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Author Topic: Information as an abstraction for particles  (Read 2276 times)

Offline smudge

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Information as an abstraction for particles
« on: 14/01/2009 14:58:03 »
Hello,

Thanks for this forum, it's great!

Okay, so I've been thinking about whether anything useful might be gained from thinking not about particles/fields etc occupying space but rather a more abstract concept of "information carriers".

The easiest way to think about it would probably be to say that an information carrier is analogous to a single "bit" of information.  I realize this is something of an arbitrary and simplified view but it's useful to at least have a conversation about it.

So, assuming this definition we can start to ask questions such as "Given a unit volume of space, what is the maximum number of information carriers that can be held". This gives rise to the concept of informational carrier density analogous to "mass".

Also, it seems to me that parallels can be drawn with the laws of thermodynamics.  For instance:

Conservation of energy -> Conservation of information carriers
Entropy increases -> Entropy increases
etc.

In some sense it seems that I could also exchange the speed of light C for the "speed of information carriers".  Note I'm being careful to say the speed of the carriers, not the information stored in these carriers because I don't think those are the same.

Maybe you could also try to tie this back to the real world and consider that a certain type of particle (eg. electron) is capable of being in a number of possible states.  So it is an information carrier of "order" (some number > 0).

Where am I going with all this?  Good question, I'm not a physicist or mathematician just someone with a curious imagination.  What I'm trying to explore is what would be the rules of information carriers and the information that they hold and to what extent is this abstraction of any use.

Any thoughts?  Is there already a science that deals with physics from the perspective of pure information?

thanks!


 

Offline yor_on

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Information as an abstraction for particles
« Reply #1 on: 14/01/2009 17:53:47 »
I'm not sure of how you see the split up between information and information carriers.
But then one can look on space and wonder how 'something' consisting of 'nothing' can contain pure 'potential' but very real energy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density#Energy_density_of_empty_space
As you see there are no definite 'numbers' there, and also there are two different views on how that energy comes to bring.

" In general relativity, the cosmological constant is proportional to the energy density of empty space,
and can be measured by the curvature of space.
It is subsequently related to the age of the universe, and as energy expands outwards with time its density changes."

Myself i find this interesting, even though I'm unsure on how they have derived their conclusions here.
Then you have "Quantum field theory (who) takes quantum mechanics and special relativity into account, and is a theory of all the forces and particles except gravity."

And I'm guessing there might be more ideas about it than those two, but those are the 'mainstream' theories I've seen.

But as I'm starting to get very curious how space and matter seems to coexist and also think that Einstein was even more of a 'prophet' than what he himself believed, I can't help but find "and can be measured by the curvature of space" very intriguing:)
But hey, that's me, not you.
« Last Edit: 14/01/2009 17:55:41 by yor_on »
 

Offline LeeE

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Information as an abstraction for particles
« Reply #2 on: 14/01/2009 20:16:49 »
It's an interesting idea, from several points of view.

At the end of any top-down deconstructive analysis you end up with abstract answers; the point where something can only be described in terms of itself, for example, the nature of charm or spin in quarks.  In this respect, these abstracts can be regarded as pure information, but made 'real'.  It's very clever of the universe to be able to do this; it's akin to turning a thought in to something tangible.

As for the maximum informational density, this would have occurred when the universe started to become transparent so that any particles formed, representing information, had a reasonable life time.  Before this point, particles had such short life times due to the number of interactions going on that the only information that could be represented would have been constantly changing chaos.  After this point though, information could have duration and therefore actually represent something.

Even at our current stage in the life of the universe though, a unit volume of vacuum space still cannot be regarded as 'empty' and so could be used to contain information.  This is because even with a perfect vacuum, devoid of any matter, the space will be flooded with the CMBR and neutrinos.  Then in addition to those, space can also store energy, like a spring, by being deformed by gravity; remove the mass and space will spring back to it's 'free' state, whether it be flat or curved.  In this case, the degree of deformation is the information being stored.
 

Offline yor_on

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Information as an abstraction for particles
« Reply #3 on: 14/01/2009 21:40:01 »
I'm not sure how you see space LeeE
As existing on its own?

"Then in addition to those, space can also store energy, like a spring, by being deformed by gravity; remove the mass and space will spring back to it's 'free' state, whether it be flat or curved.  In this case, the degree of deformation is the information being stored."

As that 'free state' seems to imply that space is a 'solitary phenomena'?

-------

Do you then see all types of 'changes/transitions' as containing information LeeE?
And where would you place that information?

As a interaction or as something inherent to whatever 'state' transforms, or both?
Or as placed 'outside' of the 'state(s)' transforming.
Questions and more questions:)
« Last Edit: 14/01/2009 22:09:47 by yor_on »
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Information as an abstraction for particles
« Reply #4 on: 14/01/2009 23:45:29 »
smudge   There is a branch of theory that deals with cosmology and physics in relation to information the best descriptions of it are to be found under "holographic principle" and googling that will give you lots of information
 

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Information as an abstraction for particles
« Reply #4 on: 14/01/2009 23:45:29 »

 

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