hi all. have blogged before here (admittedly, enthusiastically, even ebulliently) on the “digital physics” concept, an enamoring idea (for some!). recently within last few weeks and last year there seems to be substantial new interest and developments even in “semimainstream” physics, and now even the mainstream media is in a semi-lather over close topics. (skeptics will ofc argue the word “semimainstream” sounds something like “semipregnant”!) its hard to keep up! there are many different angles of povs, events, personalities, etc… this post attempts to collect and summarize some of this and bang it all into a semicoherent story (as much as such a thing is possible). some old but evocative buzz/ magic words thrown around about internet expansion into multiple industries come to mind: consolodation/ convergence…
to start, these ideas are now going under the headline of the “holographic universe/ principle”[a2] or “simulated universe/ hypothesis”[a1] concepts. they are interconnected in major and/ or subtle ways.
mentioned Aaronsons recent blog[i3] on subj citing Hossenfelder [i1][i2] in a recent near-throwaway comment in the SE physics chat room “hbar”[a5] to a new accomplished user BenNiehoff (phd KU Leuven working on string theory with 9 papers on arxiv!). hes met a lot of famous physicists at conferences personally eg Susskind, Zee, Green, Schwarz, and Witten and other famous theorists. am trying to recruit him for a guest session in our elite and popular series, but thats another story!
laid out some of the basic concepts/ “pros” of the simulation hypothesis ideas incl/ eg longtime endorsement/ driven pursuit by nobel prize alumnus ‘t Hooft, which thought were not generally very controversial, but the room denizens/ regulars reacted quite adversely-bordering-on-negatively, with some really stinging retorts! guess those big fat shiny nobel prizes and the proverbial “trip to stockholm” just aint what they used to be! Ben expressed his disinclination and looks like they all smelled blood in the water & went in for the kill! 😮 😦
Ah, as usual you have no actual argument to make, I should’ve known. —ACuriousMind [a6]
vzn; do you have any mainstream views? —John Rennie [a7]
➡ 💡 ❗ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 😮 😎 a youtube blogger “Veritasium” specializing in physics has over 300M views collectively on his videos.[a3] he has a “Patreon” page where he earns about $2.5K per video. at nearly one per week, hes apparently making close to $150K per year off of his youtube videos from that revenue stream alone[a4]—talk about getting paid to do what you love aka “dream job”. he has his own wikipedia page.[a2] (which makes me wonder, is there anyone comparable out there doing CS type videos? this really eyepoppingly shows theres a market for this stuff…)
veritasium just covered the silicone oil droplet experiments of bush and the video is currently at over 1M views.[a1] so its a totally certifiably viral video (whatever that means, just made it up!). to get this kind of exposure for this obscure physics factoid/ phenomenon is utterly phenomenal. he does it in an introductory way yet includes very advanced info eg re copenhagen interpretation, DeBroglie-Bohm pilot wave theory etc. this will only increase the momentum of this particular research area. so am commemorating this momentous event/ achievement with the FIRST embedded video ever on this blog. hurry, click now!
➡ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ hi all. it is with great pleasure to introduce this next guest and chat series and welcome a larger audience. Daniel Sank, Phd working at Google Martinis quantum computing lab is our 3rd guest speaker in a guest chat series hosted by the physics stackexchange site/ chat room. thanks to moderator David Z, Phd for the suggestion of the idea, coordination and graciously agreeing to hosting in his already well-attended biweekly chat sessions.
we have now hosted two prior events in series with great success with Samuel Lereah, Masters in physics, and yuggib, Phd math working in mathematical physics, thanks so much to these groundbreaking/ enthusiastic guest speakers for their particularly inspired/ dedicated participation.
➡ 💡 ❗ ⭐ 😮 😀 😎 ❤ hi all, more signs that physics is in a golden age esp in the area of quantum computing and quantum mechanics. EU just announced a $1B initiative to fund quantum computing. this combines with two other existing/ similar projects to analyze the brain and advance graphene technology/ understanding.[a]
the Manifesto[a1] is a sign that we are in dramatic times. you will not much hear scientists ever use the word Manifesto in their entire lifetimes. (marx was a rare exception.) another word that you will rarely hear scientists use is “revolution” but they are calling quantum computing the 2nd quantum revolution. as the chinese say, may you live in interesting times.
the announcement is utterly buried in a bureacratic document[a3] under the section “What is the financial impact of the Cloud Initiative? Where will the money come from and how will it be invested?” but Nature blared it anyway.[a2] apparently those bureacrats are a little gun shy after criticism of the $1B brain initiative as too ambitious or infeasible etc.
these are other big 2015 Q1 developments/ highlights. as usual its hard to keep up with lightning fast advances in this field. even the canadian prime minister is talking about QM these days.[b1][b2] DWave seems to be further confounding its critics with real, measurable performance.[b9][b4] somewhat similar to the EU announcement, chinas Alibaba announced a major QM research initative.[b8] they are intending to start out with encryption applications and hundreds of engineers, working toward QM computing technology.
hi all the LIGO gravity wave announcement is really exciting and WAY COOL for a lot of reasons. its the 1-century anniversary of einstein making the prediction. “einstein strikes again!” much like universe expansion, he changed his mind over their reality but seemed to have settled on their plausibility.[b2] its another huge victory for Big Science™. the experiment has extreme sensitivity and cost about ~$1B over several decades. it was heavily funded by NSF instead of european agencies, although there are other detectors set to go online soon. its a tour de force of experimental science.
there is a big CS angle here, playing a supporting role unf with little fanfare. articles state at least 24M cpu hours were involved in simulations; the figure is probably much higher. (few seem to be keeping track.) it was largely processed by Atlas, operated by Albert Einstein Institute.
this is all fabulous, but could some day a CS-centric initiative (eg into the deep aspects of say complexity theory or automated theorem proving) be launched with similar scale and epochal results? am feeling someday CS may play the starring role.