By applying chaos theory and some high school level mechanics, they determined that by knowing the initial conditions – such as the viscosity of the air, the acceleration of gravity, and the friction of the table – it should be possible to predict the outcome when rolling the dice.
The researchers created a three-dimensional model of the die throw and compared the theoretical results to experimental observations. By using a high speed camera to track the die’s movement as it is thrown and bounces, they found the probability of the die landing on the face that is the lowest one at the beginning is larger than the probability of landing on any other face.
This suggests that the toss of a symmetrical die is not a perfectly random action. “Theoretically the die throw is predictable, but the accuracy required for determining the initial position is so high that practically it approximates a random process,” said Marcin Kapitaniak, a Ph.D. student at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
“Only a good magician can throw the die in the way to obtain the desired result.” These results suggest that randomness in mechanical systems is connected with discontinuity as the die bounces. “When the die bounces on the table, it is more difficult to predict the result than in the case of a die landing on the soft surface,” Kapitaniak said.
Article: “The three-dimensional dynamics of the die throw” is accepted for publication in Chaos.
Authors: Marcin Kapitaniak (1,2), Jaroslaw Strzalko, Juliusz Grabski (2) and Tomasz Kapitaniak (2)
Phat Nguyen | Newswise Science News
Data storage using individual molecules
17.12.2018 | Universität Basel
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17.12.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
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A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
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A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
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