Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Thursday, December 04, 2008

How does it know?

Ben Schumacher ended yesterday's PI lecture with his inspiring Physics credo about the Universe, in my opinion.

To make his point he used his favorite "Thermos bottle" joke that paraphrased is like this: 3 guys were asked what is the most amazing invention in the world? The first guy said that it is television, the second guy said that it must be the jet engine while the 3rd guy answered that it is the thermos bottle. When the other guys asked that they don't get it he answered that if you put cold stuff in the thermos it stays cold while if you put hot stuff it stays hot. So what is so amazing about this asked the other two guys? The 3rd guy answered: how does it know?

This question in Schumacher opinion (paraphrased) is a fundamental physics question telling us that every part of the Universe sends information. The Universe is a gigantic information network governed by the laws of physics. These laws define what is possible and what not.

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