Laplace's demon  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In the history of science, Laplace's demon was the first published articulation of causal or scientific determinism by Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1814. According to determinism, if someone knows the precise location and momentum of every atom in the universe, their past and future values for any given time are entailed; they can be calculated from the laws of classical mechanics.

In popular culture

  • In Rozen Maiden by Peach-Pit, Laplace No Ma (Laplace's demon) is a character that prompts the Rozen Maiden's mission with riddles, and appears only in the N-field. He looks like a white rabbit in a tuxedo but acts more like the Cheshire Cat, an obvious play on both characters from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland".
  • In Adam Fawer's "Improbable: A Novel", the main character becomes a personification of Laplace's demon.
  • Laplace No Ma (Laplace's Demon) is a 1993 video game for the SNES.
  • The Masoukishin Cybuster from the Super Robot Wars metaseries possesses the 'Laplace's Demon Computer' which gives it the ability to predict the future as well as editing/altering events in the timeline itself. A similar (though less powerful) device is used by another giant robot, the Unicorn Gundam.
  • The character Sion Eltnam Atlasia, from Type-Moon's PC game Melty Blood and all practitioners of her branch of alchemy employ a method for predicting the future modeled after Laplace's demon.
  • Laplace's Demon appeared, alongside Maxwell's Demon, in Animal Man #86. The Demon does not move and does nothing, driven insane by its task.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series' fifth book (Mostly Harmless), the guide mark II is said to have "no filters" and has the ability to perceive all time, matter and tangent universes similar to Laplace's Demon.
  • In the video game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, the protagonists are sent daily "Laplace Mails", e-mails that predict various deaths and disasters that are certain to occur later that day unless the protagonists intervene.
  • Dresden Codak features a comic titled "Exorcising Laplace's Demon".
  • Dr. Manhattan in Allan Moore's Watchmen resembles Laplace's Demon in that he can perceive the past, present, and future.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Ask a Foolish Question", Phineas and Ferb build a supercomputer that can "answer any question." Upon booting up, the computer scans the entire city, creating a starting data-set like that of Laplace's Demon. Given that the instructions in the computer's cryptic answers take advantage of wind-currents to achieve results, it is implied that this computer can predict the future, sharing the properties of the Demon, but possibly on a smaller scale.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Laplace's demon" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools