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Spinning Particles & Conways Game of Life

  1. Aug 20, 2004 #1
    Hi there,

    I have little physics knowledge, just a few poorly understood concepts that I have overheard. Something has been on my mind recently and I though maybe your expertise could assist?

    There is a theory that says something about the spin on a particle only being determined when a human observes it? Schrödinger's Cat?

    Would it not be possible for a computer to make this observation using measurement equipment? What would it see?

    Is a computer made this observation on all particles contained in a box (as well as other things like charge, gravity, position and any other measurable quantities of particles) a single instant, it could surely store this information in a database?

    Knowing that certain configurations of these particles make up the elements in the periodic table... could we not write a program which could build a 3d map of everything that we observed in the box?

    Could we not take this map, and run it in a 3d version of "Conways Game Of Life"? If this information was displayed on a computer screen.... what would a human looking at the screen see? Does the spin on a particle have any influence over what we see in the world around us?

    If we recorded all the information (as above) for one instant... and then performed another measurement in instant later, could we start working out some rules to determine how the particles changed from one state to the next?

    Anyone who has seen the 2d version of Conways Game Of Life will know that it resembles many of the elements of the universe around us. Galaxies, organisms, planets, orbits, reproduction, cancer. There are even floaters which move from place to place effectivly carrying the "seeds of life".

    Is it possible that rather than a big bang... or an expanding/contracting universe.... the universe is infact a 3d Game Of Life itself, with all the elements within it moving closer or further aparts based on simple rules of collision? On a smaller scale we could say that the thrust generated when a rockets goes into space is a result of the burning fuel performing a simple algorithm which results in movement in a direction?

    If we could somehow model everything in the universe using simple rules in a 3d version of Conways Game of Life (maybe particles coming together, and the spin on the particles changing direction as a result if simple binary mathematics) then we could build a model of the contents of the box above inside the computer. .. and change this model, and influence the particles within it?

    Now that we know how to set the spin on particles using quantum entanglement, we could set the spin on any particles we choose in the box at the same instant. We could make caculations using Game of Life 3d to find the optimum configuration of particles so that we can learn to reverse cancers, or store memories?

    Does any of this make any sense? No.. probably not. .. but worth a try nontheless :uhh: Maybe "spin" isn't the right thing to be measuring. I am simply trying to think of how we can use a computer to record the state of the smallest known particles at any instant, and how we can can calculate and observe the interactions between them, and how these interactions change the state of the particles.

    Many thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2004 #2
  4. Aug 20, 2004 #3
    You should try reading "A new kind of science" by Stephen Wolfram.

    He has the same kind of idea that these simple models (called cellular automota) can be used to think about pretty much everything in the universe.

    Just one word of warning, if you read his book you may be fooled into thinking Wolfram invented everything in the subject himself.

    He didn't.

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