In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Phil Carmody <email@example.com> wrote:
> Michael Press <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: > > In article > > <0.ef56b5652decd19bb478.20121128013501GMT.email@example.com>, > > Ben Bacarisse <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > > > > Good quality, hardware-generated random number sequences (if our current > > > understanding of quantum effects is correct) are random in a different > > > way to the digits of pi. It helps if the terminology is be able to > > > distinguish between them. > > > > I do not see how quantum effects can be used to generate > > random sequences. Coherent systems are stable and highly, > > if not perfectly, predictable. > > > > Hardware generated random sequences usually read Schottky > > noise off some device (a sound card in a computer) and use > > that. This can be modeled using entirely classical physics. > > Are you sure? Shottky noise is white noise, and thus is > indistinguishable from thermal (Johnson-Nyquist) noise. > So you can statistically model it the same way, but that > doesn't mean it's actually caused by classical mechanics. > I can't find any references to Shottky noise that don't > mention some quantum effect.
_What_ quantum effect? So far I am the only one who does not gloss over this question. That `quantum effects' are involved does not imply that they beget stochastic effects.
Experiment and analysis of time series show that radioactive decay has an unexplained component. Further this unexplained component is no more complicated or less simple than diffusion across a membrane. Bluntly, equivalent to deflation of a bicycle tire.
By `quantum' I read `wave theory of matter'. The original Bohr theory is as good as we have for what might actually be happening.
(Personally I do not adhere to any interpretation used to psychologically make the experiments more palatable; preferring to confront as best my faculties allow the raw facts.)