NKS Fundamental Physics: The Online Buzz
Stephen Wolfram’s work on fundamental physics in A New Kind of Science (NKS), particularly his trivalent network model, has features related to and yet distinguished from other models in the physics literature that have discrete elements, such as Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG). One important distinction between theories is whether quantum mechanics (QM) is “imported” without further explanation (as is currently done in LQG), or may arise as an emergent property (as in NKS). Most work on fundamental physics citing NKS seems not to be done through traditional refereed publications but through internet discussion groups (forum.wolframscience.com, digitalphysics on yahoo) or personal blogs. The multidisciplinary credentials of those influenced by NKS (often with more training in computer science than in physics) makes these discussants open to new ideas. In online groups, however, the participants often “talk past each other” and focus on their own pet ideas. This talk will attempt to remedy this situation by summarizing some NKS-influenced approaches and placing them on the continuum between imported/emergent QM.
(April 20, 2004)