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Hypercomputation and the Physical ChurchTuring Thesis
, 2003
"... A version of the ChurchTuring Thesis states that every e#ectively realizable physical system can be defined by Turing Machines (`Thesis P'); in this formulation the Thesis appears an empirical, more than a logicomathematical, proposition. We review the main approaches to computation beyond Turing ..."
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A version of the ChurchTuring Thesis states that every e#ectively realizable physical system can be defined by Turing Machines (`Thesis P'); in this formulation the Thesis appears an empirical, more than a logicomathematical, proposition. We review the main approaches to computation beyond Turing definability (`hypercomputation'): supertask, nonwellfounded, analog, quantum, and retrocausal computation. These models depend on infinite computation, explicitly or implicitly, and appear physically implausible; moreover, even if infinite computation were realizable, the Halting Problem would not be a#ected. Therefore, Thesis P is not essentially di#erent from the standard ChurchTuring Thesis.
On the calculating power of Laplace’s demon (Part I)
, 2006
"... We discuss several ways of making precise the informal concept of physical determinism, drawing on ideas from mathematical logic and computability theory. We outline a programme of investigating these notions of determinism in detail for specific, precisely articulated physical theories. We make a s ..."
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We discuss several ways of making precise the informal concept of physical determinism, drawing on ideas from mathematical logic and computability theory. We outline a programme of investigating these notions of determinism in detail for specific, precisely articulated physical theories. We make a start on our programme by proposing a general logical framework for describing physical theories, and analysing several possible formulations of a simple Newtonian theory from the point of view of determinism. Our emphasis throughout is on clarifying the precise physical and metaphysical assumptions that typically underlie a claim that some physical theory is ‘deterministic’. A sequel paper is planned, in which we shall apply similar methods to the analysis of other physical theories. Along the way, we discuss some possible repercussions of this kind of investigation for both physics and logic. 1