22 Feb 2018
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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 crystallised big ideas, and shaped the way we think.
1: Creation Ex Nihilo: Something from Nothing
2: Information for all Seasons
3: Back to Basics: Bits and Pieces
4: Digital Romance: Life is a Four-Letter Word
5: Murphy's Law: I Knew this Would Happen to Me
6: Place Your Bets: In It to Win It
7: Social Informatics: Get Connected or Die Tryin'
8: Quantum Schmuntum: Lights, Camera, Action!
9: Surfing the Waves: Hyper-Fast Computers
10: Children of the Aimless Chance: Randomness versus Determinism
11: Sand Reckoning: Whose Information is It, Anyway?
12: Destruction ab Toto: Nothing from Something
Vlatko Vedral, Professor of Quantum Information Science, University of Oxford
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.