The Physics of Information

This conference will bring together leading researchers from across a wide range of fields within physics and cosmology, as well as philosophy, mathematics, computer science, complex systems, biology, and neuroscience. The participants will discuss interrelated foundational questions related to the physics of information, such as:

What IS information? What is its relation to “Reality”?
  • What sorts of information are definable and useful? What are the relations between them?

  • What is the physical foundation of information? Are information and reality two sides of the same coin?

  • Is some information principle prior to (or more fundamental than) the laws of physics? Or, are the laws of physics necessary to have information processing?

  • Is information an emergent feature of the deeper laws and structure of the world, or is the macroscopic world emergent from information?

How does nature (the universe and things therein) “store” and “process” information?
  • Are there fundamental limits to information storage and processing?

  • What new perspectives can quantum information storage and processing give us?

  • What is the connection between information and probability?

  • How is nature shaped and transformed by processing information? How do physical, chemical, biological, or “mental” systems process information?

  • In isolated systems, is the total “amount” of information always preserved? Or is there a Second Law of information? If so, how does this law relate to the Second Law of thermodynamics?

How does understanding information help us understand physics, and vice-versa?
  • Is information “discrete”? How does a continuous or discrete description of a physical system relate to its information content and processing? Can information theory shed light on open “discrete” questions such as the nature of space?

  • What can information tell us about foundational questions in quantum mechanics, such as the true status of the wavefunction, or what exactly defines a quantum system?

  • What is the relationship between information and statistical and thermodynamic entropy? Can information tell us about the relationship between these entropies?

  • Is there a role for information physics in the study of quantum gravity? What might information-theoretic reasoning reveal about black holes, the universe before the Big Bang, or physics at the Planck scale?