Information & Physics

From: koichiro matsuno/7129 <>
Date: Tue 06 Jan 1998 - 01:12:27 CET

Dear FIS Colleagues:

   Season's Greetings to All on the net!

   Pedro Marijuan has proposed to set this month January 98,
plus some more in case, to be allotted to various discussions
related mainly to the physical aspect of information. I now
take advantage of this opportunity to raise some issues
which have bothered me and some others too, I would suspect,
for some time. Any comments on any one of these will be most
welcome and appreciated.

1) Information of the Population One
   If a population of many individuals is available, it may
be possible to assign to each representative inidividual its
information content. In contrast, if the population has only
One Individual like the Gaia, how could one assign to it its
information content? Or, is it a wrong question?

2) Information and Thermodynamics
   Although this dichotomy has attracted lively attention
from many physicists for almost a century by now, the issue
does not seem to be settled yet. Is information an
unnecessary appendage to thermodynamics or vice versa?

3) Information and Quantum Mechanics
   A notorious problem with quantum mechanics is
measurement, the latter of which seems an indispensable
attribute of information. In addition, quantum mechanics
is quite entangled in the manner of specifying its
wavefunction nonlocally, not to mention quantum teleportation
of a recent Innsbruck vintage. How can both measurement in
QM and quantum entanglement be related to the issue of

4) Information and Conservation Laws
   Physics has founded itself upon various conservation
laws such as energy conservation. How could information of
an evolutionary and historical character be compatible
with conservation laws? Are they an odd couple?

5) Information and Physics
   An outspoken critic may say this. Information has its
own business, and physics has its own, too. There may be
no need to connect the two if you are busy and cannot spare
your time for doing something else. A second critic may say
information is much deeper than physics as swaying John
Wheeler's banner printing "It From Bits". A third critic may
jump in and remind us of Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker's motto
on any production process that is certainly physical, roughly
saying "Information is that which produces information". Are
all of them sane?


      Koichiro Matsuno
Received on Tue Jan 6 01:11:36 1998

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon 07 Mar 2005 - 10:24:45 CET