## P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe 199

Posted
by
Soulskill

from the schrodingers-cat-is-both-alive-and-equal-to-NP dept.

from the schrodingers-cat-is-both-alive-and-equal-to-NP dept.

KentuckyFC writes:

*"One of the greatest mysteries in science is why we don't see quantum effects on the macroscopic scale; why Schrodinger's famous cat cannot be both alive and dead at the same time. Now one theorist says the answer is because P is NOT equal to NP. Here's the thinking: The equation that describes the state of any quantum object is called Schrodinger's equation. Physicists have always thought it can be used to describe everything in the universe, even large objects, and perhaps the universe itself. But the new idea is that this requires an additional assumption — that an efficient algorithm exists to solve the equation for complex macroscopic systems. But is this true? The new approach involves showing that the problem of solving Schrodinger's equation is NP-hard. So if macroscopic superpositions exist, there must be an algorithm that can solve this NP-hard problem quickly and efficiently. And because all NP-hard problems are mathematically equivalent, this algorithm must also be capable of solving all other NP-hard problems too, such as the traveling salesman problem. In other words, NP-hard problems are equivalent to the class of much easier problems called P. Or P=NP. But here's the thing: computational complexity theorists have good reason to think that P is not equal to NP (although they haven't yet proven it). If they're right, then macroscopic superpositions cannot exist, which explains why we do not (and cannot) observe them in the real world. Voila!"*
## brain will explode now. (Score:5, Funny)

BOOM.

## Schrodinger's Salesforce, or Denny's (Score:5, Funny)

I'm trying to work this into an everyday analogy of a

traveling half-dead-cat salesman, but am getting stuck.## Re:I prefer the chewbacca argument (Score:2, Funny)

That does not make sense.

## Scott Aaronson's take (Score:4, Funny)

## Re:All hail the multi-verse. (Score:4, Funny)

That's just what the Flying Spaghetti Monster wants you to think.

## According the Actual Paper... (Score:5, Funny)

The summary is actually accurate! [arxiv.org] This was quite a surprise to me, since as many other posters have correctly commented here, these claims are absurd. The Universe is not inconvenienced by the difficulty of computing something about its properties.

Perhaps this paper should have been released two days ago.

Hmm... the

Incomputatibilityof the Universe, maybe this is an avenue for proving the the Universeis nota simulation?