Last week, the Foundation Questions Institute announced the winners of its third essay contest, which Scientific American co-sponsored. (I helped to decide on the question, judge the essays, and hand out the awards at the World Science Festival.) The essay question was, "Is Reality Digital or Analog?" Is nature, at root, continuous or discretized? You can make a powerful case for either option. Or both options. Or neither. A venerable tradition in essay-writing is to question the question.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
George Musser is a contributing editor for Scientific American, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory (Alpha, 2008) and of Spooky Action at a Distance (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015). This article won the 2011 Science Communication Award from the American Institute of Physics.
Credit: Nick Higgins