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  • Writer's picturebruce yu

#4 A Brief History of Time - The uncertainty rule

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Chapter 4:

  1. The uncertainty principle

    1. 1900 Max Planck suggested waves couldn't be emitted in an arbitrary rate, but in certain packs, quanta

    2. Heisenberg showed that the uncertainty in the position of the particle times the mass of the particle can never be smaller than a fixed value, Planck's constant

The uncertainty principle has an important meaning to mankind. It shows that it's theoretically impossible to use a super intelligent computer to run simulations of the universe's past and future.

There are 3 limitations of such intelligent computer (god?) which/who is capable of predicting the fate of everything in the universe, and the first one is stated by this principle. It states that we cannot gain complete information of all the particles in this universe about their locations as well as their motion (velocity, direction) at the same time. So even we assume causality is perfectly correct, we won't be able to have all the information needed for the calculations.

The second limitation involves the energy aspect. As an intelligent computer/creature who has to process every particle's information in the universe to calculate the future, the computer will consume too much energy, even all the energy in the universe may not be enough.

The third limitation is the computer itself. How can it predict its own behavior? Once it is aware of the future of itself and every other creature, it will change its own behavior for sure, or any creature who sees the prediction will change the future by changing its own behavior. So sadly, there shouldn't by an intelligent computer which has such abilities like a god, and if there exits a god, he/she shouldn't be in our universe.


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