Tic Tac Toe II

A Slashdot report says that Vaughan Pratt, a well known computer scientist who works in Category Theory, claimed to have found an elementary error in Smith’s purported proof of the Wolfram Turing machine conjecture. The Wolfram response is available here. They claim the proof stands, although Smith did need to alter the definition of universality. Even better, Alex Smith himself replies to Pratt.


6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    L. Riofrio said,

    With jealousies, claims and counter-claims, maths can be exciting. Perhaps this is why some theorists work on ideas that can never be proven, it is safer.

  2. 2

    Kea said,

    Hi Louise! The consensus seems to be that Alex Smith has proven a very interesting result. If the definition of universality was unclear, it is hardly surprising that it needed clarification in the proof. Unfortunately, many a year has passed since I worked as a programmer, so I am struggling a bit too much with these details. Anyway, it will be more fun to turn the result into a physics argument involving Black Holes (as kneemo points out) and classical limits of Gravity Machines.

  3. 3

    CarlBrannen said,

    Sounds a glass bead game to me.

    Hey, Kea, how’s the paper on Fourier transforms going? I’m thinking about typing up a java applet to plot Fourier transforms of this sort. I think the baryon data will plot nicely that way, with visual evidence for the coincidence.

  4. 4

    Kea said,

    Hi Carl. Oh dear, yes, I should be working on that paper. I know it only needs to be a couple of pages, but I can’t quite decide what to say, besides the obvious 1 page (which I’ve already formatted nicely for PRL). I’ve been wasting time today looking for a second hand desktop so I can work at home. Can’t wait to see the new applet!

  5. 5

    kneemo said,

    Oh, I didn’t know a Fourier transform paper was in the works. Will this be on arxiv?

    I actually went back to studying entangled qutrits once again, after I got word of Smith’s result. I’ve also been working with LTQFT’s a bit, as M-theory in matrix form should be a beast of this type.

  6. 6

    CarlBrannen said,

    Kneemo, yes we discussed it here (in the comments on AF) a few weeks ago. I hope Marni sends you a copy, it is quite elegant, what’s more surprising, I can understand almost all of it. Maybe that’s not a good sign, or maybe I’m starting to understand category a little more. Examples help.

    Before it gets published, I bet it will end up with a lot more references.

    Reading it got me enthused enough that I’m downloading MikeTex and WinShell tonight on my new HP laptop. I haven’t written any LaTeX since switching laptops back around May. Physics is fun, writing papers is boring, and getting them published is a pain in the butt.

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