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Computing the universe

  1. Nov 5, 2007 #1
    There's been a concept I've been thinking about for quite some time.
    Lets imagine the universe was a computer. How would it look like/function.
    Now a computer has some characteristics and I wonder if you can apply these to the universe. Though I'm not sure which corresponds to what.
    For example the processor's instruction set - its probably the laws of physics in the universe - like creating a homogeneous space and the like.
    Now a processor also has computing power, but I can't imagine what its universal alternative is(maybe volume of space? like a cubic inch has that many FLOPS of power)...
    Also - storage capacity - how many bytes does it take to record every physical property of a particle(without any uncertainties - the data is there, even if we can't measure it)?
    Which also gives me an idea - maybe there's a pipeline or something that allows you to transmit only so much data, leaving some of it behind thus leaving some uncertainty as to the exact measurement of certain properties.
    Also - say the universe has that many particles each having that many storage capacity. Can a system of these particles possibly hold more data than their individual sums?
    And what would phenomena like black holes, wormholes, etc. be like inside this "universal" computer?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2007 #2


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    http://wwwphy.princeton.edu/~kirkmcd/examples/QM/lloyd_prl_88_237901_02.pdf [Broken]

    Related topic:
    http://puhep1.princeton.edu/~mcdonald/examples/QM/lloyd_nature_406_1047_00.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  4. Nov 5, 2007 #3
    Oh, so someone did actually come up with such a wacky idea before me... nice to know I'm not the only nutjob around.:rolleyes::biggrin::tongue:
  5. Nov 5, 2007 #4
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