Friday, May 6, 2016

Some history

In my "X files" I have a copy of Frank Tipler's book The Physics of Immortality (Doubleday, 1994).  On page 192 Tipler says "If the mathematics required to describe reality is sufficiently simple, then Gödel's Theorem will not apply..."  I had had this same idea in the late 1960s. Perhaps the ideal theoretical physics would not be subject to Gödel's limitations, something along the lines of Presburger arithmetic or propositional logic.  I had been accepted for graduate study at New York University (the Courant Institute in lower Manhattan) and had been assigned a faculty advisor.  I asked that I be allowed to take a math course on formal logic along with my physics courses. When this was refused I decided not to attend NYU and my career went off in a different direction.  The rest, as they say, is history.

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