Toward explaining the universe from dots and lines?

If you haven’t heart about Stephen Wolfram, he is a very well-known programmer and mathematician who created Wolfram Alpha (a website that gives a spectrum of answers to questions by using algorithms and a huge database of information) and Mathematica (a computation system used by scientists the world over). I would strongly suggest you watch this TED talk by Stephen Wolfram from 2010 to have a little taste of his quest to make knowledge fully computable that can be searched, processed and manipulated.

Last month, Wolfram launched a new venture: the Wolfram Physics Project, an ambitious attempt to develop a new physics of our universe by means of computation. The core idea behind the project is that everything can be explained to the application of simple rules composed of dots and lines.

Two days ago, he wrote this post titled “Event Horizons, Singularities and Other Exotic Spacetime Phenomena” in which he combines what we know from quantum mechanics with what we know from general relativity to produce an entirely new physical theory. Wolfram is attempting to provide an explanation of the universe based on graph theory (a branch of mathematics that studies groups of points or nodes connected by lines or edges). He suggests that the goal of physics is to work out the rules that the universal graph obeys.

On general terms, Wolfram’s contribution and a possible explanation of the universe may help to better understand and solve the unknown questions of physics. Who knows, maybe Wolfram will help to underwrite a paradigm shift in physics after all!

If you want to read about this, I would suggest you to:

  • Read Wolfram’s overview of the project from the basic principles of graph theory up to general relativity.
  • Read the original post from two days ago by Wolfram titled “Event Horizons, Singularities and Other Exotic Spacetime Phenomena“.
  • Watch the video below by Date el Vlog about Wolfram’s new theory in a more divulgation and humorous way (it’s in Spanish).

Sources

Feature image from Pexels – C0 license.

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