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Is the Universe Analog or Digital?

  1. Jan 7, 2004 #1
    I originally posted this in the Relativity forum but I thought it was cogent to this topic so I'm repeating it. Sorry for the redundancy:

    Is the Universe Analog or Digital?
    First, I'm new to this forum, so I'm sorry if I'm being redundant or naive.

    Anyway, a while ago, I'd seen the question posed, "Is the universe digital or analog in nature?"

    Seemed like such a complex question at first, but then I came up with the following answer, and it's not what some might think:
    I believe we're mentally or perceptually digital creatures existing in an analog universe. Perhaps it's because we have fingers; perhaps it's because our brains have a built-in clock rate, just like this computer I'm typing on. Our consciousness runs in flashes and bursts, ergs, if you will, just like my Intel chip.

    However, to demonstrate the analog nature of the universe, I pose this question: Solve Pi. Pi is inherently analog in nature, and it's the purest expression of two-dimensionality I can think of. It is Curvature Itself - the fundament of dimensionality as we perceive it. And things get really hyperanalog when you square and cube Pi, and creates the need for artificial constructs like Infinity - another mathematical example I can use to demonstrate the analog nature of the universe.

    Because of this thinking, I've started to look at everything in terms of spectra. Perhaps Planck only addresses part of the deal in that it may be better expressed that the fundamental "packet" that we associate with quantum mechanics is merely the part of the "spectrum" of a transdimensional unit that also exists hypo- and hyper-dimensionally. After all, I find it interesting that every "erg" we run into appears to be spherical in nature. If you've ever been exposed to the concepts of Flatland, you'll realize that a three-dimensional object entering two dimensional Flatland would appear to a flatlander as a two-dimensional object because of his limited perception of dimensionality. Spheres are the three-dimensional equivalent in this model, so virtually any hyperdimensional artifact would appear to us in exactly this fashion. In other words, what does a hypersphere look like? Well, in my way of thinking, look around; they're everywhere. We just can't actually perceive the "hyper" aspects of the sphere. (And of course, just like Flatland, I'm reducing the dimensionalities for simplicity; you have to add the time element, etc., for accuracy.)

    Ultimately, I'm starting to wonder if we need a whole new form of math that is analog in nature. I was told that we have that in algebra and other formulaic expressions, but they're meaningless until you apply values and solve for them.

    Following my muse, maybe the universe is full of intelligent life, all interrelating by use of technologies they have developed because of their analog-based mentalities; whereas us poor digital-brained creatures are too stupid to pick up on it because we're trying to shove stuff into shapes and units and ergs and things we can understand from an inferior perceptual nature. It's like trying to absorb the nature of God. Truly, the container must always be greater than that which it contains.

    What say you?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2004 #2
    Hmm... good thought!

    But as far as I've studied...it's said world is Analog

    Hmm...but if you can think that we all are made of particles and as particles are discrete things...so the world must be digital...I mean if you cound every particle Digitally...just may be[zz)]
     
  4. Jan 7, 2004 #3
    Ah, but my question goes to, What does a particle consist of? If we define a particle as something that can affect our universe in the form of force, friction, etc., by saying "this is a particle" you limit it by your perception but that does not change what that particle inherently IS. The fundamental flaw of digital physics is that you're looking for an indivisible result, and in my way of thinking that just means that you're setting an arbitrary limit. See, to create something that can affect our spacetime, it's got to be made of constituents that do not directly affect our spacetime. What creates the particle? what are its constituents?

    To give you an example, in our three-dimensional world, planets and stars and such are said to "warp" the continuum, creating a "trough" for stuff to roll into, offering this as a simple model of gravitic effects which explains why objects of mass obey the Laws of Gravity. This is simple stuff (albeit dimensionally reduced for modeling purposes).

    I look at Planck as defining only the aspect of an artifact that can affect our spacetime. Planck has no meaning without the effect. This does not mean that a particle (artifact, effect, etc.) exists totally on that level because it cannot take into accout what exists but does not affect our continuum.

    Does that make any sense? I don't want to write a book here, but that may be what it takes to convey such dicey concepts. I've said in another posting that I'm lost when Academe says "The universe started from something smaller than..." because that's effect, not cause. They lose me first at "something," and then again at "smaller than...."

    Sir Dr. Hawking's posit that the universe may have been brought into being by a hypersingularity in hyperspace seems to ring true to me because it at least explains how something can be created from nothing.

    Now, after all that feckless rambling, I wonder: How can you measure everyting digitally? Quantum mechanics is going to make that impossible. And, after all, what is quantum mechanics? It's the INTERFACE between the analog and the digital. It's the Eye of the Monster, and we've got to kick its butt if we want to get anywhere meaningful on this level.
     
