May 13, 2014
Vlatko Vedral on Decoding Reality – The Universe as Quantum Information. What is the nature of reality? Why is there something rather than nothing? These are the deepest questions that human beings have asked, that thinkers East and West have pondered over millennia. 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 blueprints for our basic forms to future generations using a digital code called DNA.
Decoding Reality asks some of the deepest questions about the Universe and considers the implications of interpreting it in terms of information. It explains the nature of information, the idea of entropy, and the roots of this thinking in thermodynamics. It describes the bizarre effects of quantum behaviour 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 up into our reality.
The book concludes by considering the answer to the ultimate question: where did all of the information in the Universe come from? The answers considered are exhilarating and challenge our concept of the nature of matter, of time, of free will, and of reality itself.