## Digital Systems and Informatics vs. Physics and Mathematics

### Edward Fredkin

Robotics Institute

Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, 20 June 2007, 12:00 (note the unusual weekday and time)

Cybernetica Bldg (Akadeemia tee 21), room B101

**Abstract**: The applications of mathematics in the field of
the physical sciences have been a key to much of the amazing progress
made since Galileo and Kepler. The world of analytic functions has
truly been astoundingly successful in physics: mechanical systems,
electromagnetic theory, quantum mechanics, etc. This can be
contrasted with the dearth of mathematical tools relevant to the world
of informatics, digital information, processors, memories, etc. It
has seemed that these two systems, physics and informatics, have very
little in common.

We will report on new understanding as to how physics constrains and
enables Digital Information & Computation. On the other hand things
learnt from the digital world might actually enlighten us as to aspects
of physics that are not currently understood. If we try to apply
measures of information content to physical processes we may encounter
paradoxical results. Nevertheless, new kinds of formal digital systems
might someday help to shed light on philosophical questions such as "How
might we eventually explain the amazing applicability of mathematics to
the physical sciences?" and "How is it we have mathematical laws that
work (ranging from Newton's laws to Quantum Mechanics) yet we have no
comprehensible process models as to what is going on?"

Tarmo Uustalu

Last update 20.6.2007