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Decoding the Universe by Seife - Science or speculation?

  1. Jun 3, 2006 #1
    "Decoding the Universe" by Seife - Science or speculation?

    I came across this in my local Barnes and Nobles, and didn't know what to make of it. Any thoughts on whether this book is within the realm of real science, or does it rely too much on speculation? Any thoughts?

    "Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, from Our Brains to Black Holes" by Charles Seife.

    The publisher states:

    "As Charles Seife reveals in this energetic new book, information theory, once the province of philosophers and linguists, has emerged as the crucial science of our time, shedding new light on the mysteries of physics, the nature of space and time and the creation and destruction of the universe itself. With his gift for making cutting-edge science accessible and entertaining, Seife explains how theorists came to understand that information is not a construct of the mind but a fundamental element of the physical world, something that sits inside every living cell and surrounds every black hole in the cosmos. It exists, like energy, even if there is no life to observe it. Starting with the breaking of the Enigma code during World War II and building momentum with the computer revolution, information theory has taken its place at the forefront of theoretical physics as scientists begin to use it to reconcile the paradoxes of relativity and quantum mechanics that have puzzled theorists since Einstein. Lucid and exhilarating, Decoding the Universe probes the mind-boggling advances that are taking us to the brink of a new understanding of the universe."

    About the Author: Charles Seife, a journalist with Science magazine, has also written for New Scientist, Scientific American, The Economist, Wired UK, and The Sciences, among many other publications. His previous titles include Alpha & Omega and Zero. He received an MS in probability theory and artificial intelligence from Yale.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2006 #2
    The description above seems legit. Especially among the Quantum Information people, it's become fashionable to think of information as a very fundamental physical concept, one that is not really well understood. Seth Lloyd recently published a popular book on this theme, on the benefits of considering the universe as a single quantum computer.

    edit: There are reviews at amazon - ironically, it's grouped together with Seth's book! What a coincidence!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2006
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