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Is Matter Digital or Analog?

  1. Dec 2, 2012 #1

    Rob D

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    I am vexed. In your expert opinion can matter and the particles and wave forms of which it is composed be described within a digital model or an analog.

    Is this a human perception limitation wherein the analytical left hemisphere types prefer a digital universe mostly because it can be describeded mathematically more easily? Or do the right hemisphere visualizers win out perceivingng the universe as an analog continuum?

    I'm comfortable with the Standard Model and most of the math but I must admit the infinitely variable analog model has a certain appeal, at least to me. I guess that I tend to see the universe in a more analog way, with nothing off the table or too rigidly circumscribed.

    All I Know,
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2012 #2


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    I would call the current laws of physics mainly "analog" - they are continuous in space, time and most other values. Some parts like spin could be called "digital".
    Some concepts have a discrete spacetime, which looks a bit more digital.

    I don't think "analog" and "digital" are useful concepts for laws of physics.
  4. Dec 2, 2012 #3

    Rob D

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    Ah, many thanks. That is my take on it exactly. I apologize in that my vexation was derived from the media and more specifically from the Sunday afternoon Uber Scientists who populate the cablesphere and provide at times an excellent public service by demystifying some difficult concepts and rendering them digestible by the great unwashed. And thank goodness for them doing so. The American public are being drug by their nostrils, kicking and screaming into the 21st century by these brave guys and good on'um.

    However in accomplishing that feat it is sometimes impossible to avoid making a bit of a hash of it. That is where I heard this bit of hearsay and mfb is accurate on what I thought of it.

    Anybody else got an opinion on this issue, if issue it be?
  5. Dec 3, 2012 #4
    You might be interested in knowing that this was one of the recent topics for an essay contest organized by FQXi. The winners of the essay contest can be found here: 2011 Is Reality Digital or Analog? and I'm sure if you look through the titles/abstract you'll find some intersting essays.
  6. Dec 3, 2012 #5

    Rob D

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    Many thanks Zarqon, I'm sure that will help greatly.

    Bye the way, are you involved in the Zarqon development team? Or, alternatively, are you the Zarqon development team? Interesting concept.

  7. Dec 4, 2012 #6
    No, I'm not, didn't even know it existed :P But thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    I have used this name for about 15 years or so, and I in turn took it from hitch hikers guide to the galaxy (although missing a letter). It's too bad they didn't ask me before coming up with that name though, because I could have told them it's a horrible name. From all the years of experience I know that about 50% of all people who see the name written misstakes the 'q' for a 'g', which makes the name a terrible email name :uhh:
  8. Dec 5, 2012 #7

    Rob D

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    I understand.

    But, do you like your universes digital or analog? I'm an anolog guy myself but digital sure makes the math work out well.
  9. Dec 5, 2012 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    This thread is turning into chatting. In any event, until there is a definition of a digital universe or an analog one, there's no way it can be discussed.
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