Some Constraints on the Physical Realizability of a Mathematical Construction

  • Francisco Hernández-Quiroz
  • Pablo Padilla
Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 7)


Mathematical constructions of abstract entities are normally done disregarding their actual physical realizability. The definition and limits of the physical realizability of these constructions are controversial issues at the moment and the subject of intense debate.

In this paper, we consider a simple and particular case, namely, the physical realizability of the enumeration of rational numbers by Cantor’s diagonalization by means of an Ising system.

We contend that uncertainty in determining a particular state in an Ising system renders impossible to have a reliable implementation of Cantor’s diagonal method and therefore a stronger physical system is required. We also point out what are the particular limitations of this system from the perspective of physical realizability.


Diagonalization Ising systems Physical Implementation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ScienceUNAMMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Institute for Applied MathematicsUNAMMexico CityMexico

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