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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