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Energy and computational complexity of atomic interactions

  1. Dec 31, 2009 #1

    Recently I've been pondering the causes of enormous difference in energy requirements between modeling a complex process like fluid dynamics on computer and the actual energy required in the physical fluid. In a computer, it takes hundreds or thousands of processors long periods of time to model even modestly complex fluid problems. If you took a simple bottle of water and shook it vigorously for a couple of seconds, the complexity would crush the combined power of every computer on earth. It would require huge amounts of energy and hundreds of years to exactly model what went on in the bottle in that two second span.

    This brings up the following questions:
    1. How would one estimate the total information content of a moderately complex problem?

    2. How would one calculate the minimum energy requirements, using known mathematics, to exactly model a fluid problem?

    3. It's a virtual certainty that nature doesn't use a single one of our quantum or physics equations to do what it does, so could the discrepancy between modeled and real processes lead unknown information? Or a descriptive language that yields more accurate and energy efficient models than math?
  2. jcsd
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