- Deterministic system
In mathematics, a deterministic system is a system in which no randomness is involved in the development of future states of the system. A deterministic model will thus always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state.
Physical laws that are described by differential equations represent deterministic systems, even though the state of the system at a given point in time may be difficult to describe explicitly.
In quantum mechanics, the Schrödinger equation, which describes the continuous time evolution of a system's wave function, is deterministic. However, the relationship between a system's wave function and the observable properties of the system appears to be non-deterministic.
The systems studied in chaos theory are deterministic. If the initial state were known exactly, then the future state of such a system could be predicted. However, in practice, knowledge about the future state is limited by the precision with which the initial state can be measured.
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