  5. Jan 7, 2004 #4
    Hmm...Really your post is very interesting and of course impressive :)

    You'll be good in writing books ;)


    We taught that the universe consists of Energy and Matter only!!!

    And there are four types of fundamental forces!

    But when the famous E=MC^2 came it has been proved that Energy and Mass/matter are interchangeble!

    And as far as I know Einstein didn't believe in Quantum Mechanics! But the reason is unknown to me :(

    First: What do you mean by Digital and Analog???

    From your post Analog is expressed PI i.e. Mathematics....

    Mathematics is naturelly Digital,

    Think about the Number Line...here all are difined digitally!
    -3...-2...-1...0...1...2...3

    But if you look closer you'll get Analogness!!!

    What is the closest point of 3 ???

    Hmm...you may go on counting ;) or dividing....

    or what is sqrt(2) show it....irrational numbers!!!

    So, what I see the world is

    Digitally Analog !!!!!!!!!
     
  6. Jan 7, 2004 #5
    Let me expound....

    See, I revisit Planck, but it's to demonstrate that you cannot just accept the fundamentals as a given - you must reconcile the new data with the old posits and "go with the flow."

    In reply to the message above, you write:
    "We taught that the universe consists of Energy and Matter only!!!"

    I'll get real simplistic here, to demonstrate a point:
    See, everyone focuses on vacuum in terms of space, and vacuum is a function of matter. Vacuum is irrelevant in terms of what fills the universe. What fills the universe is RADIATION - MOVEMENT - OPPOSING FORCES.

    Radiation is the background upon which vacuum is expressed. This is what I think that quoted statement is designed to express.

    Also from the post above is:
    "What do you mean by Digital and Analog???

    From your post Analog is expressed PI i.e. Mathematics....

    Mathematics is naturelly Digital,

    Think about the Number Line...here all are difined digitally!
    -3...-2...-1...0...1...2...3" ....

    Ah, but the point is that Pi CANNOT be solved digitally. I believe that's because you cannot express the analog in terms of the digital without the results becoming meaningless.

    The post above also notes, "But if you look closer you'll get Analogness!!!
    What is the closest point of 3 ???
    Hmm...you may go on counting ;) or dividing....
    or what is sqrt(2) show it....irrational numbers!!!
    So, what I see the world is
    Digitally Analog !!!!!!!!!"

    See my point? Welcome to the Twilight Zone.
     
  7. Jan 7, 2004 #6
    Just as follow-up, I've got to note that quantum physics, a'la Planck, does not say that the universe is analog; rather,that it's digital in nature. This, to me, just puts us in an analog sandwich with Infinity on either side and Pi smack-dab in the middle.

    Academe say there was a Big Bang and the universe is the result of a shock wave which flowed outward, defining our continuum. I humbly submit that the universe, our continuum, IS THE SHOCKWAVE, as this dimensional interaction is what defines our existence.
     
  8. Jan 7, 2004 #7
    Ha..ha..Hmm...then we are the member of Twilight Zone

    But as we've found Lights Duality : Wave and Particle form,

    (Here wave is analog and Particle you may say Digital)

    May be just may be the Universe has something that nature, as I've said:

    Digitally Analog!

    It may be another nature !!!

    And it may sounds Sci-Fi (I am a Sci-Fi writer of my coutry) our thinkings, mind all are that unknown natured Matter :)
     
  9. Jan 7, 2004 #8

    NateTG

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    Have you considered that the possibility is that it is neither?

    Whenever people ask is the universe x or y, they assume that both and neither are not options, which is often a false dichotomy.

    It would also be usefull if you clarified what you meant by digital and analog.
     
  10. Jan 7, 2004 #9
    Well said. I've actually considered that the universe might be something else, but I've come to the conclusion that it's BOTH -- particle physics is merely a subset of electromagnetics, etc. This is actually the standard model. It's how we expound upon it that makes it interestings. I don't see dichotomy; rather I see a Unified Whole.

    Interesting idea, though.
     
  11. Jan 7, 2004 #10
    It's really possible, as far as I'm concerned, to demonstrate that we all live in our own relative framesets. That means that what you said is demonstrably true. I think....
     
  12. Jan 8, 2004 #11
    HehCharley,

    I'm not realy posting here to your question: "Is the Universe Analog or Digital?" (good question), but making a comment on what I think are your underlying thoughts:

    How is this any different than a hidden variable theory? It appears to me that is what you are saying. John Bell's .. Bell's Theorem seems to rule out hidden variables.
     
  13. Jan 8, 2004 #12

    NateTG

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    This is a bit off-topic, but Bell's theorem assumes that the hidden variables have a measurable probability distribution because Bell's theorem relies on the ability to integrate over all possible hidden variable states.

