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Wolfram Summer SchoolFounded in 2003

16th Annual Wolfram Summer School, held at Bentley University June 24–July 13, 2018


Nuwan Karunaratne

Class of 2007


Nuwan Karunaratne is a physicist at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, where he teaches undergraduate physics. His research interests are focused on condensed matter physics and nonlinear physics. Recently, he has also been interested in econophysics and its potential applications in finance and the stockmarket. In Fall 2008, he is hoping to enroll in a US graduate program that will lead to a doctoral degree in physics.

His participation at the 2007 NKS summer school is funded by the Special Overseas Training Program (OSTP) initiated by the National Science Foundation (NSF) of Sri Lanka, grant number: OSTP/2007/15

Project: Block Cellular Automaton (BCA)

Quantum Mechanics is probably the most important subject in the whole of nanotechnology. However, in many instances it is quite difficult to find solutions (both analytical and numerical) to quantum mechancial problems. This may be due to the conceptual and mathematical difficulties encountered when analyzing such problems. As a result, it might be rewarding to consider novel models which are governed by simple rules that can be used to emulate quantum mechanical systems. In this respect, a model based on Block Cellular Automaton (BCA) may be of considerable interest.

In a BCA, a lattice of cells is divided into blocks that do not overlap with one another. These blocks will be two or three cells; in each step, blocks of adjacent steps are replaced by other blocks of the same size.

On page 459 of NKS, it says that block cellular automata are more likely to exhibit conserved quantities in collectons of systems than ordinary cellular automata. This feature, along with the reversibility property, makes BCA an ideal way to model and study quantum systems, e.g., energy states of an electron which interact with a series of potentials.

Favorite Outer Totalistic Three-Color Rule

Rule chosen: 331810

I am really fascinated by this CA rule because it integrates randomness and uniformity at the same time. The border of the structure consists of a uniform pattern which glides down the two edges whereas the central part exhibits randomness and does not seem to be periodic.