View Full Version : Computers and Simulation

2016-Jun-27, 04:26 AM
Hello. Are computers able to simulate 'accurately' and correctly how both maybe the solar system and 'Universe' formed?

What would it 'really' take in order to have a computer or 'system' of computers in order to bring such a simulation about?

Are computers able to accurately predict the 'history' of the solar system..and what would really be required to be able to do so?


2016-Jun-27, 05:37 AM
Define accurately. Some simulations can recreate systems that look quite like our own. There are aspects of the universe that we can model fairly well. But if you are asking if we can accurately predict, from some set of starting conditions, the position of every atom in the universe then you are out of luck.

One of the big issues is more fundamental than computing power - the systems you are looking at tend to have a high degree of sensitivity to initial conditions and a high degree of degeneracy. There are a large number of ways a galaxy like our own could form - and there are not accessible ways to test which was the way that happened.

Then there is the whole issue that if you want to get right down to quantum levels you are not dealing with deterministic processes.

2016-Jul-01, 01:59 PM
Book Plug: James Gleick's Chaos has some interesting background on the history of simulations. It is more about simulating weather than anything else, but it is an interesting read. It is also a brief history of computing, he is talking about vacuum tube computers and such.