Know everything-computer

This is a discussion on Know everything-computer within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; If a computer knew how everything started, and knew all the laws of physics, could it then calculate everything that ...

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    Know everything-computer

    If a computer knew how everything started, and knew all the laws of physics, could it then calculate everything that has ever happened, and that ever will happen?

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    nope. Because the conditions that would need to be met are impossible.

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    Proven so, in fact...

    I believe it is Heisenberg's principle that states that at some level you cannot know everything about anything.

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    exactly, in order for a computer to know everything the human programming it would have to share all the same knowledge, and that, my friend, is impossible in itself.

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    Heisenbergs uncertainty principle it is. There is a very easy to understand reason why a computer couldn't predict things like that. Imagine a 50/50 chance of something happening ( not just heads or tails but something truely 50/50 ), in that case it is truely random which option comes out and although a computer could program the result of both events there would already be two different futures. This would happen countless times for the life of the universe and leaves you with a myriad of different options, only one of which would be accurate ( This is the basis of the multiple universe theory ). Add to that things like radioactive decay ( another truely random process ) and the choas of things ( sensitive dependance on initial conditions ). You have one messed up, unpredictable world.
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    *sees a long and logical post comeing on*

    Wouldn't this technically be a general topic, not a tech topic?

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    What was Schroedinger's cats name?

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    It never had a name in my lectures.
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    So until you look it up Schroedinger's cat's name is both phil and buttons...

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    Schroedinger's cat is the famous quantum cat which is trapped in a box and which may or may not be dead. It remains in a state of uncertainty - even confusion - until the curious Schroedinger opens the box where upon, instantly, the quantum cat is revealed as dead or alive.

    The quantum cat passes from the indeterminate state of being dead or alive to the determinate state of being dead (or alive!). Quantum physics says that the quantum cat is not revealed as always having been dead or always having been alive. It says rather that it is the act of opening the box which collapses the quantum state-vector which describes the state of the cat. Many people did not like that idea when it was first proposed by Schroedinger, but eventually modern physics had to accept it even though it flew in the face of common sense - even Schroedinger seems to have found it an uncomfortable conclusion.

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    A little more than that...

    I don't know who asked that, but ok...

    One more thing though...

    The scenario required that the life of the cat depend on some variable that is truly unpredicatable, regardless of the environment. In the original paper a certain type of radioactive decay was used for this.

    The porpose being that if you could isolate every variable that could affect the cat, then you could know its state without seeing it. But since you could not predict this decay even if you knew everything knowable about the environment of the experiment, the cat's state became a quantum uncertainty.

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    exactly!

    *copied and pasted off yahoo after looking up Schroedinger Heisenberg's cat, and really thought it was a cat.*

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    But what was it's name???

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    I have no idea. It must be Schroedinger's cat :P


    well is Schroedinger's cat walks into the woods but noones around to see it, does Schroedinger's cat really walk into the woods?

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    As to the original question, no, not even close. You are getting into what is known as chaos theory and non-linear systems. Commonly called the butterfly effect. A butterfly flaps its wings in China and a tornado wipes out a town in the American midwest. An interesting and usually overlooked collorary is that you could never know that a particular wing flap or butterfly was responsible.

    The difficultly is that in many real world systems a tiny variation in initial conditions results in a relatively large change in the result (hence non-linear). These errors can and usually do amplify over time. A case in point is weather forcasting. After 36 to 48 hours, your basically guessing.

    Another interesting aspect is that quantum uncertainty can manifest in real world phenomena in so far as the Heisenberg principle, amplified by non-linear processes, sets a limit for the accuracy of real world calculations in certain cases. (Line up a dozen or so billiard balls in a straight line. Aiming along the line, strike the first ball with a cue. You cannot predict the path of the final ball, even assuming a perfect stroke. The difference of a impact of a single air molecule on the first ball can swing the final ball full plus or minus 90 degrees.)
    Last edited by kevinalm; 09-15-2002 at 11:33 PM.

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