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What is Information

  1. Dec 27, 2014 #1
    I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but I saw an article today about how some people managed to stop light and using it to store information. After I read this i realized for as much as we hear about information being sent places, what is it? What actually is information?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2014 #2


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  4. Dec 27, 2014 #3
    Surely the definition of information depends upon which sphere of science, engineering or society one is currently engaged in. The numerous arguments (and I do mean arguments as hostile exchanges, not as a synonym for debate) I have observed have arisen because the context for discussion of information had not been defined at the outset.
  5. Dec 28, 2014 #4
    I don't have much to add, but the idea of the 'nat' interests me - a natural information representation as an alternative to binary. What does having a transcendental-based number system even mean?

    "The base e is the most economical choice of radix β > 1 (Hayes 2001), where the radix economy is measured as the product of the radix and the length of the string of symbols needed to express a given range of values."
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  6. Dec 28, 2014 #5

    Doug Huffman

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    I just happen to have an interesting and apropos quote from my notes on Leonardo Susskind's Holographic Principle lecture. Almost all information in the universe exists in blackholes.

    His argument might be, bits are indestructible and information is forever (his First Principle of Physics). The only mechanism for 'loss' (scare-quotes) is getting stuck in a blackhole.
  7. Dec 28, 2014 #6
    Reminds me of an idea for far-future lifeforms I read on the internet once - namely, and uploading of all human consciousness into some small space structure, and having that space structure orbit closely to a black hole, thereby (through some mechanism I'm not familiar with), be able to view light from the universe in ridiculous clarity and resolution.

    Is it also the case that almost all energy exists in blackholes?
  8. Dec 28, 2014 #7


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    This might be good time to remind everyone of the Physics Forums rule about discussions being backed by mainstream science.

    This thread is closed.
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