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Computations via experiments with kinematic systems
, 2004
"... Consider the idea of computing functions using experiments with kinematic systems. We prove that for any set A of natural numbers there exists a 2dimensional kinematic system BA with a single particle P whose observable behaviour decides n ∈ A for all n ∈ N. The system is a bagatelle and can be des ..."
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Cited by 14 (5 self)
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Consider the idea of computing functions using experiments with kinematic systems. We prove that for any set A of natural numbers there exists a 2dimensional kinematic system BA with a single particle P whose observable behaviour decides n ∈ A for all n ∈ N. The system is a bagatelle and can be designed to operate under (a) Newtonian mechanics or (b) Relativistic mechanics. The theorem proves that valid models of mechanical systems can compute all possible functions on discrete data. The proofs show how any information (coded by some A) can be embedded in the structure of a simple kinematic system and retrieved by simple observations of its behaviour. We reflect on this undesirable situation and argue that mechanics must be extended to include a formal theory for performing experiments, which includes the construction of systems. We conjecture that in such an extended mechanics the functions computed by experiments are precisely those computed by algorithms. We set these theorems and ideas in the context of the literature on the general problem “Is physical behaviour computable? ” and state some open problems.
Can newtonian systems, bounded in space, time, mass and energy compute all functions
 Theoretical Computer Science
, 1980
"... In the theoretical analysis of the physical basis of computation there is a great deal of confusion and controversy (e.g., on the existence of hypercomputers). First, we present a methodology for making a theoretical analysis of computation by physical systems. We focus on the construction and anal ..."
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Cited by 12 (4 self)
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In the theoretical analysis of the physical basis of computation there is a great deal of confusion and controversy (e.g., on the existence of hypercomputers). First, we present a methodology for making a theoretical analysis of computation by physical systems. We focus on the construction and analysis of simple examples that are models of simple subtheories of physical theories. Then we illustrate the methodology, by presenting a simple example for Newtonian Kinematics, and a critique that leads to a substantial extension of the methodology. The example proves that for any set A of natural numbers there exists a 3dimensional Newtonian kinematic system MA, with an infinite family of particles Pn whose total mass is bounded, and whose observable behaviour can decide whether or not n ∈ A for all n ∈ N in constant time. In particular, the example implies that simple Newtonian kinematic systems that are bounded in space, time, mass and energy can compute all possible sets and functions on discrete data. The system is a form of marble run and is a model of a small fragment of Newtonian Kinematics. Next, we use the example to extend the methodology. The marble run shows that a formal theory for computation by physical systems needs strong conditions on the notion of experimental procedure and, specifically, on methods for the construction of equipment. We propose to extend the methodology by defining languages to express experimental procedures and the construction of equipment. We conjecture that the functions computed by experimental computation in Newtonian Kinematics are “equivalent ” to those computed by algorithms, i.e. the partial computable functions. 1
The inversion problem for computable linear operators
 of Lect. Not. Comp. Sci
, 2003
"... Abstract. Given a program of a linear bounded and bijective operator T, does there exist a program for the inverse operator T −1?Andif this is the case, does there exist a general algorithm to transfer a program of T into a program of T −1? This is the inversion problem for computable linear operato ..."
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Cited by 1 (1 self)
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Abstract. Given a program of a linear bounded and bijective operator T, does there exist a program for the inverse operator T −1?Andif this is the case, does there exist a general algorithm to transfer a program of T into a program of T −1? This is the inversion problem for computable linear operators on Banach spaces in its nonuniform and uniform formulation, respectively. We study this problem from the point of view of computable analysis which is the Turing machine based theory of computability on Euclidean space and other topological spaces. Using a computable version of Banach’s Inverse Mapping Theorem we can answer the first question positively. Hence, the nonuniform version of the inversion problem is solvable, while a topological argument shows that the uniform version is not. Thus, we are in the striking situation that any computable linear operator has a computable inverse while there exists no general algorithmic procedure to transfer a program of the operator into a program of its inverse. As a consequence, the computable version of Banach’s Inverse Mapping Theorem is a powerful tool which can be used to produce highly nonconstructive existence proofs of algorithms. We apply this method to prove that a certain initial value problem admits a computable solution.
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
Report # CSR 102005Newtonian systems, bounded in space, time, mass
"... Newtonian systems, bounded in space, time, mass and energy can compute all functions by ..."
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Newtonian systems, bounded in space, time, mass and energy can compute all functions by