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Spooky Quantum Action Might Hold the Universe Together (wired.com)
64 points by oAlbe on May 11, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 20 comments

"Tensor networks provide a mathematical tool capable of doing just that. In this view, space-time arises out of a series of interlinked nodes in a complex network, with individual morsels of quantum information fitted together like Legos. Entanglement is the glue that holds the network together. If we want to understand space-time, we must first think geometrically about entanglement, since that is how information is encoded between the immense number of interacting nodes in the system."

Wouldn't it be wild if this led to the realization that the universe is just a big blob of computronium and that we just happen to be some emergent behavior in it?

People get pretty excited every time physicists talk about information. The bottom line is that information manipulation is just Math, viewed by a different angle.

All that talk about the Universe being computable is just the old awe about physics being explainable. Different words, but the same meaning. None of that implies a computer simulation.

> Wouldn't it be wild if this led to the realization that the universe is just a big blob of computronium and that we just happen to be some emergent behavior in it?

That's essentially what Max Tegmark keeps talking about. Of course, this is all very speculative at the moment, but folks at Tegmark's level are starting to say that our current understanding seems to point in that direction.

It's still quite possible that someone will come along and show that reality is quite different after all. Things feel (and are) quite unfinished at the moment; this is very different from 19th century physics, when we thought we had reached the end of science.

This seems like a depth first search in a tree. The deeper you go (the more you learn) more and more ways open up to investigate.

No, the universe is a holodeck simulation in an even higher level reality. And then, it's turtles all the way down.

Hillis writes some interesting stuff along those lines here: http://worrydream.com/refs/Hillis%20-%20The%20Connection%20M...

Stephen Wolfram actually argued that the universe is probably computational in nature. New Kind of Science is generally based around the idea.

Yes, although note that he was not the first. The famous physicist Wheeler pushed that thesis all the way back in the 1960s, under the the catchy title "It from Bit".


If it is correct, the implications could seem kind of bizarre for some poorly understood quantum phenomena... like causality seemingly being violated. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler%27s_delayed_choice_exp...).

Similar to how our sensation (or illusion) of consciousness/agency may be emergent phenomena of our brain cell network undergoing chemical reactions?

That would be so wild! It would be wild for this to be a ridiculous footnote of science history also. I would love to know that things we're contemplating today are ridiculous tomorrow. It'd be wild if high school kids in 2200 talk about the "Matrix theory" of the universe the way our high school kids talk about the humorism of the body or the aether.

Let's hope the universe doesn't have an anti-virus.

> to be some emergent behavior in it

To 'pew pew' is my default emergent behavior.

Be sure to check out the original article at the excellent Quanta Magazine: "CHAPTER 2: NETWORK TAPESTRY How Quantum Pairs Stitch Space-Time" https://www.quantamagazine.org/20150428-how-quantum-pairs-st...

As well as the prior article: "CHAPTER 1: ENTANGLED WORMHOLES Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox" https://www.quantamagazine.org/20150424-wormholes-entangleme...

"In 1997, Juan Maldacena found a concrete example of holography in action, demonstrating that a toy model describing a flat space without gravity is equivalent to a description of a saddle-shaped space with gravity."

Though not applicable for our spacetime, is still a compelling motivation for more research. We can now compute chess, go, deep learning. Next up tensor network modelling.

Is Wired's CSS utterly broken for anyone else? On Ubuntu and Chrome 44, I get navigation elements hovering over the article text.

It was laggy as hell, and the advert that popped up brought the window to a crawl. The overlay was unexitable by clicking in the grey area, what should be considered a standard best practice by now.

Welcome to Web 3.0!

No issues for me in chrome 42 win8. Tried disabling all your extensions?

When I read about MERA the Psychohistory instantly came into mind from Asimov's "Foundation".


“Entanglement is the fabric of space-time,”

Could this also be rephrased as "separation is illusion" ?

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