# Could the universe be mapped out in binary code

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kwerk, Jan 31, 2011.

1. kwerk

# Posts: 5,587

Would it be theoretically possible to map out the entire universe in binary code? Could every single movement of every particle be simplified to an incredibly long series of 1/0 results?

And if it IS possible, then wouldn't this information already exist? As the universe itself??

Where the hell is the information being stored??

2. salami1212

# Posts: 3,041

in the electrical energy

3. Crowort

# Posts: 1,641

There was something about this that I didn't understand on a documentary lately, it is called the hologram theory or something. The information is stored at the edge of the universe. I think I could understand it if I really wanted too, but I don't see the point in me learning it tbh.

4. muon

# Posts: 14,539

You have to consider a few quirks of quantum theory but yeh I think that was the notion one of the profs in the episode was getting at.

The universe is just one massive mathematical equation. His hope was that if it was, then its within our realms of understanding.

edit:

more specifically here

Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
5. BunnyKillBot

# Posts: 3,252

More interesting, irational numbers like Pi, contains an infinte string of digits that never repeats itself in a disernable pattern. Somewhere inside the digits of Pi is therefore contained an exact sequence representation of life the universe and everything.

Who woulda thunk it!

6. lord filbuster

# Location: Bristol

No, you cannot map every particle. It violates the uncertainty principle, as well as requiring the same number of particles to represent the bits. Entropy probably has something to say about it too.

7. G-MAN2004

# Posts: 27,528

What information?

8. muon

# Posts: 14,539

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Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
9. UncleBensSauce

# Posts: 410

So you'd need at minimum at least 1 value for every atom in the universe (that would be at absolute minimum - not useful).

I highly doubt that a hard-drive can store any form of data, be it a single bit or sector, in less than the space of one atom. Surely this alone would mean that you would need a hard drive that was physically larger than the universe itself (assuming its not infinite).

10. muon

# Posts: 14,539

I don't think he meant it literally.

How about the fact we know what Pi is and could work it out to arbitrarily large numbers of decimal places and yet there aren't enough atoms in the universe to get beyond a point.

11. UncleBensSauce

# Posts: 410

Well he said is it it theoretically possible.

What else would a theory consist of other than some random lunacy regarding the question in the OP

12. G-MAN2004

# Posts: 27,528

Mind = obliterated.

I'm out of here.

13. UncleBensSauce

# Posts: 410

Surely Pi would end at the point that we ran out of atoms to write it with? Assuming we started in the smallest font possible.

Edit: on paper thinner than the loo roll at a "Welcome Break" - unless you know of a thinner material

Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
14. dazzerd

# Location: Winchester

No.

Think about it. Assume the smallest particle in the universe is an atom and there are 1 million of them. Assuming we could even map a bit (1 or 0) on an atom then it would take the entire universe just to store the data. This is even without information which pertains to mass, acceleration charge and what not.

So no it can't be done unless you could devise a device which can store more information in less space than the smallest particle.

15. BloodyL

# Location: In here and out there.

As has already been touched upon, entropy would begin to kick in at such large volumes, so error correction would have to be introduced, thus increasing the amount of bits needed to store the state of a single atom.

16. kwerk

# Posts: 5,587

Ok I just had a cool thought on my idea of thinking only in terms of distance.

Forget about temperature, velocity, mass, gravity and momentum for a moment. Think only in terms of distance in space and the movement of particles. And assume this space can vary in density.

Now think of distance as a potential route for a particle to travel in space. It's an option, a probability. "Mr. Quark, you can move this distance or you can say still, which will it be?".

If completely uncompressed empty space has zero distance, what I am really saying is it has zero probability for movement. It has no 1s or 0s. A particle cannot move in this space, therefore the matter has no temperature, no gravity, no energy and no mass. It almost doesn't exist.

Now think of the space compressing and becoming denser. What is really happening is the number of probabilities of movement is increasing. There are now some 1s and 0s and the particle has freedom to move over distance (but not much).

Now imagine even denser space where particles have great freedom to vibrate and move over distance. But instead of distance think of probabilities.

Could it be that matter has some instinct to move and is attracted to "denser space", and that is what gravity really is? Just clumps of matter in compressed space with room to breath so to speak? So going by this logic if you can call it that, reality can be simplified in to nothing but varying densities of space and in that space are degrees of freedom dictated by probabilities... which are nothing more than binary code. And if you just flipped the code to the opposite values you get anti-matter.

Maybe there is a finite number of bits in the universe and they have to be rationed out, and form these denser clumps and eventually patterns and life.

Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
17. Castiel

# Posts: 63,652

18. UncleBensSauce

# Posts: 410

RE: Pi

Could we just have Picard ask Data what the last digit is?

<Picard> Ah Data! I have a mission for you - recite Pi for me please </Picard>

<Data> Are you sure sir, *twitches* I cannot confirm how long this operation may take </Data>

<Picard>Urm, [*chuckles* + *stare* & *breeeth* = *serious*] just tell us the last digit please, if you had lived my life, you would understand my responsibility to the Federation, and why I must ask you to do this </Picardo>

<Data> Very well sir </Data>

<Data> *EXPLODES* </Data>

<Picard>

</Picard>

19. Dunks

# Location: London / Derby

You clearly have too much time on your hands

20. UncleBensSauce

# Posts: 410

Only a pint left and I can leave the interwebz in peace