Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information

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OUP Oxford, Feb 23, 2012 - Science - 240 pages
2 Reviews
For a physicist, all the world's information. The Universe and its workings are the ebb and flow of information. We are all transient patterns of information, passing on the recipe for our basic forms to future generations using a four-letter digital code called DNA. In this engaging and mind-stretching account, Vlatko Vedral considers some of the deepest questions about the Universe and considers the implications of interpreting it in terms of information. He explains the nature of information, the idea of entropy, and the roots of this thinking in thermodynamics. He describes the bizarre effects of quantum behaviour - effects such as 'entanglement', which Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance' and explores cutting edge work on the harnessing quantum effects in hyperfast quantum computers, and how recent evidence suggests that the weirdness of the quantum world, once thought limited to the tiniest scales, may reach into the macro world. Vedral finishes by considering the answer to the ultimate question: where did all of the information in the Universe come from? The answers he considers are exhilarating, drawing upon the work of distinguished physicist John Wheeler. The ideas challenge our concept of the nature of particles, of time, of determinism, and of reality itself.
 

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User Review  - juliansale - LibraryThing

This book is written for the lay reader. Vedral does a pretty good job of distilling a hugely complex subject in a readable book. Although I read with anticipation of the next revelation or mind bending thought right to the last page but somehow was left not fully satisfied. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

An informal presentation of the view that information (bits) is the concept that is most fundamental in all reality-describing disciplines. The latter include physics where, especially when the ... Read full review

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
PROLOGUE
Something from Nothing
2Information for all Seasons
PART ONE
Bits and Pieces
Life is a FourLetter Word
I Knew this Would Happen to Me
Lights Camera Action
HyperFast Computers
Randomness versus Determinism
PART THREE
Whose Information is It Anyway?
Nothing from Something
EPILOGUE
NOTES

In It to Win It
Get Connected or Die Tryin
PART TWO

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About the author (2012)

Vlatko Vedral studied undergraduate theoretical physics at Imperial College London, where he also received a PhD for his work on 'Quantum Information Theory of Entanglement'. Since June 2009, Vedral has moved to Oxford as Professor of Quantum Information Science. Throughout his career he has held a number of visiting professorships at different international institutions. He has published more than 130 research papers and has written two textbooks. He has written for popular science journals and major daily newspapers, as well as doing extensive radio programmes and television interviews.

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