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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorBen_Sprott
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2012


    I have seen lots of physics going up in recent months and so I thought I would share what I have been working on. The following is an attempt to make categorical structures look super primitive.

    If we take a light switch to embody an entire category, we could take the light switch to be a set with two elements and the morphisms are all endofunctions. Let’s say, for fun, that we define the endofunctor for the monad as:

    flip switch up \rightarrow light turns on

    flip switch down \rightarrow light turns off

    flip switch \rightarrow light toggles

    do nothing to switch \rightarrow light does nothing

    This looks like the identity endofunctor. Now, this endofunctor, in my mind, is deeply fundamental as it is used to test a causal relation between things like the light and the light-switch. The monad is nothing but the identity monad and so, I think, the algebra is nothing but an identity element. (I already asked at mathematics stack). One normally looks at this kind of thing as passing a signal from one system to another and this then goes up to information theory. If you have read my post correctly, though, you will see that I am trying to lift that whole idea up to where we talk only about morphisms and causal structure as opposed to systems of state and the information that encode them. It was a let down to find that the algebra was this trivial for such an important bit of behaviour, one that every physicist working in a lab will use every day.

    Can anyone take this thinking and get the first non-trivial algebra (it should be TINY!!!) and keep the spirit of “behaviours in a laboratory”? The co-algebra is also interesting.

    If anyone is wondering where this is coming from, consider the fact that one can construct a TQFT entirely within FDHilb by replacing the usual category of cobordisms with the internal category of comonoids. Thus, the background becomes the internal category of classical structures. The category of internal comonoids is defined with axioms that look like the copying and deleting of information. If you read this post carefully you will see that I am abstracting this idea to replace the category of internal comonoids with just comonads.