I have heard it stated by renowned scientists, for example Stephen Hawking, that the macroscopic world is completely deterministic from a theoretical if not practical perspective, while the quantum realm is probabilistic. My question concerns the interaction of atomic radiation with the macroscopic world. The emission of a particle from a particular nucleus at a particular time is, as I understand it, purely probabilistic. If that particle hits a DNA molecule and causes a mutation resulting in cancer how can that cancer be said to be theoretically deterministic?
By Siv Schwink
November 28, 2012
Professor of Physics Taekjip Ha has been appointed an Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed Professor, one of the highest distinctions conferred by the University of Illinois on distinguished faculty members for achievements in research, teaching, and service that represent significant contributions within their respective fields.
If you have questions about the Department of Physics or ideas for other stories, contact Siv Schwink, 217.300.2201
Department of Physics 1110 West Green Street Urbana, IL 61801-3080Physics Library | Contact Us | My.Physics | Privacy Statement | Copyright Statement