Is the Universe made of information?
February 15, 2007 7:05 AM Subscribe
Can you help a reasonably smart layperson (who is not very good at math) understand how the word "information" is used in physics?
posted by grumblebee to science & nature (35 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm talking about when "information" is NOT used to describe data exchanged between sentient beings. I keep hearing about how "the universe is information" or "the universe is a quantum computer."
I get how some natural systems, like DNA, contain data which nature uses to control some sort of process. Is this the core idea?
And I know that each age has described the universe in terms of its dominant technology (steam or whatever), and so we use information, because this is the "information age," but I also know that -- metaphor or not -- seeing the universe as information is yielding some profound ideas.
I've even read a book or two on the subject, but these books always seem to take off from the point-of-view that the universe IS information. I feel like I'm not getting to the heart of what this means.