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Buku Roger Penrose

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Popular publications[edit]

The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and The Laws of Physics (1989)

Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness (1994)

The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe (2004)(New Edition from Vintage Digital; 31 Mar. 2016)

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe (2010)

Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe (2016)

Co-authored[edit]

The Nature of Space and Time (with Stephen Hawking) (1996)

The Large, the Small and the Human Mind (with Abner Shimony, Nancy Cartwright, and Stephen Hawking) (1997)

White Mars - The Mind Set Free (with Brian Aldiss) (1999)

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The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds and The Laws of Physics is a 1989 book by mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose.

Penrose argues that human consciousness is non-algorithmic, and thus is not capable of being modeled by a conventional Turing machine, which includes a digital computer. Penrose hypothesizes that quantum mechanics plays an essential role in the understanding of human consciousness. The collapse of the quantum wavefunction is seen as playing an important role in brain function.

The majority of the book is spent reviewing, for the scientifically minded layreader, a plethora of interrelated subjects such as Newtonian physics, special and general relativity, the philosophy and limitations of mathematics, quantum physics, cosmology, and the nature of time. Penrose intermittently describes how each of these bears on his developing theme: that consciousness is not "algorithmic". Only the later portions of the book address the thesis directly.

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Physics and consciousness[edit]

Prof. Penrose at a conference.

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Penrose has written books on the connection between fundamental physics and human (or animal) consciousness. In The Emperor's New Mind (1989), he argues that known laws of physics are inadequate to explain the phenomenon of consciousness. Penrose proposes the characteristics this new physics may have and specifies the requirements for a bridge between classical and quantum mechanics (what he calls correct quantum gravity). Penrose uses a variant of Turing's halting theorem to demonstrate that a system can be deterministic without being algorithmic. (For example, imagine a system with only two states, ON and OFF. If the system's state is ON when a given Turing machine halts and OFF when the Turing machine does not halt, then the system's state is completely determined by the machine; nevertheless, there is no algorithmic way to determine whether the Turing machine stops.)

Penrose believes that such deterministic yet non-algorithmic processes may come into play in the quantum mechanical wave function reduction, and may be harnessed by the brain. He argues that the present computer is unable to have intelligence because it is an algorithmically deterministic system. He argues against the viewpoint that the rational processes of the mind are completely algorithmic and can thus be duplicated by a sufficiently complex computer. This contrasts with supporters of strong artificial intelligence, who contend that thought can be simulated algorithmically. He bases this on claims that consciousness transcends formal logic because things such as the insolubility of the halting problem and Gödel's incompleteness theorem prevent an algorithmically based system of logic from reproducing such traits of human intelligence as mathematical insight. These claims were originally espoused by the philosopher John Lucas of Merton College, Oxford.

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An earlier universe[edit]

WMAP image of the (extremely tiny) anisotropies in the cosmic background radiation

In 2010, Penrose reported possible evidence, based on concentric circles found in WMAP data of the CMB sky, of an earlier universe existing before the Big Bang of our own present universe.[16] He mentions this evidence in the epilogue of his 2010 book Cycles of Time,[17] a book in which he presents his reasons, to do with Einstein's field equations, the Weyl curvature C, and the Weyl curvature hypothesis, that the transition at the Big Bang could have been smooth enough for a previous universe to survive it. He made several conjectures about C and the WCH, some of which were subsequently proved by others, and the smoothness is real, and where he also popularized his conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC) theory.

In simple terms, he believes that the singularity in Einstein's field equation at the Big Bang is only an apparent singularity, similar to the well-known apparent singularity at the event horizon of a black hole. The latter singularity can be removed by a change of coordinate system, and Penrose proposes a different change of coordinate system that will remove the singularity at the big bang. One implication of this is that the major events at the Big Bang can be understood without unifying general relativity and quantum mechanics, and therefore we are not necessarily constrained by the Wheeler–DeWitt equation, which disrupts time. Alternatively, one can use the Einstein–Maxwell–Dirac equations.

Physics and consciousness[edit]

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