[PAPER] Indeterminism, causality and information: Has physics ever been deterministic? An essay by Flavio Del Santo

Mar 11, 2020

A tradition handed down among physicists maintains that classical physics is a perfectly deterministic theory capable of predicting the future with absolute certainty, independently of any interpretations. It also tells that it was quantum mechanics that introduced fundamental indeterminacy into physics. We show that there exist alternative stories to be told in which classical mechanics, too, can be interpreted as a fundamentally indeterministic theory. On the one hand, this leaves room for the many possibilities of an open future, yet, on the other, it brings into classical physics some of the conceptual issues typical of quantum mechanics, such as the measurement problem. We discuss here some of the issues of an alternative, indeterministic classical physics and their relation to the theory of information and the notion of causality.

Find the entire essay on https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3436.