Oct 24, 2021

Physicist Quantifies Amount of Information in Entire Visible Universe

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Estimate measures information encoded in particles, opens door to practical experiments.

Researchers have long suspected a connection between information and the physical universe, with various paradoxes and thought experiments used to explore how or why information could be encoded in physical matter. The digital age propelled this field of study, suggesting that solving these research questions could have tangible applications across multiple branches of physics and computing.

In AIP Advances, from AIP Publishing, a University of Portsmouth researcher attempts to shed light on exactly how much of this information is out there and presents a numerical estimate for the amount of encoded information in all the visible matter in the universe — approximately 6 times 10 to the power of 80 bits of information. While not the first estimate of its kind, this study’s approach relies on information theory.

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