And, in a word, wow! P is parity, or space inversion: reversing the sign of all spatial coordinates. But just where are its limits, and what are the precise mathematical conditions for its validity? Stephen Wolfram (/ ˈ w ʊ l f r əm /; born 29 August 1959) is a British-American computer scientist, physicist, and businessman. Well, it took us a total of nearly 6 hours, over three sessions, but here’s what we figured out. Black-hole “no hair” theorems? The first, that we actually discussed a bit even the week before the Physics Project was launched, has to do with digital contact tracing in the context of the current pandemic. On the livestream, we started relating this to the tensor Jμν which defines relativistic angular momentum (the two indices of Jμν basically correspond to our two geodesics). We’ve so far done five livestreamed working sessions, three on spin and charge, one on the interplay with distributed computing, and one on combinators and physics. Nikolaj-K / wolfram_physics_project.txt. Our models, however, finally provide a definite suggestion for what is “underneath” quantum mechanics—and from our models we’ve already been able to derive many of the most prominent phenomena in quantum mechanics. In other words, things can affect the black hole, but the black hole can’t causally affect anything else. You can duplicate, change and run the code. And edges in the third direction correspond to branchial space (i.e. One last thing that’s still just a vague idea is to apply our models to develop a more abstract approach to biological evolution and natural selection (both for the overall tree of life, and for microorganisms and tumors). But what if the computing elements are instead operating asynchronously, sending data to each other when it happens to be ready? Some features of black holes we should be able to see by looking at ordinary spacetime causal graphs. And … Composite image made by NASA’s Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes.Image: NASAStephen Wolfram, computer scientist, physicist, and CEO of software company Wolfram Research (behind Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica) made headlines this week when he launched the Wolfram Physics Project. Get involved in real-time research via livestream, through the Fundamental Physics track at Wolfram Summer School and through peer review. Compute answers using Wolfram's breakthrough technology & knowledgebase, relied on by millions of students & professionals. But basically it’ll be a framework for looking at a given program in different ways, and using different foliations to understand and describe what it’s supposed to do. Beyond general relativity, what about quantum field theory? Well, we’ve argued that (with certain assumptions) spacetime slices of the multiway causal graph must obey the Einstein equations. For example, just like lots of rules for discrete molecules yield the same limiting thermodynamic behavior, I expect lots of rules for the updating events that give the causal graph will yield the same limiting spacetime structure. In traditional continuum general relativity it always seems a bit shocking when there’s some kind of discontinuity in the structure of spacetime. OK, but is there a good way to achieve the objectives of peer review for our project? He is known for his work in computer science, mathematics, and in theoretical physics. In our fundamentally discrete model it’s a bit less shocking, and in fact things like black holes (and other kinds of spacetime singularities) seem to arise very naturally in our models. Written with Stephen Wolfram's characteristic expository flair, this book provides a unique opportunity to learn about a historic initiative in science right as it is happening. And particularly since my livestream seemed to get good reviews from both kids and others, I’m planning in the next week or two to put together a written version of this as a kind of “very elementary” introduction to our project. (Stay tuned for future livestreamed working sessions!) Stephen Wolfram announced this project today: , providing a fascinating foundation for a theory of physics. They like novelty well within the boundaries of what they’re doing and the approach that they’re taking, but originality is harder for them to grasp. A free inside look at company reviews and salaries posted anonymously by employees. Like clustered databases, multiplayer games and trading in markets. But the point is that even on a much larger scale our models can still approximate general relativity—but unlike “imposed after the fact” discretization, they are guaranteed to have a certain internal consistency. ), OK, so how about angular momentum? The 256 “elementary” cellular automata are in a sense the very simplest models of a completely discrete system with a definite arrangement of neighbors. But here are a few that we’re planning on exploring in the next few days, in our livestreamed working sessions. But we need to see just how this works, and how far we can get, say in reproducing the features of the harmonic oscillator in quantum mechanics. We’ve also already helped several people get started on projects that use their expertise—in physics, mathematics or computer science—and it’s wonderful to see the beginning of this kind of “scaling up”. We’ve worked hard the last few months to write the best expositions we can, and to make software tools that let anyone reproduce—and extend—everything we’ve done. In the simplest setup, one just assumes that all the computing elements are operating