Evolution and Life in a Synthetic Universe

Evolution and Life in a Synthetic Universe

Dervis Can Vural

Tuesday February 14th 2017 - 7:00 pm

101 Jordan Hall of Science

The laws of physics can be thought of as a set of instructions on which the Universe runs. A good way to determine these instructions is to run them on a computer, essentially producing a synthetic universe, and then compare the outcome with the actual one. Unfortunately, for systems exceeding a handful of particles, the instructions become very difficult to follow, even with our best computers. For this reason, we look for “effective laws”, i.e. simplified instructions, that are a lot more easier to carry out but otherwise give the same outcome. Can we understand complex biological processes in the same way? Can the complexity of life be described by a simple instruction set? What kind of instructions lead to self-replicating and evolving systems, and what others do not? Join us to find out!

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