The Grand Chess Game

The video is a section from the Richard Feynman documentary called “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” (watch the entire documentary too, trust me, it’s amazing). In the video, Feynman discusses how doing Science is like observing a chess game played by the gods. You realize certain patterns, which are of course, the laws of Physics. You use your understanding of those patterns to make predictions. Sometimes those predictions fail and you realize your law was only correct under certain conditions, and you have to change or modify the law so that it makes correct predictions in other conditions as well. The analogy is very interesting. It encourages one to look at the universe as a kind of Grand Chess Game.

I wonder how Quantum Mechanics fits into this analogy. Perhaps a chess board where it is impossible to determine when one square ends and the other begins? I don’t think I am qualified enough to discuss the issue. In Carl Sagan’s book, “Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium“, there is a chapter titled “The Persian Chessboard”. It is a very interesting read. It discusses the origins of Chess and the mind-blowing power of exponential functions.

Another interesting thing to watch is “Curiosity” a video which is part of the “The Feynman Series” by youtuber Reid Gower:


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