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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meta Theory of Thermodynamics and Quantum Gravity

Vlatko Vedral has been working on the Probability/Information Theory for Science. Recently he published in "The New Scientist" the idea of a Meta-Theory. Here I ask myself: So what?

I myself have been thinking for some time about the relevance of Claude Shannon's ideas on fundamental science. Taking the point of view, that Information Theory has two components, one technological, and the other fundamental, I write here what the consequences could be.

As a technological tool, Information Theory, describes how humans communicate, and read the Book of Nature; as a fundamental tool , it describes the interaction between two parts of the Universe, whether conscious or not, as understood by a third system, which is conscious: Us.

We can write computer programs, so an automaton directs another automaton. They will keep doing that, whether or not we die. The Voyager Program probes, are still going away from the Solar System, even though some of its creators are dead. Both voyagers could have been designed to communicate among themselves. Even if the Human species disappeared, they could have kept communicating, and maybe directing each other autonomously.

The fundamental question is if the Universe interacts this way. That is, if the law of gravity, say, describes as a computer program, how different objects direct each other. Of course we will have to Decode the Universe to maintain this point of view.

Thermodynamics is a probabilistic description of heat. The motion of objects we call heat, exists, nevertheless our description is not the thing, but the description. Quantum waves exist, our description is not the thing either. Vedral has studied both descriptions, as stepping stones to construct Quantum Computers.

The fact that computer based descriptions of Quantum Gravity, have not succeeded, could mean that there is no physical reality to Gravity at the quantum level, or that there is a confusion about the description and the thing.

Vedral's Meta Theory could mean, that whichever is the case, as long as we know what Information Theory is, we should make progress.

I hope he is right.

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