On the Brightness of the Thomson Lamp. A Prolegomenon to Quantum Recursion Theory
Institute for Theoretical Physics, Vienna University of Technology,
Wiedner Hauptstraße 8-10/136, A-1040 Vienna, Austria
Some physical aspects related to the limit operations of the Thomson lamp are discussed. Regardless of the formally unbounded and even infinite number of “steps” involved, the physical limit has an operational meaning in agreement with the Abel sums of infinite series. The formal analogies to accelerated (hyper-) computers and the recursion theoretic diagonal methods are discussed. As quantum information is not bound by the mutually exclusive states of classical bits, it allows a consistent representation of fixed point states of the diagonal operator. In an effort to reconstruct the self-contradictory feature of diagonalization, a generalized diagonal method allowing no quantum fixed points is proposed.