A Quantum-Digital Universe


(2011). A Quantum-Digital Universe. Perimeter Institute. https://pirsa.org/11050042


A Quantum-Digital Universe. Perimeter Institute, May. 13, 2011, https://pirsa.org/11050042


          @misc{ pirsa_11050042,
            doi = {10.48660/11050042},
            url = {https://pirsa.org/11050042},
            author = {},
            keywords = {Quantum Foundations},
            language = {en},
            title = {A Quantum-Digital Universe},
            publisher = {Perimeter Institute},
            year = {2011},
            month = {may},
            note = {PIRSA:11050042 see, \url{https://pirsa.org}}


David Deutsch re-formulated the Church-Turing thesis as a physical principle, asserting that "every finitely realizable physical system can be perfectly simulated by a universal model computing machine operating by finite means". Such principle can be regarded as a new theoretical paradigm, whereby the entire Physics is emerging from a quantum computation. But for a theory to be a good one, it must explain a large class of phenomena based on few general principles. Taking as a general principle the topological homogeneity of the computational network with graph-dimension equal to the space-time dimension corresponds to replacing quantum field theory (QFT) with a numerable set of quantum systems in local interaction. This means to consider QFT as a kind of Fermi-scale thermodynamic" limit of a deeper Planck-scale theory, with the quantum field replaced by a giant quantum computer. In the talk, I will illustrate mechanisms of emergence of physics from the quantum computation in 1+1 dimensions. We will see that Dirac's is just the equation describing the free flow of information, leading to an informational definition of inertial mass and Planck constant. I will then illustrate the emergence mechanism of Minkowsian space-time from the computation, how the field Hamiltonian comes out, and how quantum fields are actually eliminated in favor of qubits. We will see that the digital nature of the field leads to an in-principle observable consequence in terms of a mass-dependent refraction index of vacuum, with the information becoming stationary at the Planck mass. Such refraction index of vacuum is a general phenomenon due to unitariety in the discrete, and can also help in solving the speed-of-light isotropy conundrum posed by digitalization of the field in more than 1 space dimensions. We will also see how the quantum nature of the processed information plays a crucial role in other practical informational issues, e.g. the possibility of driving the information in different directions, without the need of increasing the complexity of the circuit. Finally I will briefly comment about gravity as emergent from the quantum computation, and the connection with Verlinde-Jacobson approach.