck length,

as well as other Planck units. But as far as we KNOW, they have no significance at all.

They're just a set of units, convenient to eliminate a bunch of constants from equations.

(There are other sets as well, e.g. Atomic units, depending on which kind of equation you're working with)

But nowhere anywhere in current quantum theory is there 'no such thing' as a circle, or anything else.

Circles have a diameter of Pi times the radius in QM just as anywhere else.

## Re: (Score:2, Informative)

A measurement cannot have such great precision that the inaccuracy in the measurement is shorter than the plank length.

## Re: (Score:2)

That is not known to be the case. Got a reference for that?

It's also something entirely different from suggesting that space is discretized in Planck-length units, which is certainly

notthe case. In fact, it's a fundamental postulate of QM that the wave function is smooth and continuous (and hence, so is the location-probability distribution). If it wasn't continuous, then you'd end up## Re:Summary wrong (Score:4, Informative)

I never said that smaller length scales couldn't exist, just that they could not effectively be distinguished through measurement according to our current knowledge of physics. The restriction may be sidestepped if gravity acts in a different manner at such extremely small length scales than it does it larger scales. A smaller value for G would effectively decrease the size of the plank scale as an example. However, at the current time, physics as we know it does not allow for measurements to be made that are of greater precision.

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

At this point in the discussion there is a need to remind everyone that this level of physics is appropriate to describing models of the Universe. But, as pointed out by the luminaries who formulated the Copenhagen convention, the Universe is not the model, and the human mind is fundamentally incapable of comprehending how the models we construct differ from the Universe.

Not only do we not know what is really going on, we cannot possibly

everknow that; it is one of the limitations that make us humans rather than gods. But we can make models that are fun to play with, and sometimes lead to new insights. Or even new gadgets, like computers, the Internet, slashdot...I can't believe I used to think that what I thought was happening was really going on--The Sugar Beets## Re: (Score:2)

First, as you point out, it is a postulate. Not an assumption. And therefore not subject to evidentiary proof. Although it is certainly falsifiable.

Second, I lack the time to do the training (estimate about ten years culminating in PhD in physics level mentation) to understand the kind of evidence involved. Further, I probably lack the intellect to handle that evidence properly: I did not do well in calculus. Additionally, I also lack the skills that would be needed to communicate such evidence to persons

## Re: (Score:2)

which is certainly not the case

That seems a little rash considering how new and undeveloped all of the ideas about quantum gravity are, especially some recent quantum gravity work such as Causal dynamical triangulation and newer work. Some of these ideas indicate that the third spatial dimension, time, and the linearity of quantum mechanics are emergent at the Plank scale.

Here's a ref.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causal_dynamical_triangulation [wikipedia.org]

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:5, Informative)

You are mistaken. There is no fundamental limit (at least, according to known theory) on the precision of a measurement of the position. The only limit is on how well you can simultaneously measure the position and the momentum. The "plank length" is nothing more than a convenient choice of units.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_length [wikipedia.org]

## Re: (Score:2)

O RLY?

I suspect you meant circles have a

circumferenceof Pi times thediameter. Or not. Anything is possible [timecube.com].Mal-2

## Re: (Score:2)

The real question is, can anything in the quantum world really involve a non-rational number (or even a non-terminating decimal)?

Take a simple circle. A mathematical perfect circle is effectively a polygon with an infinite number of sides, and pi is infinite because of this same fact. A 'circular' object in the real universe has faceted sides, each of at least the lengths between adjacent atoms. (It's also 'fuzzy' when measured at that scale, and part of that is also QM). The whole concept of Planck length dictates minimum distances, angles and such, and objects have granularity that means an infinite number of facets or an infinitely dividable curve isn't part of the real universe.

So, isn't what's been discovered here an expression of the golden ratio to only some finite number of decimal places?

Reality is not "granular" in the sense of being divided into fixed-size chunks. It is like you said, fuzzy. The Planck length is just the guaranteed minimum amount of fuzz that everything has... at that scale you don't have surfaces at all, just "most of the fuzz is gone by around here"

In this particular case I suspect they're actually talking about the atoms in these string flipping between spin-up and spin-down, rather than anything actually moving through space like an actual guitar string, so what reall

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:5, Informative)

"The whole concept of Planck length dictates minimum distances, angles and such, and objects have granularity"You have been misinformed but it's a common misconception. The Plank length is the base unit for a system of units derived from physical constants, geometries smaller than the PL are where GR theory stops working and QM takes over. That the dividing line between our two best models of the universe should be expressable using nothing but physical constants is quite remarkable and it's probably telling us something we don't yet comprehend. Or as Heisenberg is alleged to have put it; "more fascinating than watching a monkey shit a grandfather clock." [cracked.com]

## Re: (Score:2)

As the others pointed out, most physicists are pretty sure that space and time should be quantized, but it's not a certainty yet.

