When Do Physical Systems Compute?

21 Mar 2022 09:40

Yet Another Inadequate Placeholder

My intuition is to throw the term "computation" around very liberally for physical processes, but that's partly just how I was raised. I do get how it sounds odd to say that the planets are computing their orbits, or that collisions of molecules in a gas just so happen to be computing a complicated logical formula, so I'm interested in principled restrictions on the use of the term.

See also: Computation, Automata, Languages; Computational Mechanics; Dynamics; Symbolic Dynamics; Physics of Computation and Information