What Is Random? -

What Is Random?

Chance and Order in Mathematics and Life



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In this fascinating book, mathematician Ed Beltrami takes a close enough look at randomness to make it mysteriously disappear. The results of coin tosses, it turns out, are determined from the start, and only our incomplete knowledge makes them look random. "Random" sequences of numbers are more elusive, but Godels undecidability theorem informs us that we will never know. Those familiar with quantum indeterminacy assert that order is an illusion, and that the world is fundamentally random. Yet randomness is also an illusion. Perhaps order and randomness, like waves and particles, are only two sides of the same (tossed) coin.

Product code: 9780387987378

ISBN 9780387987378
Order is an illusion, the quantum theorists tell us; at bottom the world is ruled by quantum indeterminacy. Yet randomness is also an illusion: the appearance of randomness is only a sign of ignorance, of our inability to detect the pattern. Mathematician Ed Beltrami shows how order and randomness are really two sides of the same mysterious coin.