Assuming that space is quantized, you're right - the closest you could ever really come is approximating the golden ratio.

A nonterminating decimal could be represented if you had a situation where division makes sense. 4/3 is a nonterminating decimal, but both 4 and 3 are perfectly reasonable values in a quantized system.

## Re: (Score:2)

Yes, there will certainly be an error involved here. However, the bigger question is whether we'll have accurate enough measurements to actually find this error. I'll bet that measurement accuracy will be a problem with this long before you run into problems with a quantized universe.

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

Incorrect. The plank length is the smallest region in space that can theoretically be measured. A photon with a short enough wavelength to take a measurement of anything shorter than the plank length will collapse upon its self as a newly formed black hole. It is the fundamental limit to known physics and is effectively the granularity of space its self.

## Re:Summary wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

The fact that something cannot practically be directly measured at a particular precision without creating a black hole does not mean that it does not exist at the desired precision.

## Re: (Score:2)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_length#Physical_significance [wikipedia.org]

I don't think you're right. It's just a distance unit formed out of c, h, etc., and is not the granularity of space.

It's only real significance is that, at this length scale, physics will (in some theories) be dominated by quantum effects.

## Re: (Score:2)

Never mind. Mod my previous post redundant. If I'd read further in the thread, I would have seen that this had already been pointed out.

## What are they going to use this for? (Score:2, Offtopic)

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

Our computer memory technologies are largely based on understanding magnetizable materials at a very short length scale. The next logical step is to understand various phenomena of these materials at the nanoscale which is exactly wha

## Re: (Score:2)

Given the way the U.S. of A. works, I would not be surprised to see first use in the strip on people's credit cards in order to store your last 10,000 purchases. Coupled with an RFID chip, this would enable targeted advertising as you walked down the street...and

voila!We haveBlade Runner.Sans exotic feminine androids, of course; we always seem to get the bad out of Sci-Fi first.

(Don't forget to mod me off-topic, fellas.)## Golden ratio? Just like Dan Brown said? (Score:2, Funny)

## Re: (Score:2, Informative)

They found Mary's grave, and Dan Brown was right, she had a kid by Jesus, only they'd stayed in Jerusalem and both Jesus and their son are buried with her. The son was named Judas.

http://mideast.blogs.time.com/2007/02/23/jesus_tales_from_the_crypt/ [time.com]

## Oh cripes (Score:4, Funny)

Its got the number of the beast in it [wolframalpha.com]. Quick, ring Robert Heinlein [wikipedia.org].

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re: (Score:2)

Those Omen movies will have to be remade.

## Re: (Score:2)

## Art and Architecture? (Score:5, Informative)

...the golden ratio famous from art and architecture...

As a (former) mathematician, I would like to point out that the ratio really comes from elementary (pun intended; read on to find out more) geometry. The ancient Greeks played around with it quite a lot and Euclid mentioned it (more or less) in his Elements [clarku.edu]. The Greeks weren't interested in this because of art or how pretty it was, but because they were particularly crazy about geometry (nearly all of their mathematics was derived from it) and some seemed to think that the universe could be understood through geometry alone. Anyway, it is just the fairly simple ratio of lengths of two lines such that the ratio between the larger and the smaller is the same as the ratio of them both added and the larger, or algebraically;

(a + b)/a = a / b = phi

This can then be trivially rearranged into phi^2 - phi - 1 = 0, and then that has the one positive solution; phi = [1 + sqrt(5)]/2 (the negative solution being [1 - sqrt(5)]/2 = - 0.618... but negative lengths and ratios tend to prove problematic). As usual, Wikipedia has more information. [wikipedia.org]

While it is quite interesting to see it appear in a quantum mechanical setting, it isn't particularly shocking (to me). The number is the result of a fairly simple equation (as shown above) which is why it seems to appear so frequently in nature. While I didn't get this far in my studies of quantum theories, it wouldn't surprise me if, once the mathematicians have a chance to look into this, the reason behind this appearance of phi is found to be rather trivial.

However, I am not a physicist, or an expert in this field, so I may be completely wrong.

## Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

As a (former) mathematician

How do you stop being a mathematician? (you don't seem to have stopped).

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

How do you stop being a mathematician? (you don't seem to have stopped).

By being forced to graduate from university and getting caught up in politics [pp-international.net] and law [pirateparty.org.uk]. It must be at least 3 months since I did any proper maths (and the stuff above doesn't count - any suitably well-taught 8 year-old should be able to derive the answer; and it is all on Wikipedia anyway). But still, I guess one never quite recovers from spending 5+ years almost entirely devoted to the subject...

## Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

How do you stop being a mathematician? (you don't seem to have stopped).

By being forced to graduate from university and getting caught up in politics [pp-international.net] and law [pirateparty.org.uk]. It must be at least 3 months since I did any proper maths (and the stuff above doesn't count - any suitably well-taught 8 year-old should be able to derive the answer; and it is all on Wikipedia anyway). But still, I guess one never quite recovers from spending 5+ years almost entirely devoted to the subject...

Wish people would stop fussing that college actually makes them learn things outside their field of study.

If you get through college and don't understand why they made you take those classes you missed the point of college and need to go back because you still have a LOT more to learn about the world.

## Re:Art and Architecture? (Score:5, Interesting)

Yes, it's more the other way around really. The fact that the ratio between the first two frequencies measured in the spectrum was the Golden Ratio (within error), was evidence that the state had E8 symmetry, for group-theoretical reasons I can't quite explain. (I'm kind of in the opposite situation; I know QM but Group Theory was never my strongest point)

This is interesting because E8 isn't a symmetry many real physical systems have. But it's of interest for string theorists and other advanced theories, so it's interesting if they can find systems that can act as a model. The 'real' system here doesn't have E8 symmetry either. Rather it's a system of quasiparticles [wikipedia.org] created by the spins of the system which is E8, when exposed to a magnetic field at a certain critical phase-change point.

Which is why the title of the Science article calls it "emergent E8 symmetry".

## Re: (Score:2)

I found it awe-inspiring because it's completely beyond me

## Continued Fraction (Score:2)

Maybe what we can see is just the surface of a deeper reality, and below that something deeper again, etc. etc.. So this appearance of a golden ratio is actually an artefact of a continued fraction i.e. 1 + 1/(1+1/(1+1/(1+1/(.....

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

It's turtles all the way down.

## For those who want to hear it. (Score:5, Informative)

For those of you that want to hear what this ratios sounds like, it's 833 cents [mal-2.com], or a minor sixth plus 33 cents. This happens to be the interval used to form the aptly named Bohlen 833 cents (or A12) scale. [wikipedia.org]

Mal-2

## Constant (Score:4, Funny)

You'll probably find this line in the computer program that runs version 5 of "Life, the Universe and Everything"

public const float seed = 1.618f;

## Re: (Score:3, Funny)

I'd guess more like

## Serious shit. dont take lightly. (Score:2)

note that golden ratio is found in many celebrated works of art. a lot of artists in history used it knowingly in their masterpieces. such pieces of art are known to appeal to human's liking more. liking, appreciation, all subjective concepts. human psyche is something we havent been able to approach with any tangible, usable definite method up to this date.

now we find this ration in quantum mechanics.

this is practically the first solid link in between something that is numeric, defined and clear cut and hu

## Re: (Score:2)

note that

piis found in many celebrated works of art. a lot of artists in history used it knowingly in their masterpieces. such pieces of art are known to appeal to human's liking more. liking, appreciation, all subjective concepts. human psyche is something we havent been able to approach with any tangible, usable definite method up to this date.now we find this ration in quantum mechanics.

this is practically the first solid link in between something that is numeric, defined and clear cut and human psyche.

FTFY.

## First Contact? (Score:2)

## Re:Car Analogy (Score:5, Interesting)

Here's my cut at a car analogy. Notice that a naturally recurring form-factor for popular cars involves a height to length ratio of 1:1.618. That ratio shows up again in that "rise to run" ratio of windshield rake. ...and again in overdrive gear ratio... and yet again in...

## MODS (Score:2, Insightful)

## Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

Mod me troll, but this sort of thing really annoys me

The golden ratio is found everywhere in nature even to the quantum level. It is also the most pleasing ratio to the human eye.

It would be highly improbable for a random universe to create this sort of symmetry.

To believe in a random universe requires a lot more mental gymnastics to reconcile the observed universe with that world view.

Or it could just be that the ratio comes from a very simple geometrical idea and a pretty basic equation.

Next you'll be suggesting that the fact that so many things in the universe seem to be approximately spherical is evidence of a divine being.

Oh, and just because something is improbable, doesn't mean that it can't happen. As for it being "most pleasing to the human eye", personally, I prefer the 1:1 ratio; squares have more symmetry than rectangles.

## Re:Looking for god's finger prints? Here it is. (Score:4, Insightful)

This is not a 'high form of symmetry' but very basic one; a solution to a very rudimentary quadratic equation. I, for one am surprised we're not seeing such solutions more often around us.

