Stephen Wolfram’s Fundamental Theory of Physics

“We have such a simple rule. Yet applying this rule over and over again produces something that looks really complicated. It’s not what our ordinary intuition tells us should happen. But actually—as I first discovered in the early 1980s—this kind of intrinsic, spontaneous generation of complexity turns out to be completely ubiquitous among simple rules and simple programs. And for example my book A New Kind of Science is about this whole phenomenon and why it’s so important for science and beyond.”

-Stephen Wolfram, “Finally We May Have a Path to the Fundamental Theory of Physics…
and It’s Beautiful

Bookmarking for later.

Quantumcomputing For The Very Curious

“This essay explains how quantum computers work. It’s not a survey essay, or a popularization based on hand-wavy analogies. We’re going to dig down deep so you understand the details of quantum computing. Along the way, we’ll also learn the basic principles of quantum mechanics, since those are required to understand quantum computation.

Learning this material is challenging. Quantum computing and quantum mechanics are famously ‘hard’ subjects, often presented as mysterious and forbidding. If this were a conventional essay, chances are that you’d rapidly forget the material. But the essay is also an experiment in the essay form. As I’ll explain in detail below the essay incorporates new user interface ideas to help you remember what you read. That may sound surprising, but uses a well-validated idea from cognitive science known as spaced-repetition testing. More detail on how it works below. The upshot is that anyone who is curious and determined can understand quantum computing deeply and for the long term.”

Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen. “Quantumcomputing For The Very Curious.” March 18, 2019.

Looks like I’m going to have to brush up on my math.

From the Edge of the Universe to the Inside of a Proton

“But we should count ourselves lucky; there have not always been 62 orders of magnitude of universe to explore, and there won’t always be. As Scharf explained, ‘If you turn the clock back far enough to the Big Bang, obviously there was a time when the number of scales that were causally connected were fewer, and space itself was smaller.’ Likewise, ‘if you extrapolate 100 billion years into the future, assuming the current accelerating expansion, it will be essentially impossible for us to see anything much beyond our galaxy or our local group of galaxies.’ Scharf said this seems to mean we’re living at a special time. And he wondered, ‘Would someone in the future be able to figure out how the universe works?’”

—Natalie Wolchover, “A Tour of the Zoomable Universe by Caleb Scharf and Ron Miller.” Quanta Magozine. November 6, 2017

The inspiration for this coffee table book was to update the information in a famous short film, The Powers of Ten (1977):