On the Successful Prediction of Radioactive Decay

James D. Stein


We describe an experimental setup involving a single radioactive atom which decays in unit time with probability ½, but such that it is possible to successfully predict whether the atom decays with probability greater than ½.  We also describe a strategy which correctly predicts with probability greater than ½ which of two radioactive atoms is more likely to decay in unit time, given that we can only observe one of the two species.  These ideas are mathematical in nature but are very likely to have applications in physics as well as other areas.

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James D. Stein, "Predicting the Fate of Schrodinger’s Cat", Journal for Foundations and Applications of Physics, vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 31-34

James D. Stein and Leonard Wapner, "How to Predict the Flip of a Coin", to appear in The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subject vol. 3, to be published by Princeton University Press.



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