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What are examples of simpler universes that have been described in order to explain a concept from our more complex universe?

by Mati_Roy1 min read17th Sep 20207 comments


World Modeling

Sometimes there's a concept that can be difficult to understand when entangle with everything else that needs to be understood about our physics.

If you isolate that concept in a simpler universe, it makes it easier to explain how the concept works.

What are such examples?

(I feel like I asked a similar question somewhere at some point, but can't find it)

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3 Answers

Euclidean geometry (which is 2500 years old), Newtonian physics and the special theory of relativity immediately come to mind.

Relevant comment here:

I think Wolfram's "theory" is complete gibberish. Reading through "some relativistic and gravitational properties of the Wolfram model" I haven't encountered a single claim that was simultaneously novel, correct and non-trivial...
1Mati_Roy8moMy question is definitely not limited to novel models. By all means, do let me know if you're aware of other toy models that have (and so can explain) relativistic-like properties, or share other interesting properties with out universe

Where Physics Meets Experience, and it's sequel Where Experience Confuses Physicists tackles questions about consciousness and quantum physics, but instead the minds split in a spatial dimension which makes it easier to grapple with.

2 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:34 PM

I remember an explanation of entropy / time / whether we could figure out all previous and future states of a universe from its current position, but that was using a simple square grid world. I can't find it back; anyone knows?

Was the grid world Conway's Game of Life?