Randomness

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(on second thought, no... put the article here -- begun)
(better wording; expand a bit)
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{{wikipedia}}
 
{{wikipedia}}
 
{{wiktionary|random}}
 
{{wiktionary|random}}
An event or process is called '''random''' if its specific state at any particular time is unpredictable in some essential way.
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An event or process is called '''random''' if its state at any particular time is unpredictable. The set of all ''possible'' states may be known, and the ''frequency'' of occurrence of these possible states may also be known, but the ''actual'' observed state is unknowable until you actually observe it. An example is a coin toss (specifically, one in which the coin rotates several times before landing). Such a toss results in either "heads" or "tails", but which of these will actually occur the next time you toss the coin is unknowable.
  
 
[[Category:Science]]
 
[[Category:Science]]
 
[[Category:Philosophical issues]]
 
[[Category:Philosophical issues]]

Revision as of 20:43, 8 November 2007

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An event or process is called random if its state at any particular time is unpredictable. The set of all possible states may be known, and the frequency of occurrence of these possible states may also be known, but the actual observed state is unknowable until you actually observe it. An example is a coin toss (specifically, one in which the coin rotates several times before landing). Such a toss results in either "heads" or "tails", but which of these will actually occur the next time you toss the coin is unknowable.

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