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Old 2004-01-30, 13:48   #1
HiddenWarrior
 
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Lightbulb All the Universe on a stick

There is a theoretical puzzle: can we write all the Universe history on a simple stick (or on a match, for example)? How do you think is that possible?
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Old 2004-01-30, 14:55   #2
michael
 
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can we write all the Universe history on a simple stick

Yes i can write 'all the Universe history' on a stick, if it is less than 2 inch long orso, i could even write it by hand. A match would be a little tougher, but surely possible.

-michael
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Old 2004-01-30, 15:24   #3
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I mean, can we write all people's knowledges and all the history of our world (huge amount of information!!!)? This puzzle has simple solvation :)
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Old 2004-01-30, 19:38   #4
Uncwilly
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I would say that it is impossible. The universe itself cannot contain it's own history, because each particle would have to have full details of it's own past. This is beyond the storage capacity.
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Old 2004-02-02, 06:23   #5
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Sure, theoreticaly we can! We just have to convert all the data to binary format (0 and 1), and we get a LONG line of zeros and ones. Then we have to prewrite 0, to this line. So we get number that is bigger then 0 and smaller then 1. The last step is to put this number on a stick by making a mark! Theoretical we done this, but practicaly we need very very very good technology that can work with such small numbers...
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Old 2004-02-03, 22:18   #6
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Your thinking is flawed in my opinion.

You're assuming that all the information of the universe can be listed.

I do not believe that that is even theoretically possible since just listing the information it takes you to cross the street is uncountable. E.g. t=0 you are on left side of street, at t = 0.1 you are x(1) distance across, at t = 0.101 you are x(2) distance across, and so on...

There are uncountably many times you would have to list as you were crossing the street to list the information. This is not a countable list and hence, you can not write everything down in the format you prescribe.
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Old 2004-02-04, 19:07   #7
wrayal
 
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Default Quines...

I think this all depens upon how one intends to writen the information. One porblem often supposed in similar questions is this: every time you write something on then stick, the content of the universe changes. Therefore, it can never "write itself".
Just to suggest a solution to this porblem: there is a programming challenge faced in many languages called a "quine". This is a program whose output is the program itself. Without going in to how to do it, rest assured, this is possible. So this is not a stumbling block (assuming we can write on the stick in a "programming" sort of way ;))

Wrayal
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Old 2004-02-05, 14:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrayal
I think this all depens upon how one intends to writen the information. One porblem often supposed in similar questions is this: every time you write something on then stick, the content of the universe changes. Therefore, it can never "write itself".
Just to suggest a solution to this porblem: there is a programming challenge faced in many languages called a "quine". This is a program whose output is the program itself. Without going in to how to do it, rest assured, this is possible. So this is not a stumbling block (assuming we can write on the stick in a "programming" sort of way ;))

Wrayal
The word "quine" has been introduced into English as a verb. The following sentence is intended as an example of its use.

"when quined, yields a false statement." when quined, yields a false statement.

You should be able to glork the meaning of the verb "to quine" from context but you may have a harder time working out whether the example sentence is true or not.

Have fun,
Paul
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Old 2004-02-06, 00:11   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman
The word "quine" has been introduced into English as a verb. The following sentence is intended as an example of its use.

"when quined, yields a false statement." when quined, yields a false statement.

You should be able to glork the meaning of the verb "to quine" from context but you may have a harder time working out whether the example sentence is true or not.

Have fun,
Paul
It's not in my dictionary. Neither is the word "pager" used in this forum earlier http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=1519&highlight=pager
My dictionary says that to page someone means to call for a guest at a hotel. But there is no word "pager" in it.
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Old 2004-02-06, 10:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrik
It's not in my dictionary. Neither is the word "pager" used in this forum earlier http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=1519&highlight=pager
My dictionary says that to page someone means to call for a guest at a hotel. But there is no word "pager" in it.
I don't think "quine", as either a noun or a verb, has reached any mainstream dictionary yet.

I met the word in Douglas Hofstadter's book Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid and my example sentence is lifted almost verbatim from that work. If you haven't yet read GEB, I strongly recommend you do.


Paul
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Old 2004-02-07, 00:09   #11
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It is absolutely impossible to perform the described action. Even "theoretically".

Because matter (i.e. the matter that the stick is composed of) is discrete, i.e. not infinitely divisible. Your average cubic centimeter of wood weighs less than 1g (i.e. is lighter than water) which means with an average composition of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen that you have less than 10^23 particles in it. This means less than about 5x10^7 particles along one direction and since you can make a mark only between particles this means that you get 10^7 granularity this way -- i.e. you can distinguish numbers only to the first 7 or 8 decimal digits. In other words you storage capacity is about three bytes.

[PS: the LISP program
()
produces itself as an output. Not so hard.]
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