Go Back   Physics Help Forum > College/University Physics Help > Advanced Mechanics

Advanced Mechanics Advanced Mechanics Physics Help Forum

Like Tree4Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Oct 31st 2018, 05:04 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 4
machine vs. computer

What the difference between computer to machine?
policer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31st 2018, 06:30 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Woody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: England
Posts: 841
A computer is just a particular type of machine.

It is (at its most basic) just a huge number of switches (many billions)
The key to their power is the almost unbelievable levels of miniaturisation
that allows these billions of switches to be packaged in a sensible space
and the impressive speed at which they can be (electrically) switched.

It would be theoretically possible to build a purely mechanical computer,
but the size would be prohibitively vast (of the order of the size of the moon)
and the speed would be prohibitively slow (a couple of millennia for the windows start-up).
__________________
~\o/~
Woody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31st 2018, 02:41 PM   #3
Physics Team
 
ChipB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Morristown, NJ USA
Posts: 2,336
Indeed a computer is a machine. The smart folks at MIT once built a computer out of Tinker Toys that could play tic-tac-toe:
https://www.retrothing.com/2006/12/the_tinkertoy_c.html
Woody likes this.
ChipB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11th 2018, 11:14 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 20
A computer to a machine is a human to a primate.
Monoxdifly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 12th 2018, 12:16 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 474
The definition of machine I have in my head is "a device that does mechanical work"

Searching I find that's pretty close ..." : an instrument (such as a lever) designed to transmit or modify the application of power, ..."

Definitely a machine plays with energy ....Joules ...

A computer should not necessarily need energy ... Does it require the expenditure of energy to compute 1+1 ??? ... there's no law of physics that says so ....

The first computers were machines with cogs and gears...

The ones we have now are less like machines and require much less energy ...

So a computer is not (need not be) a machine ...

A computer manipulates Data ......... A Machine manipulates Energy
oz93666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 12th 2018, 01:48 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Woody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: England
Posts: 841
Does it require the expenditure of energy to compute 1+1 ??? ... there's no law of physics that says so ....
Actually there is.
I can't say I know the details, but I'm pretty sure that information theory does require the use of energy to store and manipulate data.
topsquark likes this.
__________________
~\o/~
Woody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 12th 2018, 04:06 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 474
Originally Posted by Woody View Post
Actually there is.
That sounds pretty definite ....


Originally Posted by Woody View Post
I can't say I know the details....
Hmmmmm...

Originally Posted by Woody View Post
...but I'm pretty sure that information theory does require the use of energy to store and manipulate data.
Well I'm Certain it doesn't require energy to store data ....

Manipulation , I'm fairly confident it might not require energy.
oz93666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 12th 2018, 04:56 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Woody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: England
Posts: 841
I admit am pulling together a few bits and pieces from articles I have read
(rather than a deep understanding of the subject) to make my statement.

One is the resolution of the "Maxwell's Demon" paradox.
The energy required by the demon to process information (of which particles are hot and which are cold) solves the paradox.

Another piece of evidence is the "firewall paradox" caused by the energy associated with the information lost as things fall into a block hole.

I am sure I have come across other articles which link information and energy,
I just can't bring any other specific examples to mind.
topsquark likes this.
__________________
~\o/~
Woody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 12th 2018, 07:16 AM   #9
Physics Team
 
ChipB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Morristown, NJ USA
Posts: 2,336
I think Woody is corerect. Consider the change in entropy when a mechanical device performs the function of adding 1+1. The mechanism must be transformed from a collection of gears and levers in a random state to one that is very specific (i.e. ordered) for that particular problem. This means its entropy is decreased, which requires energy to be expended.
topsquark likes this.
ChipB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 12th 2018, 10:07 AM   #10
Forum Admin
 
topsquark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the dance floor, baby!
Posts: 2,611
Originally Posted by Woody View Post
I admit am pulling together a few bits and pieces from articles I have read
(rather than a deep understanding of the subject) to make my statement.

One is the resolution of the "Maxwell's Demon" paradox.
The energy required by the demon to process information (of which particles are hot and which are cold) solves the paradox.

Another piece of evidence is the "firewall paradox" caused by the energy associated with the information lost as things fall into a block hole.

I am sure I have come across other articles which link information and energy,
I just can't bring any other specific examples to mind.
I don't know much about Information Theory but I do know that there is a change in the entropy of the system depending on what happens to the "information" contained in a system. If the change in the amount of data can alter the entropy then the system should follow the laws of Thermodynamics. So the internal energy of the system might be able to change.

-Dan
__________________
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

See the forum rules here.
topsquark is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

  Physics Help Forum > College/University Physics Help > Advanced Mechanics

Tags
computer, machine



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Physics Forum Discussions
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
a photon computer zhaoleicpp Physics 4 Oct 4th 2018 05:51 AM
Language by computer philipishin Philosophy of Physics 2 Apr 10th 2018 05:01 AM
Man's ability and computer philipishin Physics Software 3 Jul 13th 2016 02:35 PM
Describe a quantum computer jamix Quantum Physics 16 Jul 19th 2012 01:00 AM


Facebook Twitter Google+ RSS Feed