The science of cells that never get old | Elizabeth Blackburn




  • Reality
    • 2011: The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene
    • 2016: Reality is Not What it Seems by Carlo Rovelli
    • 2012: Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt
  • Quantum
    • 2013: Quantum Information Theory by Mark Wilde
    • 2000: Quantum Computation and Quantum Information by Michael A. Nielsen, Isaac Chuang
    • 2011: The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen
      by Brian Cox, Jeffrey R. Forshaw
    • 2006: Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness
      by Bruce Rosenblum, Fred Kuttner
  • Maths
    • 2014: Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality
      Book by Max Tegmark
  • Science History
    • 2014: Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything by Amanda Gefter
    • 2008: The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin
    • 2007: Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science by David Lindley
    • 2009: Science: A Four Thousand Year History by Patricia Fara
  • Big History
    • 2003: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  • AI
    • 2017: Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark
  • NeuroScience
    • 2015: The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman
  • Biology
    • 2017: A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes
      by Adam Rutherford
    • 2017: A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution by Jennifer A. Doudna, Samuel H. Sternberg
    • 2014: The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision by Fritjof Capra, Pier Luigi Luisi

Quantum Information Theory

VIDEO: The Quantum Conspiracy: What Popularizers of QM Don’t Want You to Know


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  • TLDR: You are correlation without correlata ie You are not made of atoms (correlata), you are actually made of bits(correlations) ie information
  • So these are all mathematical manipulations the results of which we interpret in order to tell stories about what our world is like and if you leave it in and what you have is a description of the unadulterated underlying physical reality which is quantum and the reason that’s hard to wrap your brain around is because your brain is classical everything that you are is is classical you’re made of classical bits that are ones are you’re a Turing machine you’re not a quantum computer but you’re made out of a quantum computer and that’s why there’s this fundamental disconnect that will always take a toll on our intuitions it will never go away because they’re really fundamentally different the difference between real numbers and complex numbers the underlying reality is complex but the thing that is processing the information that lets you think about these things is real is made of real numbers
  • David Mermin has contributed to the relational approach in his “Ithaca interpretation.”[8] He uses the slogan “correlations without correlata”, meaning that “correlations have physical reality; that which they correlate does not”, so “correlations are the only fundamental and objective properties of the world”. The moniker “zero worlds”[9] has been popularized by Garret[10] to contrast with the many worlds interpretation.  As David Merman puts it “we are not made of atoms (correlata) we are actually made of bits(correlations). We are our thoughts and these thoughts actually reside. We are a simulation running on a quantum computer


It from QBit

  • Information, Physics, Quantum, Wheeler’s 1989 essay propounding the idea that the physical universe arises from information, which he dubbed “it from bit.”
    • ESSAY:
    • reading the autobiography of Wheeler, it seems that the scientist has in-
      tended a vision more materialistic than that of Bohr, in which these bits would be true “quanta of reality”: “I suggest that we may never understand this strange thing, the quantum, until we understand how information may underlie reality. Information may not be just what we ‘learn’ about the world. It may be what ‘makes’ the world. An exam- ple of the idea of it from bit: when a photon is absorbed, and thereby ‘measured’ – until its absorption, it had no true reality – an unsplittable bit of information is added to what we know about the world, ‘and’, at the same time, that bit of information determines the
      structure of one small part of the world. It ‘creates’ the reality of the time and place of that photon’s interaction.”
    • The main mystery of quantum mechanics is contained in Wheeler’s
      delayed choice experiment, which shows that the past is determined by our
      choice of what quantum property to observe. This gives the observer a par-
      ticipatory role in deciding the past history of the universe. Wheeler extended
      this participatory role to the emergence of the physical laws (law without
      law). Since what we know about the universe comes in yes/no answers to
      our interrogations, this led him to the idea of it from bit (which includes the
      participatory role of the observer as a key component).
      The yes/no answers to our observations (bit) should always be compatible
      with the existence of at least a possible reality – a global solution (it) of the
      Schr¨odinger equation. I argue that there is in fact an interplay between it
      and bit. The requirement of global consistency leads to apparently acausal
      and nonlocal behavior, explaining the weirdness of quantum phenomena.
      As an interpretation of Wheeler’s it from bit and law without law, I discuss
      the possibility that the universe is mathematical, and that there is a “mother
      of all possible worlds” – named the Axiom Zero.

A Physicist’s Physicist Ponders the Nature of Reality


  • Information, Physics, Quantum, Wheeler’s 1989 essay propounding the idea that the physical universe arises from information, which he dubbed “it from bit.”
  • “it from qubit.”
  • I tend to assume that space-time and everything in it are in some sense emergent.
  • He drew a picture on the blackboard of the universe visualized as an eye looking at itself. I had no idea what he was talking about. It’s obvious to me in hindsight that he was explaining what it meant to talk about quantum mechanics when the observer is part of the quantum system. I imagine there is something we don’t understand about that.

The universe is not supposed to exist

The most elite scientists in the world are still struggling to find why exactly our universe didn’t destroy itself as soon as it came into existence. That’s what science says should have happened – but it clearly hasn’t, since you’re here reading this, as far as we know.

At the beginning of the universe, according to the standard model, there equal amounts of matter and anti-matter. The trouble with that is that they would each have annihilated each other, leaving none of the matter that surrounds us today.

Researchers have been frantically looking for some difference between matter and anti-matter that could explain why the universe is still around. But they have tried a range of different possibilities – that they have different mass, electric charge, or something else – but have found no difference.

That has led researchers to question why the universe is still around at all.

“All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist,” explained Christian Smorra, the author of a new study conducted at CERN.

“An asymmetry must exist here somewhere but we simply do not understand where the difference is. What is the source of the symmetry break?”

The latest possibility was matter and anti-matter’s different magnetism. But new research shows that they are identical in that way too – lending further mystery to the question of why the universe is still around at all.

The universe’s greatest game of spot the difference goes on. The next hotly anticipated experiment is over at ALPHA, where CERN scientists are studying the effect of gravity of antimatter – trying to answer the question of whether antimatter might fall ‘up’.