Here's why: every semi-dynamic system tends to find a local energy minimum, which needs to be stable. A quadratic equation has always a stable minimum or it doesn't have a minimum. Well... that's all, nothing more to see here for me.

## Re:Looking for god's finger prints? Here it is. (Score:5, Insightful)

## Re:Looking for god's finger prints? Here it is. (Score:5, Insightful)

The golden ratio is found everywhere in nature even to the quantum level. It is also the most pleasing ratio to the human eye.

It would be highly improbable for a random universe to create this sort of symmetry.

To believe in a random universe requires a lot more mental gymnastics to reconcile the observed universe with that world view.

Which is more likely:

A) The human eye finds the golden ratio pleasing because it is everywhere in nature

B) the golden ratio is everwhere in nature because it is pleasing to the human eye

It's okay to say "I don't know."

You don't have to fill in all the gaps with "God"

## Re: (Score:2)

What's more, no one said the universe was "random", at least not in the sense of having no rules or structure. There's just a gap between, "having rules, structure, and rationality" and "being consciously designed by a loving creator."

And then even beyond that, I don't know anyone who claimed that this universe was "probable". Maybe this universe, with all its symmetry,

ishighly improbable. Even highly improbable things might happen once.## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

You might have a point if the golden ratio were an entirely arbitrary number and not one derived from a simple geometric relation [wikimedia.org]. Pointing to the golden ratio as evidence for the existence of god is like pointing to occurrences of pi in nature, or the Fibonacci sequence. It isn't god's fingerprints, it's math's fingerprints.

## Re: (Score:3, Informative)

just to nitpick (I like irony): Fibonacci sequence IS a golden ratio in its essence; more specifically Fib(n+1)/Fib(n) -> golden_ratio :)

## Hmm... (Score:2)

Does the belief in a universe that is not random necessarily imply a belief in God?

## Re: (Score:2)

Parent didn't say "random"/"non-random". Also, our Universe isn't really. And how many examples of other universe do you have?

BTW, if anything, non-randomness (following rules generally) might imply just as well non-existence of gods. They aren't needed in such universe.

## Re: (Score:2)

It isn't god's fingerprints, it's math's fingerprints.What is an abstract concept like mathematics doing getting its grubby fingerprints all over physical reality? Some would say that only God could do that. Or are you trying to assert that the universe is just as abstract and unreal as the number 2, and we're trapped in it [xkcd.com]?

## Re: (Score:2)

Key word: "abstract". With all the ratios in physical descriptions of reality we won't know to their exact value, it's also clear it doesn't map quite so neatly.

## Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

I believe randomness doesn't exist. In its place stands "too complicated to understand".

Take the typical state lotto. If you knew all of the variables in the machine that draws the numbers, you can solve for which numbers will land in the winning numbers area. As a result, the lottery keeps details of the machine secret. Is the ball marked 43 the same ball (with the same weight and other properties) as the 43 in the previous or next drawing? Where is the machine located and what elevation is it at? When exa

## Re:Looking for god's finger prints? Here it is. (Score:5, Informative)

Einstein:

"God doesn't play dice"

Stephen Hawking:

"Not only does He play dice, He does it with his hands behind his back"

## Re:Looking for god's finger prints? Here it is. (Score:5, Informative)

That's actually not quantum mechanics but rather the Copenhagen

interpretationof QM.QM doesn't actually tell us much on whether the universe is deterministic or not, because:

A) The time-evolution of the wave-function itself is deterministic.

and

B) Because it's a philosophical question Science will never be able to answer.

You can always simply deny that it's the ultimate theory of Reality and then add a metaphysical layer explaining why it only 'appears' to be random. Or non-random.

## Re: (Score:2)

The evolution of the State Vector is unitary and therefore deterministic. That is a consequence of unitarity, as all the probabilities must add up to one. Any quantum experiment you perform can only return a probabilistic result. This is independent of whatever interpretation of QM you prefer and is not dependent on the Copenhagen Interpretation.

Einstein did not like the elimination of determinism from physical theory and believed a theory showing hidd

## Re: (Score:2)

## Re: (Score:2)

You picked a good authority comparison. Hawking is sort of known as a black hole guy. The same approach that rejects randomness also rejects black holes. I never paid much attention to Hawking but I would expect he was an Aristotle type while Einstein was a Platoist. So this is the real difference. And I think it is pretty easy to make fun of reductionists.

## Re: (Score:2)

This is a nitpick, but technically the world is not stochastic but rather our perception of it is. When you run an experiment where you can't observe what's going on, it evolves in a perfect deterministic manner. Only the act of forcing an experiment that ends in multiple states to pick one of those states introduces the perceived non-determinism.

