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FQXi FORUM
October 16, 2019

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: An Infinite Universe - An Analog Reality by Daniel Wingate Darg [refresh]
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Author Daniel Wingate Darg wrote on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 14:32 GMT
Essay Abstract

I put forth a simple, heuristic case that if the universe is infinite in spatial extent, then it is analogue in nature.

Author Bio

DPhil student, astrophysics, Oxford.

Download Essay PDF File

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James Putnam wrote on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 19:38 GMT
Dear Daniel Wingate Darg,

I am certain the universe is analogue. Your brief abstract gained my attention. I am printing your essay. Good luck to you.

James

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Dan Darg replied on Feb. 18, 2011 @ 23:48 GMT
Thanks - let me know what you think of it.

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James Putnam replied on Mar. 8, 2011 @ 20:03 GMT
Daniel Darg,

Very well done. I think this essay fits the contests criteria very well. It approached the question in a readable fashion by non-specialists. Yet it reached for a definite conclusion. So much was said with so little technical jargon. It made sense to me. Thank you for participating.

James

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Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on Feb. 17, 2011 @ 03:34 GMT
Analog reality is the Apparent reality that we perceive digitally.

With Best Wishes,

Jayakar Johnson Joseph

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Steev Dufourny wrote on Feb. 17, 2011 @ 19:52 GMT
Hello,

I have always thought that Universe is finite, the number also,thus only our adds and multiplications ...imply the infinity.

Your essay is well writen and reasoned.

Good luck for this contest.

Steve

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Dan Darg replied on Feb. 18, 2011 @ 23:50 GMT
Thanks Steve. Yeah - I could have tagged on that if we did discover the universe to be finite, that could well lend credence to 'reality being digital.'

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Emmanuel Moulay wrote on Feb. 19, 2011 @ 16:41 GMT
Dear Daniel,

Your essay is very interesting. I have a remark and a question. Since several years, we know that the rate of expansion of the universe is certainly increasing. So, we have added a cosmological constant in the Einstein’s fields equation. Nowadays, its dynamic is dominant. How is it possible to know if the universe is finite or not? During the previous century, we hoped that the cosmological observations provide an answer to this question by analyzing the rate of expansion. If there is a cosmological constant then I don’t know how it is possible to answer to this question. The first time of the universe, when the cosmological constant was not dominant, could provide the answer. I don't know.

Emmanuel

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this post has been edited by the forum administrator

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 23, 2011 @ 18:36 GMT
Hi all,

How is it possible to know if the universe is finite or not?

I beleive simply that the thermodynamics are essential in its cooling no? and it doesn't exist a kind of limits , that has no sense.The only infinity appears with our adds and mult. and perceptions....it is the same for our quantum world and its limirs and walls...all our equations are based on that.The spherical closed system are relevant in 3D.

Best Regards

Steve

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 23, 2011 @ 18:43 GMT
I would say if it doesn't exist a limit, even our density and the dynamic expansion contraction has no sense...even all our mechanic and all our proportionalities with the evolution and the entropic arrow of time.Even the genral relativity ...in fact we need limits, domains...it's essential.

Regards

Steve

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 04:59 GMT
Dan,

I liked your essay because the central idea was clearly stated and made a connection between two concepts (particle number, precision of particle position) in which infinities could conceivably appear which might not have been obvious otherwise.

The only quibble I have is that the fundamental lesson of relativity is that spacetime, not space, is fundamental, and your essay still seemed too much tied to the pre-relativistic viewpoint. I believe this is only a minor objection as this argument should be adoptable to a four-dimensional version without much difficulty, although then some additional subtleties (non-conservation of particle number, finite age of the universe etc. ) may make for a richer discussion.

Good job and best wishes,

Armin

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Daniel Darg replied on May. 23, 2011 @ 23:22 GMT
Thanks for your comment Armin,

Yeah, I thought about about talking about time more but I figured, as you seemed to agree, that the central idea could have been extended to either an A or B theory of time, so I figured I'd leave the essay short and simple as it is, (especially since there are SO many essays for people to go through!).

Best

Dan

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Feb. 23, 2011 @ 01:59 GMT
Dan,

Enjoyed your essay. I am not hard to convince that reality is analogue since that is my claim. You displayed more objectivity than I, indicating the claim is based on some thinking that points in that direction.

Jim Hoover

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