Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information

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OUP Oxford, Feb 23, 2012 - Science - 240 pages
3 Reviews
For a physicist, all the world is 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 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. This edition includes a new foreword from the author, reflecting on changes in the world of quantum information since first publication. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.
 

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User Review  - Razinha - LibraryThing

This is the second book I've read in which the author tries to explain nearly everything in terms of a single principle (well, I'm still plowing through Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science, so ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

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

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 held the position of Professor of Quantum Information Science at the University of Oxford. He also holds a professorship in Physics at the National University of Singapore. Throughout his career he has held a number of visiting professorships at different international institutions. He has published more than 170 research papers and has written two undergraduate textbooks. He has frequently written for popular science journals and major daily newspapers, as well as having done extensive radio programmes and television interviews.

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