# Thread: outcome of coin flipped by machine random?

1. ## outcome of coin flipped by machine random?

Is the outcome of a fair coin flipped by a machine that is able to repeatedly flip a coin in an identical manner random?

2. ## Re: outcome of coin flipped by machine random?

Originally Posted by downthesun01
Is the outcome of a fair coin flipped by a machine that is able to repeatedly flip a coin in an identical manner random?
Well when we say we have a fair coin then we don't only imply that the coin is fair because it has no bias to land on one side over the other, but we imply it is flipped with the same fairness so it remains random.
But if for example the machine does not flip it randomly and gives a bias into one side then obviously the answer is no.

3. ## Re: outcome of coin flipped by machine random?

My vote is for no.

4. ## Re: outcome of coin flipped by machine random?

If the machine flips the coin with identical flips each time then it will depend which side up you place the coin on the machine. So it is not at all random, in fact you could control it.

5. ## Re: outcome of coin flipped by machine random?

Originally Posted by ChessTal
Well when we say we have a fair coin then we don't only imply that the coin is fair because it has no bias to land on one side over the other, but we imply it is flipped with the same fairness so it remains random.
But if for example the machine does not flip it randomly and gives a bias into one side then obviously the answer is no.
But essentially you are saying "if the machine flips it randomly, then it is random, otherwise not"!

6. ## Re: outcome of coin flipped by machine random?

Originally Posted by HallsofIvy
But essentially you are saying "if the machine flips it randomly, then it is random, otherwise not"!
Yes.
Because i see a coin flipping machine as a procedure of flipping a coin and not as a mechanical thing.

Of course if we have to start worrying about how the machine will flip the coin then we go to chaotic dynamics, sensitivity on the initial conditions etc, but since we speak about mathematics identical(in the "flipping the coin in an identical manner" context) means 100% identical, so we have a deterministic procedure, so if we place each time the coin in exactly the same way all the times, on the machine, then obviously we would get the same side each time.
If we don't place it exactly the same on the machine, then we have to analyze how the way we place it affects the outcome, so there are multiple/countless cases to think about this.