# Is there a coincidence

## What is coincidence? - Or does it not even exist?

(hp). Imagine that you went on vacation with your parents far away to a small, unknown vacation spot and met one of your school friends there one afternoon on the beach. “What a coincidence”, you might be surprised and go for an ice cream together.

In fact, your meeting on the beach is anything but coincidence. An event is only considered to be coincidental if no explanation or cause can be found for it. There are a number of reasons for your meeting on the beach: Your families went on vacation at the same time.

You have chosen the same place as your holiday destination. Last but not least, both families have planned to go to the beach on the same day. If someone had known exactly what your two families' vacation plans would be, they could even have predicted your "chance" meeting on the beach.

With all events that are predictable and therefore calculable, no coincidence can be involved. This makes it very, very difficult for coincidence in the world, because for all things that happen there is at least one, but usually several causes.

This can be explained well with the seemingly random fall of dice. Obviously, you can't predict which number will fall next - provided, of course, you don't cheat. But here, too, there is no coincidence in the game. The result of a throw only seems to be random to us because it is not possible for us to know exactly all the starting conditions of the throw.

For if we knew, for example, exactly how the hand of the cube will move, from what height the cube falls, how fast it rotates, what its position in space is, what the material of the tabletop and the cube are made of, what the air resistance is like then we could actually calculate which number will fall.

However, we need to know all of these starting conditions more precisely than we can measure them with our best methods. Since this is obviously impossible, we speak of a subjective accident when a die falls.
"Subjective" in this case means that it is not possible for us personally to know and calculate all the conditions of the litter. Nevertheless, the individual starting conditions of a throw only allow a single, very specific number as a result. And so it is not accidental.

We encounter such subjective coincidences all over the world, and we usually mean them when we speak of coincidences. Examples of this are the "accidental" fall of a roulette ball, a lightning bolt that "accidentally" strikes a certain tree, the "random" drawn lottery numbers and of course the "accidental" encounter between two children on the beach.

An event that occurs without a cause for it will never be observed. Does this mean the end of real coincidence? Not quite. Because in physics and here in the smallest world of atoms - there are real coincidences there. Events that happen without a previous cause.

An example of this is the decay of a radioactive atom. We know that it has to fall apart at some point. Scientists can even state very precisely the probability with which the atom will decay in a certain period of time, for example within the next minute, hour or years. They cannot calculate the exact point in time when the atom will decay. Because the disintegration of an atom occurs without an offensive cause and is therefore actually random.