What's up in

random numbers

Photo of various kinds and colors of dice
Abstractions blog

How and Why Computers Roll Loaded Dice

July 8, 2020

Researchers are one step closer to injecting probability into deterministic machines.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Randomness From Determinism’

November 22, 2019

Readers’ modifications of a bean machine showed how deterministic laws are capable of producing random-seeming behavior.

Abstractions blog

Mathematicians Calculate How Randomness Creeps In

November 12, 2019

Mathematicians have figured out exactly how many moves it takes to randomize a 15 puzzle.

insights puzzle

How Randomness Can Arise From Determinism

October 14, 2019

Playing with a simple bean machine illustrates how deterministic laws can produce probabilistic, random-seeming behavior.

An illustration of a sunset beach scene turned into a puzzle.
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Perfect Randomness’

September 27, 2019

Is nature inherently random or is perfect randomness just an illusion based on our ignorance?

An illustration of a sunset beach scene turned into a puzzle.
insights puzzle

The Puzzling Search for Perfect Randomness

August 20, 2019

Does objective, perfect randomness exist, or is randomness merely a product of our ignorance?

Abstractions blog

How Randomness Can Make Math Easier

July 9, 2019

Randomness would seem to make a mathematical statement harder to prove. In fact, it often does the opposite.


Random Surfaces Hide an Intricate Order

July 2, 2019

Mathematicians have proved that a random process applied to a random surface will yield consistent patterns.

quantum information theory

How to Turn a Quantum Computer Into the Ultimate Randomness Generator

June 19, 2019

Pure, verifiable randomness is hard to come by. Two proposals show how to make quantum computers into randomness factories.