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(Medium)   Turtles all the way down--new theory of everything is deeper than quantum mechanics   (medium.com) divider line 16
    More: Cool, quantum mechanics, theory of everything, information theory, quantum information, conservation of energy, logical possibility, old quantum theory, shannon  
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2977 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 May 2014 at 12:36 PM (8 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



16 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-05-29 11:48:03 AM
I clicked thinking  this was going to be on the other end. Cool article, though.
 
2014-05-29 12:46:15 PM
I'm gonna have to re-read that while pharmaceutically enhanced.
 
2014-05-29 12:47:16 PM
+1 for the BHoT introduction reference, subby.
 
2014-05-29 01:02:11 PM
Constructor theory?

img.fark.net
 
2014-05-29 01:35:34 PM
The deepest philosophical question in physics has always been whether the universe follows the math or the math follows the universe. Up until now, we have pretty much only ever been able to wrap our heads around the former. It's neat that we finally have some theory that investigates the latter case.
 
2014-05-29 01:47:23 PM
For those that want a lighter version, but still in Deutsch's own words, pick up a copy of the current New Scientist.

What makes this exceptionally interesting is that many leading physicists have suspected that information plays a fundamental role (clues include the entropy result for black holes, among others); Deutsch and his collaborator Marletto have done the really hard part of expressing these suspicions in explicit form.

It's not unrelated that Deutsch is a proponent of the Many Worlds interpretation of QM, which when properly understood is actually an interpretation about information (not really about branching universes as popularly explained).
 
2014-05-29 02:19:13 PM

czetie: For those that want a lighter version, but still in Deutsch's own words, pick up a copy of the current New Scientist.

What makes this exceptionally interesting is that many leading physicists have suspected that information plays a fundamental role (clues include the entropy result for black holes, among others); Deutsch and his collaborator Marletto have done the really hard part of expressing these suspicions in explicit form.

It's not unrelated that Deutsch is a proponent of the Many Worlds interpretation of QM, which when properly understood is actually an interpretation about information (not really about branching universes as popularly explained).


Have you read his new-ish book, The Beginning of Infinity?  I was thinking of getting it.  Seems more philosophy than hard science, but that might be better for the interested amateurs out there like me.
 
2014-05-29 02:27:44 PM
To paraphrase Hawkeye Pierce, "Very good, Deutsch, your theory is concise, informative, and makes no sense whatsoever."

(Theoretical Physics makes my brain hurt.)
 
2014-05-29 02:34:44 PM
Does someone who's read the actual paper know if the rules of constructor theory require all transformations to be computable (in the Turing sense)?

Does someone who's read the actual paper know if that's even a meaningful question in relation to the paper?
 
2014-05-29 03:03:49 PM

BigLuca: Have you read his new-ish book, The Beginning of Infinity? I was thinking of getting it. Seems more philosophy than hard science, but that might be better for the interested amateurs out there like me.


I haven't, but it looks interesting. Whether or not one thinks he is right, Deutsch is a singular mind.

I too count myself as an interested amateur, not least because my math skills topped out at the age of 20.
 
2014-05-29 03:55:19 PM
d262ilb51hltx0.cloudfront.net

Apparently IQ continues to be directly proportional to crazy hair.
 
2014-05-30 12:36:37 AM
We'll see...
 
2014-05-30 11:29:27 AM
I'm not sure about the information theory parts, but the writer seems weak on the the mathematics of conservation on energy. The conservation of energy principle says that all energy in a close system is a constant. Seem like a "mathematical truth" to me, at least as it relates to the physical world.
 
2014-05-30 12:39:22 PM

UTD_Elcid: I'm not sure about the information theory parts, but the writer seems weak on the the mathematics of conservation on energy. The conservation of energy principle says that all energy in a close system is a constant. Seem like a "mathematical truth" to me, at least as it relates to the physical world.


I'm sorry, did you just attempt to correct David farking Deutsch on elementary physics?

The smart play here would be to ask yourself, "hmmm, perhaps the conservation of energy is more subtle than I've always thought?"; or perhaps, "maybe I'm not reading that section quite right, or it lost something in editing?". But no, this is the internet; let's go with "the Dirac-prize winning Oxford professor seems weak on Physics 101."

By the way, the right answer is (a) and possibly also (b). The interesting thing about conservation of energy is that it's far from self-evident why it is true; and it turns out that there is a much more fundamental principle at work, namely that whenever a physical law has a symmetry, there is an associated conserved quantity, i.e. a conservation law. The physical laws of our universe could be wildly different from what they actually are, but so long as they are symmetrical in time, energy would be conserved. (Similarly, charge is conserved because the Faraday equations have a certain specific symmetry; but any other equations with the same symmetry would also conserve charge.) Consequently, the existence of conservation of energy places strict constraints on the form that physical laws can take (i.e. they must be time-symmetric).

And this is the analogy that Deutsch is drawing: he is suggesting that there are principles about information that are deeper than the specific laws of QM (or classical mechanics) that those laws must abide by, regardless of their specific forms. Of course, the success of that analogy depends on the reader actually understanding what conservation of energy is all about, and that it is not a mathematical truism.

Incidentally, this understanding of the profound significance of conservation laws and symmetries is due to Emmy Noether, the most important physicist most people have never heard of. In any rational world, her name would routinely be included with those of Einstein, Heisenberg and Schrodinger as the people who put 20th century physics on its modern footing.
 
2014-05-30 01:44:02 PM

RedZoneTuba: To paraphrase Hawkeye Pierce, "Very good, Deutsch, your theory is concise, informative, and makes no sense whatsoever."

(Theoretical Physics makes my brain hurt.)


I read that in Hawkeye's Groucho Marx voice.
 
2014-05-30 05:52:02 PM
Goddammit, I can't afford enough weed to understand quantum physics as it is.
 
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