Language Is Physical
Received November 25, 2002; accepted February 17, 2003
Some aspects of the physical nature of language are discussed. In particular,
physical models of language must exist that are efﬁciently implementable. The
existence requirement is essential because without physical models no
communication or thinking would be possible. Efﬁcient implementability for
creating and reading language expressions is discussed and illustrated with a
quantum mechanical model. The reason for interest in language is that language
expressions can have meaning, either as an informal language or as a formal
language associated with mathematical or physical theories. It is noted that any
universally applicable physical theory, or coherent theory of physics and
mathematics together, includes in its domain physical models of expressions for
both the informal language used to discuss the theory and the expressions of the
theory itself. It follows that there must be some formulas in the formal theory that
express some of their own physical properties. The inclusion of intelligent systems in
the domain of the theory means that the theory, e.g., quantum mechanics, must
describe, in some sense, its own validation. Maps of language expressions into
physical states are discussed. A spin projection example is discussed as are
conditions under which such a map is a Go
del map. The possibility that language is
also mathematical is very brieﬂy discussed.
KEY WORDS: Physical nature of language; language expressions as quantum
del maps in physical theories; efﬁcient implementability of expression
creation and reading.
PACS: 03.67a; 03.65.Ta; 03.67.Lx.
Quantum computation and quantum information are areas of much interest
and research activity. The work began in 1980–1982
with the description
of Hamiltonian models of Turing machines in which the information
bearing degrees of freedom only, were described quantum mechanically.
1570-0755/02/1200–0495/0 # 2003 Plenum Publishing Corporation
Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439. E-mail:
Quantum Information Processing, Vol. 1, No. 6, December 2002 (# 2003)