truly random numbers?

I heard this interesting story on All Things Considered on random number generation via quantum entanglement. The result was reported in Nature (the full paper is also available). I bet Scott will have something more to say about it (eventually), but it seems interesting to me, at least.

Perhaps I should go learn some quantum physics…

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5 thoughts on “truly random numbers?

  1. I wonder about all of these claims that quantum mechanics uses “absolutely, positively, 100 percent random” values. As far as I know, this is just an untestable assumption made by fans of quantum mechanics. Maybe we will all get to have a laugh when someone discovers that the universe actually uses rand()…

    • I agree — it all seems “epistomologically shaky” as it were. Since I know very little physics, it’s even more difficult for me to evaluate what is going on.

  2. Okay, I read the abstract and see that the authors are making a stronger claim than I thought possible. Every bit of quantum mechanics that I know of can be simulated on a computer using a pseudorandom number generator, so I have a hard time imagining how they “certify” their random numbers! Anand, can you send me a PDF?

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