Thursday, March 2, 2017

Embodied Mathematics

This beautiful piece by Margaret Wertheim makes a profound point that is surprisingly little-appreciated: The universe computes from quarks to galaxies. We may need complex math to describe physics, chemistry and biology, but physical, chemical, and biological systems embody that math in their very being. They calculate and solve the complicated equations for free - just by existing! Once upon a time, in the pre-history of half a century ago, we did use this capability in the form of analog computers. Now we're beginning to use it again in exploiting biochemistry and quantum mechanics to do computations.

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