On the nature of information

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    That relation, whose left side is the same E as Einstein's, is the embodiment of quantum physics.

    I am aware that Einstein's Nobel was for the photoelectric effect, and also that he never won a Nobel prize for either of his theories of relativity. If he had, the second one would have needed to be shared with Hilbert and also Minkowski, Einstein's former calculus teacher. Neither of those collaborators deserved a prize for physics or math, and there is a reason those prizes are not awarded posthumously.

    What part of the previous post leads you to believe that I have somehow become more mentally unstable or have lost touch with reality? We seem to be in agreement over basic facts, but this does not mean we do not both suffer from a similar condition.

    A fact not widely appreciated is that the photoelectric effect needed to be understood in order to make television and all that followed a reality. Einstein also dabbled a bit in the technology of refrigeration (without which there would have been a lot less fresh food for us to eat while watching television in the last century). Our parents may not have survived the Great Depression without refrigeration. There would have been no ice for their ice boxes.

    That the estate of the inventor of dynamite did not see the theory of relativity as one not worthy of an award probably did not disturb Albert very much. He was credible enough with FDR for the president to take the letter from Einstein and Szilard about the dangers of Nazis making an atomic weapon first very seriously, kicking off the Manhatten Project.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Dan my issue with you is that you said the following: " You seem to be under the impression that QM somehow works without this?

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    whereas all I had said was that QM does not depend on E=mc² and, more generally, that QM for the most part does not depend on relativity.

    I find it bizarre that you seem to think E=hν somehow means QM depends on relativity. Of course E denotes energy in both equations (though in different circumstances). But the fact that both are expressions for energy in terms of other quantities obviously does not make QM reliant on relativity, as you appear (?!) to be suggesting.

    But whatever each of us said to the other, and regardless of how our statements may have been (mis)understood, can we now agree, then, that QM does not rely on relativity and relativity does not rely on QM? I do hope so.
     
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  5. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    To at least offer some direction to wander in regard to this distinction between the conventional usage of information in human society (as a generalized way of understanding particular instances of data-holding and delivery) and its hand-waving at something more substantive and fundamental to the cosmos at large:

    Christopher Gordon Timpson: ". . . a confusion between two senses of the term ‘information’ which must be distinguished: ‘information’ as a technical term which can have a legitimate place in a purely physical language [physics], and the everyday concept of information associated with knowledge, language and meaning, which is completely distinct and about which, I shall suggest, physics has nothing to say. The claim that information is physical [physics] is [can be] baffling, because the everyday concept of information is reliant on that of a person who might read or understand it, encode or decode it, and makes sense only within a framework of language and language users..." --Quantum Information Theory and The Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (2004)

    Digital physics seems to boil down to the universe either being composed of or produced by the relationships of discrete binary states that are better viewed as primal elements of an "information" process [computation] rather than matter. In terms of epistemological ancestry, there was first the quantitative realism of Pythagoreanism, then later blended in with the general objective idealism of Plato. At some point in the 20th century, the conception of pancomputationalism emerged, which then led to the genesis of John Wheeler's "it from bit":

    Wheeler: "It from bit. Otherwise put, every 'it'—every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself—derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely—even if in some contexts indirectly—from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. 'It from bit' symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom—a very deep bottom, in most instances—an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe." --Information, physics, quantum: The search for links (1990)

    Wheeler: "...it is not unreasonable to imagine that information sits at the core of physics, just as it sits at the core of a computer." --Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics (1998)

    Christopher Gordon Timpson: "There is a feeling that the advent of quantum information theory heralds a new way of doing physics and supports the view that information should play a more central role in our world picture. In its extreme form, the thought is that information is perhaps the fundamental category from which all else flows (a view with obvious affinities to idealism) and that the new task of physics is to discover and describe how this information evolves, manifests itself and can be manipulated." --Quantum Information Theory and The Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (2004)
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
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  7. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    So we see here that matter is reducible to information or 0's and 1's. And that this could mean that we live in a self-perceptual universe. That the universe is indeed self-reading and that it creates its own laws according to its own inherent mathematical language.
     
  8. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Without bound energy (matter and atomic structure), there is no need for a "quantum" theory of anything. Unbound energy is not discrete in any manner which quantum theory can describe because time is neither discrete nor does it even proceed at the same rate everywhere. Only unbound energy's interaction with bound energy (or bound energy with bound energy) is quantized in the manner described by quantum theory.
     
  9. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Nope. Those NAND gates and Flip-Flops are composed of BOUND ENERGY which can absorb and manipulate electric charges, which are also bound energy. Without bound energy, information may exist only for an instant and then propagates away, never to be seen again or remembered. To use such information, it must be captured by something that does not propagate away, and that cannot be done by anything that is not composed of bound energy.

    Your post seems more like philosophy than science, but otherwise, it's pretty insightful.

    Black holes are of course the ultimate example of the destruction of information, but even that level of information destruction is not really complete. Time dilation assures that the information will be locked from the outside for a very long time, but once the black hole evaporates, some of the information lost inside of the event horizon will be restored to the outside universe. It is really the same inside a particle of matter or an atom, except the time dilation is confined to minuscule speck of timespace.
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Well I'm not sure it is quite true that only bound states are quantised. What about rotation? The way I would put it is that states that constrain the system to some form of periodic motion (or, more correctly, what would be periodic motion if the system were classical) are quantised. That includes rotations as well as states bound by a potential of some kind.

    To say that unconstrained states are not quantised "because time is neither discrete nor does it even proceed at the same rate everywhere" is simply wrong - and adds unnecessary mystery and confusion into the bargain. The reason for lack of quantisation is simple: It is because there is no periodic motion. There is thus no requirement for the wave-particle to repeatedly retrace its path, thereby causing the wavefunction to become superimposed on itself. It is this self-superposition that leads to the necessity for a resonant (standing wave) pattern to be established, if the wavefunction is not to cancel itself out. It's just to do with how waves behave, no need for mystical mumbo- jumbo about time. That's why it was called "wave mechanics", in Schroedinger's formulation, at least.

    The fact is that, historically, quantum mechanics was developed without recourse to relativity and nothing I have ever read indicates otherwise (apart from Dirac's explanation of the Lande g factor). Its concepts are thus independent of relativity - though of course it is sometimes refined by adding in relativistic effects (e.g. explaining the colour of gold). Read here, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativistic_quantum_chemistry

    I have the feeling you are asserting some unsubstantiated notion of your own invention here, rather than making any point that is acknowledged by established science. At any rate you are contradicting the Wiki article above. Are you saying this article is wrong and if so on what grounds?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
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  11. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Evidently, rotation is part of what makes it possible for unbound energy to become bound. Even though for the most part, velocity vectors do not add in the way they do in an ideal Euclidean space the way they do in relativistic space, there is one notable exception. A velocity of +c still adds to -c to result in something that is at rest relative to energy moving at c, and basically this is the relation that allows bound energy to exist, caught somewhere in a state between a virtual and a real particle. The rotation that spontaneously results from energy being bound is evidently very isotropic, and also explains why even though neither bound nor unbound energy may propagate faster than c, it is nonetheless possible to pump as much additional kinetic energy ('relativistic mass') by pushing it along a little faster in any direction, as is done in colliders like the LHC. Doppler shifts seen in unbound energy have no practical limit, and neither does the energy that can be stored in the bound energy that is matter.

    All of this was derived here starting with the same thought experiment Einstein originally used to derive E=mc^2, and Wheeler later used to do a graphical derivation of the Lorentz covariance similar to the one done earlier by Minkowski. What isn't noted in Wheeler's derivation is that the photon bouncing between a pair of plane mirrors in a relativistic spacecraft means that the inertia of the electrons losslessly reflecting the photon between the mirrors "imparts inertia" to the photon itself. If it did not, it would not be possible to build an interferometer here on Earth and get the same null result Michaelson-Morley did. You can, and it still renders a null result, since 1905.

