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Entropy, Volume 19, Issue 9 (September 2017)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) In order to understand the logical architecture of living systems, von Neumann introduced the idea [...] Read more. In order to understand the logical architecture of living systems, von Neumann introduced the idea of a universal constructor—a physical device capable of self-reproduction. In order for such a device to exist, the laws of physics must permit physical universality. This has already been demonstrated in cellular automata models, yet they have not displayed a key feature of life—open-ended evolution. We show that both should be possible in irreversible dynamical systems with state-dependent laws. We demonstrate how the accessibility of state space can yield open-ended trajectories and discuss implications for developing a physics for life. View Paper here