Large Grants
    - Introduction
    - Awardees
Mini-Grants
    - Introduction
    - Winners
 
Previous Programs

2016 Physics of the Observer
2016 Awardees

2015 The Physics of What Happens
2015 Awardees

2013 Physics of Information
2013 Awardees

2010 The Nature of Time
2010 Awardees

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
2008 Awardees

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
2006 Awardees

David Wolpert
Santa Fe Institute

Project Title

A Semantic Information-Theory Model of Reality

Project Summary

Ever since Wheeler discussed 'it from bit', there has been great interest in whether the ultimate nature of reality can be formulated in purely information-theoretic terms, and what insights such a formulation would provide, e.g., as a priori restrictions on the nature of reality. The mathematics of inference devices (ID's) - mathematical abstractions of any physical device that can be used for observation, prediction, or control - provides such an information theory. Already ID theory has provided a non-quantum-mechanical 'uncertainty principle' that restricts the possible nature of reality. This suggests that we formalize reality as the information that a set of ID's have about one another and about other physical variables. A challenge with this approach is that the definition of ID's is too weak to fully capture the concept of semantic information, and contains no notion of distance. I propose to introduce extra structure into ID theory to overcome both of these shortcomings. This extension to ID theory may allow us to capture all testable aspects of physical reality in terms of ID theory, and the mathematics of this extended ID theory should provide very powerful a priori restrictions on the nature of reality.



Back to List of Awardees  
Please enter your e-mail address:

And select the letter between 'A' and 'C':


Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.