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1 The Computing-Element Reality Model

This chapter presents the computing-element reality model. The chapter sections are:

1.1 Constraints for any Reality Model

The world is composed of particles. The visible objects that occupy the everyday world are aggregates of particles. This fact was known by the ancients: a consequence of seeing large objects break down into smaller ones.

Particles that are not composed of other particles are called elementary particles. Philosophically, one must grant the existence of elementary particles at some level, to avoid an infinite regress.

For the physics known as quantum mechanics, the old idea of the continuous motion of particles—and the smooth transition of a particle’s state to a different state—is replaced by discontinuous motion and discontinuous state changes. A particle moves in discrete steps (for example, the movement of an electron to a different orbital), and a particle’s state changes in discrete steps (for example, the change of a photon’s spin).

For the particles studied by physics, the state of a particle is the current value of each attribute of that particle. A few examples of particle attributes are position, velocity, and mass. For certain attributes, each possible value for that attribute has an associated probability: the probability that that particle’s state will change to that value. The mathematics of quantum mechanics allows computation of these probabilities, thereby predicting certain state changes.

Various physics experiments, such as the double-slit experiments done with electrons and also neutrons, contradict the old idea that a particle is self-existing independent of everything else. For the particles studied by physics, these experiments show that the existence of a particle, knowable only thru observation, is at least partly dependent on the structure of the observing system.

Other physics experiments, such as the EPR experiments that test Bell’s theorem, demonstrate that widely separated particles can simultaneously, synchronously change state. Given the distance between the particles and the extent to which the synchronous state changes are measured as being simultaneous, it appears necessary that an instantaneous much-faster-than-lightspeed communication is involved in coordinating these synchronous state changes for the widely separated particles.

In summary, physics places the following three constraints on any reality model of the universe:

  1. A particle moves in discrete steps, and a particle’s state changes in discrete steps.

    Thus, as a particle moves from some point A to some point B, that particle occupies, at most, only a finite number of different positions between those two points, instead of an infinite number of different positions.

    Similarly, as a particle changes state, from some state A to some state B, there are, at most, only a finite number of different in-between states, instead of an infinite number of different in-between states.

  2. Self-existing particles—that have a reality independent of everything else—do not exist.

  3. Instantaneous communication occurs.

    Although I do not know the actual speed of this instantaneous communication, it is at least 20 billion times the speed of light.[1]


[1] The force of gravity is an example of instantaneous communication. Astronomer Tom Van Flandern computes a lower-bound on the speed of gravity as being not less than 20 billion times the speed of light (2x1010c). (Van Flandern, Tom. The speed of gravity—What the experiments say. Physics Letters A, volume 250 (21 December 1998): pp. 1–11)

Van Flandern’s article also debunks both Special Relativity and General Relativity, which are two physical theories that have been dominant in the 20th century, more for political reasons than reasons of merit.

Similarly, the Big Bang is a physical theory that has been dominant in the 20th century, for political reasons instead of reasons of merit. See my essay, Big-Bang Bunk (at http://www.johmann.net/essays/big-bang-bunk.html).

Note that the computing-element reality model that is detailed in the remainder of this chapter is not dependent on the truth or falsity of any particular physical theory, because any physical theory that is useful can be computed (section 1.5).

Although the computing-element reality model does not depend on specific physical theories, the model can be helpful in constructing physical theories. For example, consider the fact that time slows for an object as that object moves faster. Given the computing-element reality model, one can suggest, for example, that the faster an object moves thru the array of computing elements (section 1.2), the more that the available computing time is being devoted to moving that object, with less computing time available for interacting that object’s particles with each other and with the outside environment. Thus, if the object is a clock, then that clock runs more slowly, because all of that clock’s particles are moving more slowly relative to each other.

In general, the computing-element reality model provides a framework in which physics can use algorithms to explain physical phenomena, instead of limiting itself to using only mathematics.

Another example of where the computing-element reality model can be helpful in constructing physical theories is the current assumption by physics that the force of gravity extends out to infinity. In the computing-element reality model there are no infinities; everything is finite and discrete. Thus, the force of gravity extends out to a finite distance not an infinite distance. Tom Van Flandern and others have already proposed a finite range for the force of gravity as the explanation for the observed rotational velocities of stars relative to the galactic center as seen in our own galaxy and other galaxies. More specifically, Van Flandern says:

It is an observed fact that the rotational velocities of the stars in galaxies are nearly constant (sometimes even slightly increasing) at all distances well away from their centers, even out to the edges of visible matter at enormous distances from the galaxy centers. … It seems likely that this is caused by the limited range of gravity. The pattern of velocity drop-off in galaxies, and the fact that galaxy rotation curves go flat about 4 or so kiloparsecs from the [galactic] center for widely different galaxy types, implies that [the range of the force of gravity] is about 2 kiloparsecs [which is] about 4x108 astronomical units [1 AU is the average distance between the Earth and the Sun], or 6x1016 [kilometers]. [Van Flandern, Tom. Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, 1993. pp. 80–81]

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