Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information by Vlatko Vedral

By Vlatko Vedral

For a physicist, all of the world's info. The Universe and its workings are the ebb and movement of data. we're all brief styles of data, passing at the recipe for our simple types to destiny generations utilizing a four-letter electronic code referred to as DNA.

In this enticing and mind-stretching account, Vlatko Vedral considers a number of the private questions about the Universe and considers the results of studying it when it comes to info. He explains the character of data, the assumption of entropy, and the roots of this pondering in thermodynamics. He describes the unusual results of quantum behaviour - results reminiscent of 'entanglement', which Einstein referred to as 'spooky motion at a distance' and explores innovative paintings at the harnessing quantum results in hyperfast quantum pcs, and the way fresh facts means that the weirdness of the quantum global, as soon as notion restricted to the tiniest scales, may possibly achieve into the macro world.

Vedral finishes by means of contemplating the reply to the final word query: the place did all the info within the Universe come from? The solutions he considers are exhilarating, drawing upon the paintings of exceptional physicist John Wheeler. the information problem our idea of the character of debris, of time, of determinism, and of truth itself.

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I jumped on the bandwagon in the late 1990s with my doctoral thesis, which translated how Shannon’s information theory could be applied to quantum mechanics. I showed that the basic tenets of Shannon’s information theory survive and have much to tell us about our latest model of physics. There is more on this in the second part of this book. When I finished my thesis, my friends and colleagues gave me as a memento a framed picture of Shannon with all their signatures on the back of it. They knew how much Shannon’s work had influenced me and thought that his picture would be an appropriate gift – given that I had spent more time with him than with any of them.

It was obviously sufficiently successful in terms of selling coffee that expansion was a natural option. The challenge was copying the model that had worked for the original Starbucks so well. This has been achieved to an uncanny level of detail and there are now 16,000 near-identical copies of Starbucks in over 30 countries. When you see a Starbucks in Beijing or Athens, you’ve a fair idea that it’s going to look and taste the same as your Starbucks down in the road in New Jersey. On the other hand, a few Starbucks have closed because they didn’t replicate the instruction set accurately – they produced coffee 46 DECODING RE ALIT Y that wasn’t faithful to the original brew, or the look and feel was not sufficiently reminiscent to encourage ‘punters’ to part with their money.

It is also interesting how Nature uses the idea of redundancy to increase the chances of producing a faithful copy. A group of three bases, such as ATC, is each associated with one amino acid. So given that there are four bases, A,C,T, and G, we have four times four times four, namely 64, possible three-base-long combinations – and hence the possibility of encoding 64 distinct amino acids. However, rather surprisingly, there are only 20 amino acids in total (these 20 make up all living matter, including our bodies) meaning that, rather surprisingly, there is more than one triplet associated with the same amino acid.

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