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26 January 2021
  » arxiv » 1702.8551

 Article overview

Inconsistency of Measure-Theoretic Probability and Random Behavior of Microscopic Systems
Guang-Liang Li ; Victor O.K. Li ;
Date 24 Feb 2017
AbstractWe report an inconsistency found in probability theory (also referred to as measure-theoretic probability). For probability measures induced by real-valued random variables, we deduce an "equality" such that one side of the "equality" is a probability, but the other side is not. For probability measures induced by extended random variables, we deduce an "equality" such that its two sides are unequal probabilities. The deduced expressions are erroneous only when it can be proved that measure-theoretic probability is a theory free from contradiction. However, such a proof does not exist. The inconsistency appears only in the theory rather than in the physical world, and will not affect practical applications as long as ideal events in the theory (which will not occur physically) are not mistaken for observable events in the real world. Nevertheless, unlike known paradoxes in mathematics, the inconsistency cannot be explained away and hence must be resolved. The assumption of infinite additivity in the theory is relevant to the inconsistency, and may cause confusion of ideal events and real events. As illustrated by an example in this article, since abstract properties of mathematical entities in theoretical thinking are not necessarily properties of physical quantities observed in the real world, mistaking the former for the latter may lead to misinterpreting random phenomena observed in experiments with microscopic systems. Actually the inconsistency is due to the notion of "numbers" adopted in conventional mathematics. A possible way to resolve the inconsistency is to treat "numbers" from the viewpoint of constructive mathematics.
Source arXiv, 1702.8551
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