Bits more basic for physics than fundamental particles?

Bengt-Arne Vedin


There are several links between information theory — between »information as such« whatever that might mean — and the foundations of nature, i e, basic physics. Well, since physics is a science still evolving (despite propositions that »the end of science« is now in sight), some of the links between information and physics are hypothetical. One linkage is fairly obvious — thermodynamics depends upon entropy or some measure of order or disorder, and that clearly has something to do with information. The other possible relationship might be between the uncertainty that is a key characteristic of quantum mechanics. We can never know everything on the quantum scale; the Heisenberg uncertainty principle tells that the more information we gain in one direction the less we know in another. If we, on that scale, obtain certainty as to one factor, then another will stay entirely undecided — try to affix a position to a quantum particle, and the momentum will be out of bounds entirely. (This is the established dogma currently, though there are some deviating ideas.1) Then the question arises: who does the actual measuring, with what — what particles, at what level, are involved in this act of, as it is pronounced, forcing the wave function to collapse? This wave function "is" the indeterminate particle: the various statistics describing the probabilities that the particle (which simultaneously takes on aspects of a wave) may be in one state or another. We will now attempt to discuss these different — or are they really different? — interdependencies, starting with black holes.

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