KC Lecture8

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Lecture 8. Kolmogorov complexity and Nature: 

Lecture 8. Kolmogorov complexity and Nature In biology, in physics, in science, and in our daily lives, Kolmogorov complexity is everywhere. This lecture selects a few beautiful examples.

1. Kolmogorov complexity by ants: 

1. Kolmogorov complexity by ants Feeder Reznikova, Ryaboko: When the path to feeder has lower Kolmogorov complexity like ‘LLLL’, ants communicate faster. Scout Soldiers The experiment details: Feeder contains honey. Matches float on water to form the tree maze. Scout first finds honey. Scout returns. Scout communicates with soldier ants, time recorded. Scout is then removed. Matches replaced. Soldier ants go for honey

Information compression by ants (using tactile code): 

Information compression by ants (using tactile code)

2. Saving 2nd law of thermodynamics: 

2. Saving 2nd law of thermodynamics Two fundamental laws of thermodynamics: 1st law: The total energy of an isolated system is invariant over time 2nd law: No process is possible that has its only result the transformation of heat into work But the 2nd law has suffered serious problems for over 100 years until Kolmogorov complexity is used recently.

Maxwell’s Demon: 

Maxwell’s Demon J.C. Maxwell, 1871, Theory of Heat: If we conceive a being whose faculties are so sharpened that he can follow every molecule … opens and closes this hole so as to allow only swifter molecule to pass from A to B, slower ones from B to A. He will thus without expenditure of work, raise temperature of B and lower that of A, in contradiction to the 2nd law of thermodynamics. A B

Solution to Maxwell’s Demon (Bennett): 

Solution to Maxwell’s Demon (Bennett) Movable Partition . . . . . . Molecule trapped R Record: right side R R Left piston pushed in for free. Separator lifted, molecule pushes left piston to left using heat from environment. Memory is erased, back to initial state. Initial state Heat Szilard Engine and its information-theoretic explanation.

3. Boltzman’s entropy: 

3. Boltzman’s entropy On his grave stone, engraved is Boltzman’s famous entropy formula: S=klogN, where k=1.38x10-23 joules/Kevin is the Boltzman constant. Here N is the number of possible states in the system. It is sometimes more convenient to express such entropy in terms of Kolmogorov complexity. Let us consider two examples.

Example 1. Superconductivity: 

Example 1. Superconductivity In high temperature superconductivity research, a material like CuO2 loses magnetic moment below a critical temperature. In such a state, the nuclear spins all line up as below:  …  …  …  … This low entropy is most naturally expressed by Kolmogorov complexity with a short program: repeat forever print ; print ;

Example 2. Cooling down: 

Example 2. Cooling down Adiabatic demagnetization is an important technique that has been used to achieve record low temperatures – near zero Kelvin. Chrome-alum salt (whose molecules may be considered as tiny magnets) is placed in a thermally insulating (adiabatic) enclosure. A strong magnetic field is applied by an external magnet so that the tiny atomic magnet (spins) line up, forming low Kolmogorov complexity state. Then the magnet is removed so the spins becomes chaotic again --- entropy (Kolmoogorov complexity) increasing implies absorbing energy (heat), hence lowering the temperature. This process is repeated …

Project, research topic: 

Project, research topic Kolmogorov complexity interpretation of chaos Experimental project: repeat the ant experiment! Or with bees?

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