in lockstep—like in a cellular automaton. After all, our models were constructed to be as minimal and structureless as possible. But actually, it seems as if it may be possible to capture the essence of what’s going on in bound states with even very simple toy examples in our models—in which for instance there are just cycles in the multiway graph. We’ll be adding lots more items to the Visual Gallery. And in our models this isn’t just some kind of theoretical concept; it’s the whole basis for quantum mechanics. But it is intriguing to consider that a quantum computer could actually handle “all the threads” simultaneously, and this could definitely explain why. We don’t yet know how this works in our models. Because, to my great surprise, once we started seriously working on the ideas I originally hatched 30 years ago we suddenly discovered that we could make dramatic progress. T is time reversal, i.e. We’re trying—albeit imperfectly—to get the best aspects of peer review, and to do it as quickly as possible. I was hoping I could submit my paper to some academic journal and then leave it to the journal to just “run the peer-review process”. Understanding the Second Law of thermodynamics was one of the things that first got me interested in fundamental physics, nearly 50 years ago. In Q&A sessions that we’ve done, and messages that we’ve received, there’ve been many requests to reproduce a classic quantum result: interference in the double-slit experiment. There hasn’t yet been time for serious scientific work to have been completed around the project… but we know people are on this path. But this was our first real “aha” moment in a public working session. There’s a lot to do in the project, and with the project. And indeed what’s got me excited is that I think there’s going to be a very fruitful interplay between these areas. When we’re talking about quantum mechanics, many important practical phenomena arise from looking at bound states where for example some particle is restricted to a limited region (like an electron in a hydrogen atom), and we’re interested in various time-repeating eigenstates. People really care! But how should it actually work? In the last two weeks, we’ve done more than 25 hours of livestreams about the project. Why might there be a connection? First, the multiway graph provides a very explicit representation of “quantum indeterminacy”. How to submit a review. And as I write this, I can’t help noticing that it’s rather closely related to work we’ve done on validating facts for computable contracts, as well as to the ideas that came up in my testimony last summer for the US Senate about “ranking providers” for automated content selection on the internet. (Rotating frames in general relativity? It’s very exciting to be seeing all this activity around our Physics Project, after only two weeks. Not mentioned (afaik) but conceptually relevant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laplacian_matrix, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nondeterministic_Turing_machine, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Wolfram, https://www.stephenwolfram.com/publications/academic/?cat=all, https://www.youtube.com/user/WolframResearch/, ### Wolfram Language / Mathematica (currently v12+) / WolframAlpha, https://writings.stephenwolfram.com/2019/04/version-12-launches-today-big-jump-for-wolfram-language-and-mathematica/, https://www.wolfram-media.com/products/a-project-to-find-the-fundamental-theory-of-physics.html, https://writings.stephenwolfram.com/2020/04/how-we-got-here-the-backstory-of-the-wolfram-physics-project/, https://www.wolframscience.com/nks/chap-9--fundamental-physics/, https://www.wolframphysics.org/technical-documents/, * https://www.wolframcloud.com/obj/wolframphysics/Documents/some-relativistic-and-gravitational-properties-of-the-wolfram-model.pdf, * https://www.wolframcloud.com/obj/wolframphysics/Documents/some-quantum-mechanical-properties-of-the-wolfram-model.pdf. Then we ask the reviewer to fill out certain computable facts about themselves. We can get considerably more formal than this, talking about flux of causal edges in slices of tubes defined by pairs of geodesics. A galaxy cluster containing one to two thousand galaxies. We’ve given introductions to the project—both lecture style and Q&A. The quantum computing framework can in effect just be viewed as an application of our MultiwaySystem function that we put in the Wolfram Function Repository for the Physics Project. Very interesting. There are two basic points. Etc.) Maybe speciation has some correspondence with event horizons. The Wolfram Physics Project is a bold effort to use breakthrough new ideas and the latest in physics, mathematics and computation to find the fundamental theory of physics, often viewed as the ultimate goal in all of science. Here’s a toy version of it, that we discussed in a livestream last week: Edges in one direction (say, down) correspond to time. So then CPT is like a wholesale inversion of the multiway causal graph. (Imagine “programming in a particular reference frame”, etc.). In physics, reference frames are most familiar in relativity. Well, our models now are in a sense the most minimal that describe systems with rules based on arbitrary relationships (as represented by collections of relations). Momentum in a particular direction then corresponds to the extent to which an update at one point leads to updates at nearby points along that direction. Something else? This is a time of great opportunity, where all sorts