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4:00 pm, Wean Hall 7500
3:45 pm - Refreshments Outside the Auditorium
Contact: Vivian Lee, 268-2572 or vl@cs.cmu.edu

Digital Mechanics (DM) is the name we give to models of microscopic physics that are entirely discrete and finite. We will illustrate the power of DM models by defining a particular model, assigning a small number of properties to the elements of the model, and then deriving a large number of properties from the model that are reminiscent of Physics. In particular, we will start with a simple binary 3+1D lattice, where the time dimension has extent 2 and some further complexity. We then define just one conserved element, the bit; B. You can think of it as a binary digit: 1 or 0. However the 1's (and the 0's) are both conserved. Of course, there must be a rule that determines what happens to the Bs. In this model there are 3 fundamental units, B, Length and Time.

That's it, BL&T; that's all we put into the model. Here's what we get out: We will show in simple terms exactly how the model might represent stuff very similar to what we know in physics. To understand and absorb all these explanations, the listeners must tolerate an inordinate amount of hand waving and in addition must be able to temporarily suspend many of their most cherished beliefs. We will explain the DM version of space, time, energy, momentum, force, charge, temperature, QCD color, why (within the model) there are particles and antiparticles, why conservation laws, how things move, why there is CPT parity, how angular isotropy and relativity arise despite angular anisotropy and an absolute reference frame at the most microscopic level. Finally why so many fundamental numbers (as are found in physics) are bound to appear from such DM models. If you can force yourself to swallow a byte of the BL&T theory of physics, you might not like it, but it might be good for you.

Speaker Biography

Ed Fredkin has had a long interest in Computer Science and Physics. He has been on the faculties of MIT in Computer Science, Caltech and Boston University in Physics. While at MIT he served as the Director of LCS. Fredkin has also had an association with Carnegie Mellon for a number of years. His current academic interests are in Digital Mechanics; the study of discrete models of fundamental process in Physics.

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