Analog vs. Digital and what is Quantum for that matter?

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Reply Fri 6 Jun, 2008 10:43 pm
I was reading the book Microserfs and a question was raised in it? Is the universe analog or digital. But no answer was given.
When I think digital I see binary and immediately think that if the universe was digital there would be an opposite to all the finite parts in it.

What is meant by analog and digital?

When I googled this I found a lot of talk about a quantum universe. What does that mean.:confused:Surprised
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 6 Jun, 2008 11:43 pm
@Holiday20310401,
The universe has got to be analog. Digital is a human way of encoding signals. Light is analog, and it can be recorded using analog means (like silver halide emulsions on film) or using digital means (CCD and CMOS sensors which perform an analog-digital conversion). Sound is the same. One would have to imagine that the fundamental forces in nature, like gravity and like nuclear forces are analog as well.
 
Ramsey phil
 
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2008 01:34 pm
@Aedes,
I'm no expert on the subject but however, I would class analogue as just encoding signals in a manual form. I.e the turning of levers rather then the pressing of buttons.

I would class such things as light, and elements as Quantum, again something which could be classed as coding, just on the quantum level. A natural coding. Quantum Physics, is just the undetermined coding of atoms and particles.

But this might just be me babbling at an already proven theory or something.
 
Quatl
 
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2008 03:40 pm
@Ramsey phil,
Digital = number-ish (digit)
Analog = Like, or resemblance (sometimes continuous)
Quantum = Existing only in a certain subsets of numeric states, and never in between these states.

In the context of recording:

Analog means that the recording is continuous (down to the level of the recording media anyway. A groove in a vinyl disk for example, or a variable strength magnetic field in a metal impregnated tape.) Digital recordings, by contrast, store only one value per a given interval, in other words digital recordings are "chunky".

One way to visualize it; Say you record a sound wave on a piece of graph paper using a pen. The analog recording would be a continuous curve, while the digital recording would look more like a line of steps going up and down that approximates the analog version.

(As an aside; in practice there is no such thing as an analog recording, all recordings are digital if you look closely enough.)
----------------------------
The idea of a digital universe (as I understand it) speculates that at a small enough scale all measurements are in discreet units. This conjecture comes from quantum physics in which time and space are both quantized below a certain boundary (Planck length, Planck time, named for Max Planck)

Is the universe like this? The essential question is whether or not space and time come only in quanta, or if that's only a property of energy/mater. The math indicates that space-time is quantized. Unfortunately for the analog universe though quantum physics' mathematical prophecies have a habit of being confirmed as reality.
---------------------------
This quantum nature that quantum physics requires conflicts with relativity, another very strong well supported theory, causing aggravation for the Grand Unified Theory (GUT) seeking types.
 
de budding
 
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2008 04:04 pm
@Quatl,
I always thought of the digital universe as stated,
Quote:
'measurements are in discreet units'
or more precisely a universe where all values- from weight to depth to color, position, nutrients, are all reduced to a single data system of waves or maybe discrete values like a digital audio signal. All perceived reality can be different for animals depending on how they convert, via their sense organs (conversion analogues), the universe-value 'data'.

We have a dominant sense which 'maps' the data into an explorable map, the eyes is ours like the ears are the bats. We use texture to define territorial boundaries like fences, walls etc. where as cats use scent.

Dan.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2008 09:29 pm
@de budding,
I see the universe as digital because if I think of digital I think of binary, thus 1's and 0's which are opposites. That sort of connotes to perception theory right? How there are two sides to everything.
If I look at the entirety of the universe then I can see it as analog, but I really can't give any reason to back that one up.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2008 09:39 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
How there are two sides to everything.
The earth, more or less, is spherical. How are there two sides to that?
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2008 09:56 pm
@Aedes,
Maybe there are only two sides to a single perception of something, but when perceiving the entirety entirely, the Earth as a whole, there is no opposite in existence.
Like a matter Earth and an anti matter Earth: as perceived through state of matter.
 
nameless
 
Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2008 12:12 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;16311 wrote:
The earth, more or less, is spherical. How are there two sides to that?

Inside and outside?
 
de budding
 
Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2008 05:59 am
@nameless,
nameless wrote:
Inside and outside?


Dark side, light side?
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2008 09:44 am
@de budding,
Analog can't connote to opposites, therefore the only analogous system or whatever u may call it is the entire universe, the infinite, everything. The finite parts are digital. So the universe is both analog and digital. What I want to know is where does quantum come in?
 
nameless
 
Reply Mon 23 Jun, 2008 12:46 am
@de budding,
de_budding;16329 wrote:
Dark side, light side?

Up-side, down-side?
Have we slipped through a hole in the 'box' or are we just pushing the 'wall' a bit?
*__-
 
de budding
 
Reply Mon 23 Jun, 2008 06:01 am
@nameless,
nameless wrote:
Up-side, down-side?
Have we slipped through a hole in the 'box' or are we just pushing the 'wall' a bit?
*__-



Well if there was one grand divide of earth, now that I think about it, I don't think it would be manifested on the surface of the earth but in the complex structure of nature, something more general maybe like life/death.

I guess in that respect we are pushing the walls, or at least leaning on them, hard to gague the scale of the 'divide'.

p.s. Is dichotomy the right word to be using here instead of divide?

Dan.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 23 Jun, 2008 10:48 am
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
Well if there was one grand divide of earth, now that I think about it, I don't think it would be manifested on the surface of the earth but in the complex structure of nature
Agreed -- something fundamental and intrinsic.
 
 

 
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