of discoveries are ripe to be made. So we started wondering whether somehow this could be used in practice to set up simulations. https://blog.wolfram.com/2020/04/14/finally-we-may-have-a-path-to-the-fundamental-theory-of-physics-and-its-beautiful/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_Game_of_Life, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petersen_graph, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_rewriting_system, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confluence_(abstract_rewriting), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal_dimension, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curvature_of_Riemannian_manifolds. On the livestream, various people asked about spinors. So there’s no reason they can’t apply to other things too. I have a suspicion that the quantization is going to come from something essentially topological. Instead, it’s just continually evolving, but with causal invariance implying various kinds of local equivalence and consistency. There are details to clean up, and further to go. This is one of those rare times when there’s a lot of exceptionally juicy low-hanging fruit—and I’m looking forward to helping outstanding students find and pick that scientific fruit at our Summer School. And in particular, it’s hard to imagine that in the normal course of peer reviewing there could be serious traditional peer review on a 450-page document like this that would get done in less than several years. Instead, it’s just circulating around, creating a vortex. The Second Law was big news at the end of the 1800s and into the early 1900s. Usually in distributed computing one’s interested in looking at a few paths, and making sure that, for example, nothing bad can happen as a result of different orders of execution. People might think that interest in fundamental science has waned. In a sense this shouldn’t be too surprising. There is a pernicious effect here that Wolfram is taking advantage of. But not this project. But we’d still like to see explicitly how Bell’s inequality is violated—and in fact we suspect that in our multiway graph formalism it’ll be much more straightforward to see how this and its various generalizations work. (So if you’re thinking of applying, please just apply… though do it as soon as you can!). One of the big surprises of the past two weeks has been our increasing realization that the formalism and framework we’re developing really aren’t just relevant to physics; they’re potentially very important elsewhere too. But my friend Paul Ginsparg (founder of arXiv) tells me there’s nothing like that in place; it’s just a question of deciding on categories and handling hundreds of megabytes of data. We can think of the branching of paths in the multiway system as corresponding to elementary pieces of ambiguity. It’s tremendously encouraging—and motivating. But what might the analog of this be in a hypergraph? Consensus somehow seemed to be the analog of “classicality”, but then there’s the question of how much can be achieved in the “quantum regime”. But so far we’ve had difficulty doing this. Wolfram, 54, was born in London and grew up in Oxford, winning a scholarship to Eton. C, P and T correspond to three potential transformations applied to physical systems. And then we’d be able to import our understanding to physics. So, OK, the models that we invented for physics also seem highly relevant for distributed computing. We talked about things like Git, where merge conflicts are like violations of causal invariances. And in fact—until a few months ago—that’s exactly how I expected things would go with our Physics Project. And over the last couple of weeks we’ve been progressively expanding the Q&A section of the project website to try to address the most common of the questions: In addition to being (we hope) very interesting from a scientific point of view, our models also produce interesting visual forms. Similarly, we’ve argued that branchtime slices follow the Feynman path integral. His father was a textiles businessman who wrote novels; his … There are lots of details, but—just like in the fluid flow case—I expect many of them won’t matter. So, first, what’s the usual concept of angular momentum in physics? And the biggest focus seems to be around “What about peer review?”. In the working session we had, we started off discussing vector clocks in distributed computing, and realized that they’re the analog of geodesic normal coordinates in physics. One might think that the laws of physics would be invariant under any of these transformations. Started by Physicist-Computer Scientist-Entrepreneur Stephen Wolfram, the project envisions the Universe as one big network. Well, in our approach to physics the way we handle this is to think in terms of foliations and reference frames—which provide a way to organize and understand what’s going on. And how, for example, does it relate in detail to gravity? But what can we say about this? It’s pretty difficult (at least for me) to “understand” the structure of the graphs and hypergraphs we’re generating. But the graph of what phones were close to what phones can be thought of as being like a causal graph. They want to get involved. Here’s what we’ve come up with. And in a couple of those sessions we’ve made the beginnings of some real discoveries—live and in public. And that ideas from physics in the context of our models are going to give one new ways to think about distributed computing. 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