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VWN Product Review: Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information

Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information
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By Vlatko Vedral
Produced By Oxford University Press
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Decoding Reality is very much a Simulation Argument book. In its pages, physicist Vlatko Vedral argues that we should regard the entire universe as a gigantic quantum computer.

This work is closely interrelated to the work of Nick Bostrom, and of MIT researcher Seth Lloyd. The latter?s book ?Programming the Universe? is recommended for further reading on this one.

Vlatko considers some of the deepest questions about the Universe and considers the implications of interpreting it in terms of information. He explains the nature of information, the idea of entropy, and the roots of this thinking in thermodynamics.

He describes the bizarre effects of quantum behaviour - effects such as 'entanglement', which Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance' and explores cutting edge work on the harnessing quantum effects in hyperfast quantum computers, and how recent evidence suggests that the weirdness of the quantum world, once thought limited to the tiniest scales, may reach into the macro world.

Like any computer system, the Universe and its workings are the ebb and flow of information. We are all transient patterns of information, passing on the recipe for our basic forms to future generations using a four-letter digital code called DNA.

Vedral finishes by considering the answer to the ultimate question: where did all of the information in the Universe come from? The answers he considers challenge our concept of the nature of particles, of time, of determinism, and of reality itself.

Further Reading

Resource List: The Simulation Argument
This resource list houses links to all simulation argument resources housed on this site, or linked in from elsewhere. Its purpose is to aid and simplify your research.

Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos

Essentially this volume is one MIT quantum physicist's contention that the universe itself is one big quantum computer producing what we see around us, and ourselves, as it runs a cosmic program.

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