Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Reality Check: You Are Not a Computer Simulation [Audio]

Reality Check: You Are Not a Computer Simulation [Audio]:
Conventional wisdom says that quantum mechanics is a theory of discreteness, describing a world of irreducible building blocks. It stands to reason that computers--which process information in discrete chunks--should be able to simulate nature fully, at least in principle. But it turns out that certain asymmetries in particle physics cannot be discretized; they are irreducibly continuous. In that case, says David Tong, author of " Is Quantum Reality Analog after All? " in the December 2012 issue of Scientific American , the world can never be fully simulated on a computer.
[More]