Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wolfram's plans for particle physics

Stephen Wolfram has shown us the new version of Mathematica - currently something like 6.0.2 - as well as his new kind of music and other interesting things. He also proposed various exciting ideas how a new computerized system that would become a standard to deal with particle physics could be created. A long discussion about the suitable type of physics-friendly computer geeks who could develop such a system - and their expected salary and background - followed.

Finally, Stephen Wolfram reiterated his ideas about the Universe being a cellular automaton. In the atmosphere of complete harmony, Nima advocated a meta-unification. According to Nima, Stephen Wolfram's picture of slightly different cellular automata giving vastly different physics is very close to the landscape reasoning. Well, it was a stimulating debate but I don't have to hear everything in the world, so eventually I got inspired by Nancy Hopkins (at least for a while). It is indeed true that my overall sympathy to both of these ideas are comparable, too. ;-)

If you're interested in the more precise isomorphisms between the cellular automata and the anthropic principle, there is a cute analogy invented by Nima that looks as follows: the negative cosmological constant is mapped to the automata that die out (big crunch) while the large positive cosmological constant is mapped to the trivial (solvable) automata - and the nontrivial automata that don't die out represent the anthropically allowed window for the cosmological constant. :-)

The world could indeed be a "new kind of" a cellular automaton, except that the "automaton" used in the real Universe is not classical; it is not discrete; it is not non-relativistic; its identity is constrained by different rules than algorithmic rules; and it differs from "cellular automata" in all other essential aspects, too.

1 comment:

  1. A condense matter physicist might be happy with such regimentation, but really if such probabilities exist( which they do) how would you map all that was entropically challenged?

    Music? :)