    This is all going to be important when physicists try to sort out how it is that the Higgs boson is able to impart inertia (bind) the energy in electrons, electroweak bosons, quarks, and their associated antiparticles, AND ALSO TO ITSELF, comprising about 2% of the combined inertia of atomic structure, and 100% of the inertia imparted temporarily to the approximately inverse square law field in the vacuum surrounding the bound energy that is matter. The rest of the inertia of atomic structure derives of color charge interactions between quarks and gluons. But since E=mc^2, it doesn't really matter whether it is the Higgs mechanism that imparts the additional inertial mass (which is 98% energy) or not. The Higgs mechanism is analogous to the nails or screws in a wood frame structure. Without a boson that has mass and imparts it (and is also bound itself by means of entanglement, to some of the energy in atomic structure), everything would fly off into 'space' (which is really only time and the propagation / rotation of quantum foam energy) at the speed of light.

    Lorentz covariance is not necessary to this model, and there is no reason to think that the universe Euclid, Pythogorus, or other greek blockhead geometers sitting at rest in a universe that never moves had in their minds is the same as the relativistic one we live in, much less anything like Minkowski or Hilbert, both non-physicists, imagined involving the Pythagorean theorem and complex numbers to express a relationship that basically doesn't exist because space doesn't. Only time, energy, and rotation exist. Bulk bound energy is mostly empty space, and that would be relativistic space "time", not something that is perfectly at rest in a universe that is 100% dynamic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    You have not shown how any of this highly questionable stuff is remotely necessary to the theory of quantum mechanics.

    And statements such as: "rotation is part of what makes it possible for unbound energy to become bound" strike me as pretty close to meaningless.
     
  13. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Then how do YOU explain the relation E=mc^2, or do you even bother to try?

    This relation is NOT like:

    Density = Mass / Volume, or
    Distance = Velocity X Time (although this one is intimately related, through the speed of light)

    Chemists work with bound energy all the time. It is not just a matter of throwing together electrons, protons and neutrons, just as putting together a proton is not like throwing together two up quarks, a down quark, and a cluster of gluons of various color charges.

    How does an electron get to be an electron, or a quark get to be a quark? The energy must be bound. Relativity and the speed of light are not the end of the story. If you expect the answers to fall out of the topology of a static Euclidean space, you will be without an answer for a very, very long number of millennia. In fact, we are in the middle of one of those right now.

    Any physics up to 2015 is still ancient greek classical physics, as far as I am concerned. Eintein had the best answer. Why did it fall by the wayside and get covered in so much bs mathematical muck? I can easily believe, that was by design, but it wasn't Einstein's.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  14. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    For the moment, I'm not really interested in regenerating all of quantum mechanics from this model. I'm trying to patch QFT so that it can accommodate the ideas of mass, inertia, AND ALSO ENTANGLEMENT in some saner manner, preferably one that does not involve bizarre static topologies and hypergeometric rotations in higher dimensional Hilbert spaces to explain what can be done with the singular dimension of infinitely subdivisible time and isotropic rotation for bound energy that is matter.

    Emmy Noether evidently understood how important energy transactions are to physics. Einstein praised her work for the genius it was. Hilbert and Minkowski are mere shadows on mathematical physics compared to the likes of Einstein and Noether.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Fine. Just don't tell people QM depends on relativity.

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  16. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    It is the QCD folks who seem to take the most umbrage over the issue of the Higgs mechanism accounting for all of gravitational inertia.

    This is because with the adjustment of 20 "free parameters" (which used to be called "fudge factors"), and about two weeks of supercomputer time to accomplish it, they claim to have "derived" the mass of the proton from first mathematical principles, and on the second or third try, were somehow able to arrive at a figure that was 98% of that mass, but apparently still had some issue with the "spin". There are a few reasons I can think of, this should not have impressed anyone who can find an experimental answer for the mass of a proton with a collider and a supercomputer in about two or three zeptoseconds, and a lot less perspiration over the details of the calculation.

