Journal Article

A Note on the Physical Possibility of Transfinite Computation

Wayne Aitken and Jeffrey A. Barrett

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 61, issue 4, pages 867-874
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online November 2010 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axq016
A Note on the Physical Possibility of Transfinite Computation

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In this note, we consider constraints on the physical possibility of transfinite Turing machines that arise from how one models the continuous structure of space and time in one's best physical theories. We conclude by suggesting a version of Church's thesis appropriate as an upper bound for physical computation given how space and time are modeled on our current physical theories.

Journal Article.  3036 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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