Physics of selective systems: Computation and biology

  • Jerome Rothstein
Article

Abstract

The statistical thermodynamics of systems displaying selective behavior is used to discuss some important ultimate physical limitations of computers and biological systems. These cluster around communication of information, measurement, and irreversible processes. The most fundamental limitation is irreducible increase of entropy accompanying selective acts like measurement of preparation. Relevant theory of machines (automata. Turing machines) and issues involved in physical realizations of those machines are discussed. Quantum measurement, the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox, the fundamental importance of irreversibility, information and entropy, and their relation to Goedel's theorems on completeness and consistency of formal systems are analyzed. Irreversibility of measurement appears necessary to provide quantum mechanics with the incompleteness needed to avoid inconsistency. Motivation and justification of computer paradigms for fundamental modeling of biological systems is given.

Keywords

Entropy Quantum Field Theory Quantum Mechanic Biological System Formal System 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerome Rothstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information ScienceThe Ohio State UniversityColumbus

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