# Wrongly marked duplicate about why decay is random

I am not sure how to raise this issue, but I was looking for an answer to the question How do we know that nuclear decay is truly random and spontaneous?. This is an important question because we don't just think it is random, but it has been proven quite thoroughly that it MUST BE random by Bell's theorem and related experiments.

Unfortunately NONE of the answers mentions Bell.

That question is marked as duplicate of Is radioactive decay spontaneous or random?. That is a different question. That asks about the similarity and difference of the meanings of spontaneous and random. The answers there are appropriate to that question, but none of those mention Bell and Bell's Theorem is not an appropriate answer to that anyway.

One question ask "what is it" and the other asked "why do we know it is that way" those are different questions. I am not allowed to add a proper answer to the "why" question because you can't answer questions that are marked as duplicate.

I would like to able to point to a correct answer to this question and I am willing to provide it.

• FYI, you can't really tag users in a question like that. Also, the people who closed it aren't necessarily responsible for opening it again, that can be done by the community. – JMac Feb 17 '19 at 17:38
• 1. Making this meta post is the right thing to do if you want to talk about the justification for a closure. 2. Mentioning user names with '@' in a post does nothing, please don't do that. 3. You may be right that the question is not a duplicate of the linked question, but consider whether it is not a duplicate of the myriad of questions on our site that already deal with the "randomness" of QM in general and Bell's theorem, e.g. physics.stackexchange.com/q/110983/50583, physics.stackexchange.com/q/158604/50583 and their linked questions – ACuriousMind Feb 17 '19 at 17:39
• See also (since I was already looking for example when ACM posted his comment) physics.stackexchange.com/q/63811 – JMac Feb 17 '19 at 17:46
• Note that, to date, there are no experiments reported in the literature that perform Bell-inequality tests on nuclear decay. I mean, in case you're writing an answer that pulled in aspects of Bell tests but weren't thinking of mentioning that part. – Emilio Pisanty Feb 17 '19 at 19:33
• But yes, I agree that at least this specific pair is not a duplicate, but it's worth having a careful look for other links before reopening. The existing proposed duplicates don't mention nuclear decay, and that makes it worth keeping in a new one about that aspect, but that doesn't mean that there aren't closer dupes out there in the database. – Emilio Pisanty Feb 17 '19 at 19:36
• I agree that this is not a duplicate of the linked question, but it may be helpful to specifically address in the question itself why it is not a duplicate. As it is, reviewers in the Reopen Votes queue see an old closed question that has been trivially edited, so it's likely a number of people will hit "Leave Closed" without really looking over it. – Chris Feb 17 '19 at 21:29
• @Chris Yes, exactly. When I'm reviewing a claim that a question is not really a duplicate, the first thing I look for is whether the marked-as-duplicate question mentions the duplicate target (the one it's marked as a duplicate of) and explains what it (the marked-as-duplicate) is asking that the target is not. A question that has been edited to include that is much more likely to get my reopen vote; a question that has not been edited this way is unlikely to get my vote. And I would emphasize that the difference has to be in the questions, not in the answers. – David Z Feb 18 '19 at 4:09
• Thanks for letting me know about the linking names, it just seemed like a good idea to notify them if possible since they were involved initially. Seems not to be necessary. The two articles that ACuriousMind find are quite good and suitable. Maybe we could make this one a duplicate of those? I found this one by using the term "random" (which is possibly inappropriate but never the less colloquial term for non-deterministic) and if I had a link to the other questions would have been completely satisfied. – AgilePro Feb 18 '19 at 23:33
• The question has been reopened. – user191954 Feb 19 '19 at 11:33
• @ACuriousMind While prefixing user names with '@' has no effect in the SE software, it makes clear that the post wants to mention specifically a username. For example, using @Chair in a meta post means that I am talking about that user, and not about a chair in general. Although the user doesn't get a ping. – peterh Feb 25 '19 at 14:26