Using Physical Experiments as Oracles

  • Edwin J. Beggs
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5715)


In my talk I will consider how a digital computer (a Turing machine for the sake of being definite) could communicate with the physical world. Turing himself gave a mythological name to an external source of information for a computer - an oracle. We shall consider how a physical experiment can be used to function as an oracle for a computer - a physical oracle. Thought experiments can be constructed using various physical theories, and we will examine their properties when used as oracles. The fundamental ideas we have to introduce into oracles for this are the time taken to perform the experiment, and the possibility of error in the answer.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin J. Beggs
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of MathematicsSwansea UniversityWalesUK

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