## Re: (Score:2)

You don't understand quantum mechanics. For QM the world is fundamentally stochastic, not just pseudo random.This theory [wikipedia.org] states that it is deterministic, it is just that it is impossible to know enough detail to make the predictions.

## Re:Looking for god's finger prints? Here it is. (Score:4, Insightful)

Take the typical state lotto. If you knew all of the variables in the machine that draws the numbers, you can solve for which numbers will land in the winning numbers area.

Ummmm....yeah...I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there. Most of those machines blow ping-pong balls around with air, which is most likely turbulent, and they are blown up into the slots when the lottery lady pulls the lever for the slot. Since, at a minimum, you can't solve for the state of the lottery lady, you can't "solve for which numbers will land in the winning numbers area."

(Never mind the outrageous accuracy of initial conditions and precision of the calculations you'd need to solve for the movement of ~4 dozen ping-pong balls being blown around by turbulent air.)

## Re: (Score:2)

Since, at a minimum, you can't solve for the state of the lottery ladyHuh, I rather thought that particular philosophical chestnut is still mostly considered an open question.

## Lottery Lady State (Score:4, Funny)

Since, at a minimum, you can't solve for the state of the lottery ladyEasy! The state of the lottery lady is the same as the state of the lottery itself.

## Re: (Score:2)

Since, at a minimum, you can't solve for the state of the lottery ladyEasy! The state of the lottery lady is the same as the state of the lottery itself.I'm pretty sure they're allowed to hire out-of-staters to pull the lottery levers, and they become increasingly likely to want to commute as the state declines in size.

## Re: (Score:2)

Since, at a minimum, you can't solve for the state of the lottery lady

I don't see anything which makes it impossible to

in principlemeasure her first, then include her as part of the machine's state.You'd probably need to model everything she interacts with, transitively, so you have to model the entire universe, which is rather impractical if you're limited to being inside the universe.

But maybe you can measure and model to within a crazy high precision?

## Re:Looking for god's finger prints? Here it is. (Score:5, Interesting)

I believe randomness doesn't exist. In its place stands "too complicated to understand".

David Bohm wrote a lot about that, especially later in life. He essentially believed that what we perceive as randomness is a higher degree of order. An example he liked to use is a drop of ink placed in a cylindrical tank of glycerin, with a smaller central cylinder attached to a crank. If the crank is turned slowly in one direction, the drop of ink smears out and finally becomes invisible, dissolved in the surrounding medium. But if the crank is turned slowly back in the opposite direction, the drop of ink coalesces.

The unturned ink has a low (meaning simple) degree of order, while the spread-out ink has a high (complex) degree of order that is made apparent only when we wind it back to a state we can easily grasp. He also called these states the explicate, or what is readily apparent, and the implicate, or what is waiting to coalesce. The implicate order is why we have the maxim "hindsight is 20/20"--once something has happened, it often becomes easier to see how previous events lead up to this one.

It's interesting stuff, though certainly not orthodox, especially when one starts reading about the holomovement.

## Re: (Score:2)

You are thinking about quantum mechanics backwards. The true things that exist do so in many “classical” states simultaneously, i.e. the true nature of the “particle” is really a wave. We are the quirks in the system because our wave functions are so highly entangled that we perceive the universe as if it were deterministic. When we “measure” a quantity, what we are doing is forcing something that is in many states to tell us which state it is in. However, this is act

## Re: (Score:2)

"To believe in a random universe requires a lot more mental gymnastics to reconcile the observed universe with that world view."Yes, the universe is far stranger than fiction, it's also more usefull.

## Re: (Score:2)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle [wikipedia.org]

Especially the variant "we observe our Universe as it is because beings like wouldn't exist in a different one"

## Re: (Score:2)

Which brings me to the point of all this - How come only a very few scientists ever ask 'Why is this so?'.A lot of them do, but that question isn't science, it falls into the realm of philosophy or religion. As of yet, science can't answer why, and won't be able to until "why" is reduced to a measurable property. I'm very happy that scientists aren't shoving religion or philosophy down my throat. Science is the art of observing and recording, and after a long string of this, throwing out a theory that tr

## Re: (Score:2)

History and Philosophy of Science is nowadays an established discipline, which unfortunately isn't taken as seriously as it should be.

I suppose my argument isn't with Newtonian methodology. Newton himself asked why and conclusions should normally answer Why-style questions, except in many papers today, a conclusion is a summary of the results and pointers for further research.

In some eyes, the lost science of Analogy could be of help here.

If the golden ratio is apparent in the nano-scale quantum universe wh