© 2012

The Universe as Automaton

From Simplicity and Symmetry to Complexity


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Complexity book series (BRIEFSCOMPLEXITY)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Klaus Mainzer, Leon Chua
    Pages 1-16
  3. Klaus Mainzer, Leon Chua
    Pages 17-24
  4. Klaus Mainzer, Leon Chua
    Pages 25-30
  5. Klaus Mainzer, Leon Chua
    Pages 31-43
  6. Klaus Mainzer, Leon Chua
    Pages 45-65
  7. Klaus Mainzer, Leon Chua
    Pages 67-74
  8. Klaus Mainzer, Leon Chua
    Pages 75-85
  9. Klaus Mainzer, Leon Chua
    Pages 87-103
  10. Klaus Mainzer, Leon Chua
    Pages 105-108

About this book


This booklet is an essay at the interface of philosophy and complexity research, trying to inspire the reader with new ideas and new conceptual developments of cellular automata.  Going beyond the numerical experiments of Steven Wolfram, it is argued that cellular automata must be considered complex dynamical systems in their own right, requiring appropriate analytical models in order to find precise answers and predictions in the universe of cellular automata. 

Indeed, eventually we have to ask whether cellular automata can be considered models of the real world and, conversely, whether there are limits to our modern approach of attributing the world, and the universe for that matter, essentially a digital reality.


Cellular Automata brief overview Cellular automaton Church-turing thesis Philosophy of complex systems Universe as a computer

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Philosophie und, WissenschaftstheorieTechnische Unviversität MünchenMünchenGermany
  2. 2.EECS DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

About the authors

Leon Chuas awards include:

IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award, 2005"
Top 15 most cited Author in Engineering Award, 2002
(This award was chosen from the Current Contents (ISI) data base of all cited papers in the Engineering discipline (all branches of engineering) indexed from 1991 to October 31, 2001.)
IEEE Neural Networks Pioneer Award, 2000
IEEE Third Millenium Medal, 2000
IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Golden Jubilee Medal, 2000
Mac Van Valkenburg Award (1995 and 1998)
IEEE Centennial Medal, 1985
Alexander von Humboldt Senior US Scientist Award, 1982
Frederick Emmons Award, 1974
IEEE W. R. G. Baker Prize Award, 1973
IEEE Browder J. Thompson Memorial Prize Award, 1973

and he holds several honoris cause doctorates.

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“This book contains a great deal of some central topics and actual problems of cellular automata theory. It is an introduction which emphasizes the mathematically interesting and beauty aspects of cellular automata and complex dynamical systems as well as their synthesis on an ambitious level suitable for graduate students and researchers. … To understand the complex computational world, the authors stress that cellular automata are an excellent instructional tool.” (Hasan Akin, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1237, 2012)