New England Complex Systems Institute

Special meeting January 30, 1998

Information Mechanics: Physical Limits to Computation

Time: 9:00AM-5:00PM January 30, 1998

Organizers: Rick Bageley and Michel Baranger

Location: The meeting will be in the Compton Room of the physics department at MIT . The room number is 26-110.

Please come prepared to share your ideas about this topic. Several people will give short informal presentations.

Informal presentations by (among others):

Seth Lloyd (Mech. Eng., MIT)
Jeff Yepez (Hanscom Air Force Laboratory)

The meeting will begin promptly at 9:00 am . A continental breakfast will be served at that time . Lunch will be served at 12:30 .

This being the first meeting of the group, we shall spend some time getting acquainted, introducing ourselves, and discussing what we want the group to do for us in the future . As well as getting acqainted with NECSI, the sponsoring organization . The purpose of the group is primarily to provide a meeting ground for New England scientists working on Information Mechanics and related subjects, to discuss new ideas and new results, and to foster collaborations and cross-fertilization between traditional disciplines.


Here are some possible topics of discussion during this and future meetings:

- Potential and limitations of quantum computation (recent work on teleportation is topical)
- Limits to the efficiency of a parallel computation (as a function of the number of processors, or alternatively, the fundamental limits to the decomposition of a computation)
- The possible role of self-organization in computation
- Minimal energy requirements for communication (ref: Landauer: 1996 Science 272:1914)
- Symbolic dynamics of dynamical systems seen as computational systems, and association of dynamics regimes with different characterizations of computation
- Stability of a computation, and the role and limitations of error correction, randomness
- Algorithmic stability (perhaps not directly relevant to physical aspects of computation? )
- Applications of coding theory


This is addressed only to the non-MIT people among the participants.

Enter MIT by the driveway facing South at the point where Vassar Street ends at Main Street. (If you are coming from the West along Memorial Drive, make a left turn onto Vassar Street immediately after the BU bridge overpass; this is not where the traffic light is, it is before that. You are then at one end of Vassar Street. Drive all the way to the other end, which includes crossing Mass. Ave.. At the first light after Mass. Ave., Vassar Street ends, and your driveway is on the right)

Stop at the guard station, which is in the middle of this driveway. Give your name to the guard and ask for your parking permit, which will be waiting for you there. Fill the form as he directs you, and then park in the garage on your left, the East Parking Garage. There should be plenty of space .

When you walk out of this garage, you will see a stop sign with a red light above it. Follow the rightmost driveway behind this stop sign. You will have a vine-covered building on your left . At the end of this building, turn left by 45 degrees . This diagonal takes you to an underpass below Building 26. Once you are in the underpass, enter Building 26 by the door on your left . Inside the building, the first door on your right is marked "26-110 Karl Taylor Compton Room." This is it. If that door is locked, go down the hall to the next door on your right, which is similarly marked.

If you get lost at any point, ask any one who is walking around where Building 26, ground floor, is.