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Fundamental Physics and Computation: The Computer-Theoretic Framework

Grupo de Investigación en Minería de Datos (MiDa), Universidad de Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
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Academic Editor: Miguel Zilhao
Universe 2022, 8(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe8010040
Received: 7 November 2021 / Revised: 27 December 2021 / Accepted: 5 January 2022 / Published: 11 January 2022
The central goal of this manuscript is to survey the relationships between fundamental physics and computer science. We begin by providing a short historical review of how different concepts of computer science have entered the field of fundamental physics, highlighting the claim that the universe is a computer. Following the review, we explain why computational concepts have been embraced to interpret and describe physical phenomena. We then discuss seven arguments against the claim that the universe is a computational system and show that those arguments are wrong because of a misunderstanding of the extension of the concept of computation. Afterwards, we address a proposal to solve Hempel’s dilemma using the computability theory but conclude that it is incorrect. After that, we discuss the relationship between the proposals that the universe is a computational system and that our minds are a simulation. Analysing these issues leads us to proposing a new physical principle, called the principle of computability, which claims that the universe is a computational system (not restricted to digital computers) and that computational power and the computational complexity hierarchy are two fundamental physical constants. On the basis of this new principle, a scientific paradigm emerges to develop fundamental theories of physics: the computer-theoretic framework (CTF). The CTF brings to light different ideas already implicit in the work of several researchers and provides a new view on the universe based on computer theoretic concepts that expands the current view. We address different issues regarding the development of fundamental theories of physics in the new paradigm. Additionally, we discuss how the CTF brings new perspectives to different issues, such as the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics and the foundations of cognitive science. View Full-Text
Keywords: fundamental physics; computation; computational power; computational complexity hierarchy; universe; the principle of computability fundamental physics; computation; computational power; computational complexity hierarchy; universe; the principle of computability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Miguel-Tomé, S.; Sánchez-Lázaro, Á.L.; Alonso-Romero, L. Fundamental Physics and Computation: The Computer-Theoretic Framework. Universe 2022, 8, 40. https://doi.org/10.3390/universe8010040

AMA Style

Miguel-Tomé S, Sánchez-Lázaro ÁL, Alonso-Romero L. Fundamental Physics and Computation: The Computer-Theoretic Framework. Universe. 2022; 8(1):40. https://doi.org/10.3390/universe8010040

Chicago/Turabian Style

Miguel-Tomé, Sergio, Ángel L. Sánchez-Lázaro, and Luis Alonso-Romero. 2022. "Fundamental Physics and Computation: The Computer-Theoretic Framework" Universe 8, no. 1: 40. https://doi.org/10.3390/universe8010040

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