Monday, June 22, 2009

Great Quantum Turing Machine Batman!

Ah, dear reader, It has been a while, not that time particularly matters to you, what with the whole not-existing thing you got going on, not that I blame, you, its not like I update this thing with any regularity, although I would like to change that... and with that note, lets get down to the entry....

So, while i was living in that terrible cess-pit known as the world sans internet I had time to read Programming the Universe by Seth Lloyd. This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in computability and the world as we understand it. Following up in the tradition of Wolfram's A New Kind of Science and Rucker's The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul(which i cant recommend highly enough) Programming the Universe is an exploration of what information science and the mathematical underpinnings of computation mean to how the world works and how to explain the universe in terms of a new physical entity (information) that must be considered when trying to understand what base forces and rules control and manage the universe.

However, Lloyd, a leading researcher in quantum computing, takes an interesting approach viewing the universe as not merely something that can be imitated by any old Universal Turing Machine, but rather, the universe is a giant quantum supercomputer that is constantly computing itself.

This is a elegant way around dealing with the problem of Chaos theory and quantum interaction that plagues most attempts at determinism by Universality of Turing machines. Chaos theory showing that if our measurements are even just a tiny bit off from the real value of the event we are measuring it would be impossible to predict its course, and the quantum interference that puts a minimum bound on how precise our measurements or even any measurements can be.

Lloyd also makes a very interesting point about entropy, viewing entropy as an increase in information, an increase in all those bits, that make up the universe as a complete and wonderful whole. is i think particularly thrilling,

Furthermore, Like Rucker's Work, Lloyd's work reads like a great lecture, anticipating questions and givng a phenomenal overview of the theory and its consequences. I give this book my highest recommendation. It is a fascinating read and has shaped the way I personally, understand the fundamental forces and interactions of the universe.