Foundations of Physics

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 76–88 | Cite as

Is Classical Reality Completely Deterministic?



We interpret the concept of determinism for a classical system as the requirement that the solution to the Cauchy problem for the equations of motion governing this system be unique. This requirement is generally believed to hold for all autonomous classical systems. Our analysis of classical electrodynamics in a world with one temporal and one spatial dimension provides counterexamples of this belief. Given the initial conditions of a particular type, the Cauchy problem may have an infinite set of solutions. Therefore, random behavior of closed classical systems is indeed possible. With this finding, we give a qualitative explanation of how classical strings can split. We propose a modified path integral formulation of classical mechanics to include indeterministic systems.


Cauchy Problem Find Phys World Line Classical Electrodynamic Fundamental String 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Russian Federal Nuclear CenterSarovRussia

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