Asked by: Craig Croy

Einstein in fact, published a famous paper, now known among physicists as the EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) paper. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPR_paradox)In the paper, he tries to refute the probabilistic nature from the standpoint of "locality", which means all interactions must occur locally, or be transmitted at the limiting speed of light (which also counts as local, when you take into account the messenger particle). He argues that, since the predictions of quantum mechanics are not in line with locality, it can not be true.

The story does not quite end there. There is Bell's Theorem which you can read about here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell's_theorem

Employing what we call "entangled states", Bell argues that, it is not possible to reproduce the predictions of quantum mechanics with any physical model that is deterministic. (Here, being deterministic involves hidden variables; variables that have a definite value (hence deterministic) but can not be measured before the "experiment".)

Since you can not reproduce the results of quantum mechanics with a deterministic model, this means that any deterministic model we may come up with, will say something different than what quantum mechanics says, the argument boils down to the following:

1. Quantum mechanics is correct, the universe is probabilistic, and no deterministic model may describe the universe correctly.

2. Quantum mechanics is incorrect. The universe is in fact deterministic, so we need to find the correct deterministic theory to describe it. (i.e, "God does not play dice with the universe.")

So, what do you do? Experiment of course. Experiments have been performed, and quantum mechanics has passed all tests with flying colors...

So, -unless our experiments are really broken-, no new theory is going to get us our beloved determinism back...

Toss the dice...

Answered by: Yasar Safkan, Ph.D., Istanbul, Turkey

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'The strength and weakness of physicists is that we believe in what we can measure. And if we can't measure it, then we say it probably doesn't exist. And that closes us off to an enormous amount of phenomena that we may not be able to measure because they only happened once. For example, the Big Bang. ... That's one reason why they scoffed at higher dimensions for so many years. Now we realize that there's no alternative... '**Michio Kaku**

(*1947-*)

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