    AFAIK It's possible to construct quantum models that have non-measurable hidden variables, but that fit the rest of quantum mechanics. I don't know enough about QM to tell whether he's a crackpot, but Pitowsky published some papers about it in the 80's. His math looks fairily sound to me.

    Invoking something like the Banach-Tarski paradox is pretty ugly for physics, but as far as I know, the popularly accepted position involves the universe splitting whenever there is a measurement, followed by limited interactions between universes, which is also ugly.

    Bell's theorem also assumes that the distance between the objects is non-zero. Thus another option for violating Bell's theorem is to allow for a wormhole between entangled electrons. I'm not sure whether anyone has investigated this possibility in earnest, but something of that nature can circumvent the assumtion that the two electrons are not local.
     
  14. Jan 8, 2004 #13

    selfAdjoint

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    Nate, you said
    I wouldn't say the many-worlds interpretation is "the popular" one. I think consistent histories is probably the current favored one, followed closely by variants of shut up and calculate (i.e. the refusal to interpret). Many-worlds is intensely controversial, with a small cadre of enthusiasts and a large group who hate the whole idea.

    And Banach-Tarski? I don't think physics* should ever have to invoke the axiom of choice.



    * As opposed to mathematical physics.
     
  15. Jan 8, 2004 #14
    I'm very interested about Hidden Variable Theory can you give any link to know about this from the fundamentals???
     
  16. Jan 8, 2004 #15

    Hmm...Relative Framesets interesting topic!

    That means you, me all are covered with relative framesets...and the elements of that set are variables which are of course different from each other with time.

    Those elements of frameset must be common to each other...but What I meant there must be any constant (frame of reference) and unknown variables...those unknown variables may be Constant to each and every sets!!!
     
  17. Jan 8, 2004 #16
    NateTG,

    Thanks for the info.

    This is a bit off-topic, but Bell's theorem assumes that the hidden variables have a measurable probability distribution because Bell's theorem relies on the ability to integrate over all possible hidden variable states.

    It's been awhile seen I went through/saw the formulization of Bell's Inequality, but in one particular instance I saw it developed thru plain algebra. It appeared that the inequality had weight given to measurements that may never be made .. just assumed would be made. That (to me) would seem to invalidate the whole inequality. But, no one seems to write about this when Bell's Inequality is explained.

    If anybody wants to explore this angle, I could look up the passages in a book I have and post the relevant parts.
     
  18. Jan 8, 2004 #17
    Moni,

    I'm very interested about Hidden Variable Theory can you give any link to know about this from the fundamentals???

    I just did a simple "MSN Web Search" on "Hidden Variable Theories", and these popped up. google should return some too. There is a lot of info out there on it .. I didn't weed through them and I'm not saying any of them are right. Just some information to read.

    http://redshift.vif.com/JournalFiles/Pre2001/V02NO4PDF/V02N4FUN.PDF

    http://students.washington.edu/maxl/research/foundations/

    http://www.roxanne.org/epr/results.html

    It all goes back to the Einstein/Podolsky/Rosen (EPR) VS Bohr debates, on the philosophy behind Quantum Mechanics. John Bell wanted to take it out the relm of philosophy, and cast it more into a mathmatical basis, and see if one side of the debate could be proved right or wrong. Alan Aspect's experiments are related also .. he was the first to be able to set up John Bell's ideas into an actual experiment.
     
  19. Jan 8, 2004 #18

    NateTG

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    QM is quite good at making predictions. And it makes strong predictions about the results of those measurements. So unless you want to postulate some new type of interaction between the measuring equipment and the particle, you're essentially throwing away QM.

    If what I'm suggesting doesn't seem applicable, and you can give a more detailed example of what you mean, I would love to look at it.
     
  20. Jan 8, 2004 #19

    NateTG

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    Well, since Bell's theorem is more mathematics than physics, the notion of AC is not so far fetched there.

    Similarly, if you choose the 'shut up and calulate' option, there's no reason not use the AC since interpretation is not necessary.

    I like the 'unmeasurable' approach to the problem because it provides a (for me) simple model of particle state which demonstrates that there is no communication between entangled particules. Since there is a model that demonstrates no communication, I can conclude that the nonlocal phenomena that described in the EPR paradox are an artifact of the model.

    From the descriptions on the web, I guess that the consistent histories approach leads to the same conclusion.
     
  21. Jan 8, 2004 #20
    NateTG,

    QM is quite good at making predictions. And it makes strong predictions about the results of those measurements. So unless you want to postulate some new type of interaction between the measuring equipment and the particle, you're essentially throwing away QM.

    The particular thing I'm talking about goes into/brings out the differences between particle VS amplitudes. It's nothing new, and nothing I thought of orginally. It'll take a while to go through and pull out the necessary info. I might be able to post something on it tonight, if not tommorrow.
     
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