    String theory seems to be able to provide basically any answer you wish to any such inquiry, like a finite life for a proton. Only that usually doesn't correspond to experimental reality either.

    Can anyone here now guess why that might be the case?

    Of all of QM, QED still works best, but a promising avenue of research called Stochastic Electro Dynamics was abandoned early on by Feynman for no good reason I can see. The Higgs mechanism, if taken more seriously, would have eventually resolved most of those issues.
     
  17. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    George Zweig should have been the father of QCD, but Gell-Mann knew how to game Feynman.

    If Murray had really known what he was doing, he would have predicted pentaquarks.
     
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Are you not making it unnecessarily complicated? Information (in the abstract) has no mass but it is stored in neurons which do have mass.
    http://nursinglink.monster.com/training/articles/506-the-life-and-death-of-a-neuron

    If nformation increases brain-mass could it be that storing information creates new brain tissue. Unlike a HD on a computer it is not limited in capacity to store information. If I understand it, *neurons* are constantly being created, especially when receiving *new* information. Thus the brain, while confined by the skull, grow new neurons and they do have mass.

    Would it not follow that the information itself has no mass but the expanding neural network within the brain adds mass?
     
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    This may be of interest. It is an entire video series with David Eagleman.
    http://eagleman.com/

    The link here is related to the *mirror function* of the brain, which IMO, is an area of the brain that can explain a lot of human behavior patterns,

    . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_jWeBNUR0Y&list=PLzkQfVIJun2KAMnYl6i0vnM91zm9Z-A8T
     
  20. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Ways to store information, and electrochemical is only one, is not even close to being the subject of the OP. The nature of information is about the nature of information itself,; what it IS, not where or how it is squirreled away.

    Only a tiny fraction of the information in the torrents of the stuff assaulting our sensory apparatus ever gets stored in grey matter. There are better and more compact ways of storing information in ways everyone could agree is more faithful to reproducing a facsimile of the original stimulus. The function of the brain is to process information and to organize and store portions of sensory inputs that may or may not be important to survival. Nothing more, other than to dream, which is random replay of older information in a new or confused or randomized theme, usually.
     
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    It was in response to the claim og brain mass increse. That is why I posted the original quote. Please take it in context.

    In direct response to the OP question, IMO (as layman) The exchange of information occurs during the time the Implicate becomes expressed as the Explicate. A dynamic interaction between different energetic values producing an image which can be observed by organisms so equipped..

    Consider that a *mirage* is just a distorted reflection of a real thing. Sometimes clearly visible, but upside down.
     
  22. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Information, as far as we are concerned, may simply be defined as the transfer of energy that is associated with some sort of order. Order may be defined as originals and copies of random or ordered arrangements of physical, chemical, or numerical data in any radix or encryption, encoding and/or compressed or represented in any dialect, or ordered or random arrangements of energy in any portion of the electromagnetic, acoustic, or gravitational spectra, on any scale or orientation.

    A complete absence of information is also information. It's nature's way of telling you that you are deprived of neurosensory input. If the condition persists for very long, it is likely that you are sedated, in a coma, or brain dead. You may or may not remember any information pertaining to such a situation,what caused it, how long it persisted, or whether you ever fully recover from such a condition.

    Human beings are perpetually in a state closer to that described in the second paragraph than anything that is close to complete or comprehensive information about anything.

    That should be pretty close to a 99.999% complete definition of information. What, if anything, have I left out?
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  23. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    The bit about "transfer of energy" seems wrong to me. No transfer of energy is necessarily associated with information, unless the information is being transmitted in some way, surely? For example, a book contains information, whereas no transfer of energy occurs until it is opened and read.
     

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