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Some physicists and university researchers say it's possible to test the theory that our entire universe exists inside a computer simulation, like in the 1999 film "The Matrix." In 2003, University of Oxford philosophy professor Nick Bostrom published a paper, "The Simulation Argument," which argued that, "we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation." ref: Physicists testing to see if universe is a computer simulation

but this is not my question, i want to know that,

  1. Has anyone ever tried to formulate physics base on computer science?


  1. Has anyone ever tried to formulate physics bas on The evolution of information instead time evolution?

  2. If we accept the simulated world then physics is viewpoint of world from inside the simulation then, What is the look of world from the outside the simulation?

For example, the world is a complex from the inside of fractal but from the outside it is simple M-set $z_{n+1}=z_{n}^2+c$

M set

In physics and cosmology, digital physics is a collection of theoretical perspectives based on the premise that the universe is, at heart, describable by information, and is therefore computable. Therefore, the universe can be conceived of as either the output of a computer program, a vast, digital computation device, or mathematically isomorphic to such a device.

Digital physics is grounded in one or more of the following hypotheses; listed in order of decreasing strength. The universe, or reality:

a. is essentially informational (although not every informational ontology needs to be digital)

b. is essentially computable

c. can be described digitally

d. is in essence digital

e. is itself a computer

f. is the output of a simulated reality exercise

Quantum mechanics is very impressive. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory yields a lot, but it hardly brings us any closer to the secret of the Old One. In any case I am convinced that He doesn't play dice. - Albert Einstein

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I didn't downvote, (I flagged), but I'll tell you why this was downvoted. For question 3, It is subhective, and off-topic. For Question 1, and 2, they are off-topic. You may want to post this at Computational Science.SE, . –  Dimensio1n0 Aug 21 '13 at 1:51
Check out the book of Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science. I think he is the one that developed these ideas in the most consistent way. –  chuse Aug 21 '13 at 7:35
1.) "but this is not my question" Which one? 2.) That short quote at the beginning obscures the conclusion of "The Simulation Argument" paper. 3.) "Has anyone ever tried to formulate physics bas on The evolution of information instead time evolution?" If you found a description which describes something which you'd call "evolution", how is it not a process along an ordered structure from which one would abstract an ordinal system which would be identified with time? –  NikolajK Aug 21 '13 at 8:05
FYI I'm nearly certain this would be very much off topic at Computational Science. –  David Z Aug 24 '13 at 4:52

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Has anyone ever tried to formulate physics base on computer science?

No, what do you mean by computer science? Data structures, algorithm, cryptography, artificial intelligence? No. Programming, computer architecture, networking, virus, brain computer interface? No. Computer graphics, visualization, database, linux kernel, Windows 7, ... Noooo. I can't think of anything that is related.

Has anyone ever tried to formulate physics bas on The evolution of information instead time evolution?

There are people proposing the possibility of using entropic force (example) to explain the gravity force between objects. The emphasis is that entropy is more fundamental than energy. I am not quite sure whether it would work, as I think entropy are always carried by energy $S=\Delta Q/T$. It is the closest study as entropy is closely related to information.

If we accept the simulated world then physics is viewpoint of world from inside the simulation then, What is the look of world from the outside the simulation?

Most physicist are already accepted a kind of simulation worldview: There exists fundamental laws in our universe, and everything follow strictly of these rules. If there is something "outside", those are rules and things that are even more fundamental than our current perceived view of universe. Our observable universe are just the simulation results of these rules. As far as causality holds, people can always think in this way.

There are people studying the existence of more "fundamental rules" that results in our current known rule, for example string theory. Some of them also playing with lattice like cellular automaton to see whether some game rules might generate nature phenomenon (see, say, A New Kind of Science).

For example, the world is a complex from the inside of fractal but from the outside it is simple M-set zn+1=z2n+c

Complexity in our world are understood as the emergence phenomenon from a low level. Physics can derive everything of chemistry, and so does biology and our society.

People are working hard to fill in these gap of understanding these emergence phenomenon. Thank you to powerful computer and advanced theoretical tools, now there are already good progress: Interatomic force results into three phase of matter. Proteins simply minimize its energy will fold into a particular shape. Enlarged disturbance results in chaotic dynamics. Preferential attachment in social network results in power law distribution. All of them are the results of the simple fundamental laws.

You might argue how these complexity can arise from these simple rules, but it really does. From the broken symmetry point of view, our current system can only take one of the many possible state, and there are many out there that you don't yet know. Another newer viewpoint of the nature are that they are self-organized criticality, so a particular phenomenon will arise without the need to control precisely of system parameters (see, say, How nature work). All these play important role in the observed pattern formation.

http://xkcd.com/435/ More purity, more fundamental. More dirty, more complex.

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Modern theoretical computer science is a good bit deeper than digitalization and computer graphics, etc. Modern computer science is effectively the study of formal systems called type theories. Superficially this are nothing but formalizations of collections of (data) types and functions between their terms (instantiations). But the study of these systems has shown that they are much deeper than it may seem on first sight. This deep relation had been advertized under the term computational trinitarinism, see there for some details.

More recently, there has been a dramatic discovery in theoretical computer science: the version of type theory technically known as intensional type theory, introduced back in the 1970s, was suddently realized to correspond, under "computational trinitarianism", to the theory of locally cartesian closed infinity-categories. Moreover, if one adds a natural axiom called "univalence", then this becomes what is now known as homotopy type theory which is thought to be equivalent to the theory of infinity-toposes.

Mike Shulman and myself have shown how local prequantum field theory is naturally formalized in homotopy type theory, hence in the "new foundations" of theoretical computer science, see our article Quantum gauge field theory in cohesive homotopy type theory.

An introductory survey of this you can find at the beginning of geometry of physics on the nLab.

Then with my student Joost Nuiten we have shown how quantization of local prequantum field theory to local quantum field theory is formalized this way in higher topos theory. See Nuiten's master thesis on motivic quantization.

A survey of all this is at Synthetic Quantum Field Theory.

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It seems to be the case that the laws of physics allow the existence of computers that can simulate any physical system with arbitrary accuracy.

Some people (Wolfram and others such as Seth Lloyd) have tried to explain the laws of physics by saying that we are living in a computer simulation or something like that. This idea has two major problems.

First, the set of mathematical operations that computers can do are distinguished from other mathematical operations by the fact that physical objects can instantiate them, they are not special in any other way that we currently understand.

Second, precisely because computation is universal (any computer can do the same set of operations as any other given enough memory), if the universe is a computer simulation we can never find out what hardware it is running on and so we can never discover the real laws of physics. As a result, the big computer in the sky can never play any role in any explanation and adding just adds unnecessary complications to our ideas about how the world works.

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What are examples for mathematical operation, which physical objects can't instantiate? Also, I'm pretty sure that the question is somewhat meaningless, but I want to point out that in your last paragraph, you carry over the conjectured universality of certain function computing machines to the hidden outside world, with it's other "real laws of physics". –  NikolajK Aug 21 '13 at 15:21

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