Large Grants
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Previous Programs

2018 Agency in the Physical World
Awardees; RFP download

2016 Physics of the Observer
Awardees; RFP download

2015 The Physics of What Happens
Awardees; RFP download

2013 Physics of Information
Awardees; RFP download

2010 The Nature of Time
Awardees; RFP download

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

Adrian Kent
University of Cambridge

Project Title

Information Theoretic Characterization of Quantum Reality

Project Summary

Quantum theory is the deepest and most successful theory of nature that we have, and yet it raises profound puzzles. It lets us calculate the outcomes of experiments, with great success, but gives no clear description or understanding of the nature of the physical world that we observe and are part of. One view is that quantum theory should ultimately be understood as describing the information physical systems in the world (for instance, agents like us) have or might have about other physical systems. Another is that quantum theory - or maybe more likely, quantum theory with some extra mathematical ingredients - describes an observer-independent objective physical reality. Both of these views have led to significant discoveries and insights about quantum theory. The aim of this project is to explore ways of combining these seemingly conflicting ideas, by finding a new observer-independent description of objective physical reality that can most naturally be understood in information-theoretic terms and that is demonstrably consistent with experiments and astronomical observations. To sloganize: neither It from Bit, nor Bit from It - rather Bit is It!

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