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Nautilus mag: Physicists can take heart from quantum information theory

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Physicists can take heart from quantum information theory. When quantum mechanics was first formulated, it seemed that physics had lost something. To classical physicists, it was as though the beautiful clockwork universe of Galileo and Newton had been shrouded with a cloud of indeterminacy. But quantum information has been the joyful discovery that quantum mechanics is not only a theory of limits, but also a theory of new opportunities, such as secure quantum cryptography and super-fast quantum computers. From this angle, quantum theory does not look any longer like “physics with something less,” but instead like “information theory with something more.” That “something more” is provided—we believe—by the Purification Principle, which lets us harness randomness in ways that were undreamt of in the classical world of Galileo and Newton.

The entire issue is on information, a subject of considerable interest to us.

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2 Replies to “Nautilus mag: Physicists can take heart from quantum information theory

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    ‘Is Information, Not Matter, the Foundation of Life?
    by Denyse O’Leary’

    That very question is unbelievably exciting, it seems to me, in that knowledge leads directly to personhood, and personhood to spirit/mind/consciousness… the primordial reality.

    For what it’s worth, I tried to post this to your blog, as well, Denyse, but for some reason, the button remained frozen.

  2. 2
    timothya says:

    I have a question. In the underlying article, Giulio Chiribella says this:

    “Entanglement has many potential applications. For example, it guarantees that some correlations are intrinsically private. Imagine that system A is in a mixed state, while the composite system AB is in a pure state.”

    Can someone explain how a “mixed state” entity (A), when combined with another entity (B, which is in an undefined state), can yield a combined entity (AB) which is in a “pure state”. Where did the “mixed state” information go? What transformation was involved?

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