By Zwicky F.
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Extra resources for On the Reflection of Electrons from Crystal Lattices
1 And consider a rock, traveling at constant velocity, through an otherwise empty infinite space, in a world like that. And note that nothing whatsoever in the Newtonian law of motion, together with the laws of the interparticle forces, together with a stipulation to the effect that those interparticle forces are all the forces there are, is going to stand in the way of that rock’s suddenly ejecting one of its trillions of elementary particulate constituents at enormous speed and careening off in an altogether different direction, or (for that matter) spontaneously disassembling itself into statuettes of the British royal family, or (come to think of it) reciting the Gettysburg address.
2 Physics and Chance 29 Even if we had this “explanation” to hand, and could assimilate all the details, it would still not advance our understanding. For it would not show that Arbuthnot’s regularity was anything more than a gigantic coincidence. By contrast, we can already give a satisfying explanation by appealing to an insight of R. A. Fisher. Fischer recognized that, in a population in which sex ratios depart from 1:1 at sexual maturity, there will be a selective advantage to a tendency to produce the underrepresented sex.
34 D. Albert And conceptions of chance as anything along the lines of (I don’t know) a cause or a pressure or a tendency or a propensity or a pulling or a nudging or an enticing or a cajoling or (more generally) as anything essentially bound up with the way in The technical reason has to do with the fact that the sort of information we can actually have about physical systems – the sort that we can get (that is) by measuring – is invariably compatible with a continuous infinity of the system’s microstates.