Information Physics
"It from bit."
- John Archibald Wheeler, Old Earth physicist

The Information Age was dominated by the attempts to formulate a Grand Unified Theory (GUT), constantly frustrated by the apparent inability to create a theory that included all known forces. The standard models were revised again and again, but always shown to contain tiny but measurable anomalies. Over time a paradigm of information physics replaced the previous "mechanical" view of fundamental physics: the universe consisted of information and interactions rather than matter-energy and fields.

Using this formalism, the search for the GUT could be extended enormously, thermodynamics and complexity theory were united with fundamental physics (as seen in the works of Howani 2082 c.e./113 AT, and Kazan-Glass 2133 c.e./163 AT) and the underpinnings of entropy management necessary for large-scale nanotech were discovered. This proved enormously fruitful to theoretical physics, but practical applications were lacking and in the increasingly matter-of-fact culture dominated by applied science and the exploitation of the already more than revolutionary results of 1st century physics, the field slowly declined. By the 4th century, theoretical physics was mainly a pastime for AI aesthetes.

During the renaissance the Federation of Sophonts provided to all branches of knowledge, interest in applying information physics blossomed, and thanks to the now mature nanotechnology it proved feasible to employ it in a variety of applications. The result was "photonanotech", although a more proper name would be quantum nanotechnology. It employed photonics, wave-properties of atoms, sculpted wave functions and quantum computation, extending the power of nanomachines and nanocomputation significantly.

Although photonanotech was not a conceptual breakthrough it encouraged and enabled more theoretical physics. During the middle federation era much effort went into the study of the properties of vacuum and how to control nuclear matter, and ongoing vacuum research produced some surprising developments.

  • Bekenstein Bound  - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhumanist Terminology
    The upper bound of the amount of information inside a spherical region with a given energy. Information in this context is to be understood as distinguishable (quantum) states. Due to the uncertainty relations it is possible to derive a bound of the form
  • Bremermann's Limit  - Text by Mike Parisi
    The maximum limit allowed for computation under the laws of physics.
  • Chronology Protection - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The universe seems to counteract attempts to produce time machines, for example due to Visser decay and related vacuum phenomena undermining other forms of time communication. Although the strict Chronology Protection Conjecture by the information age physicist Hawking was subsequently disproved, the chronology protection theorems of Lang, Picard and Joel-5 showed that this tendency can be explained from the consistency theorems, information physics and (eventually) vacuum physics.
  • Consistency Theorems - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The Novikov consistency principle states that the probability of a series of events leading to an inconsistent or paradoxical physical state (such as travelling back in time and killing ones grandfather before one's father was born) is zero. The consistency theorems of Wu, Lang, and Bauger proved this principle within the framework of information physics.
  • Cybernetics  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
    In popular usage, the study of the creation of cyborgs through the use of dryware/hylotech such as mechanical, electronic, and bionic implants, augments, and neuroprostheses. In technical usage, the study of communication and control systems based on regulatory feedback, with application in a number of fields such as sociology, memetics, biology, engineering, artificial intelligence, and information theory.
  • Extropy - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhumanist Terminology
    A measure of intelligence, information, energy, life, experience, diversity, opportunity, and growth. The collection of forces which oppose entropy. See also Negentropism
  • Goal Architecture  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A goal is the purpose, aim or desired result that an active entity (or group of entities) envisions, models, plans and commits to achieve.
  • Information - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A sequence of data that is meaningful in a process, such as the DNA code of an organism or the bits in a computer program. Information is the opposite of noise.
  • Information Storage  - Text by Johnny Yesterday
    Mass data storage and retrieval
  • Order - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Information that fits a purpose, or is in some way teleological. In the evolution of life-forms, of memes, and of wild bionano the purpose is to survive and replicate; in an evolutionary algorithm or an ISOgenic sentient algorithm or aioid, the purpose is to solve the problem, or create an elegant or pleasing solution. More information or complexity or a higher toposophic grade does not necessarily result in a better fit, since a superior solution may require either more or less information, complexity, and toposophy. Evolution indicates however that the general trend toward greater order does generally result in greater complexity. Some archailect empires, such as the Negentropy Alliance and the Caretaker Gods, are, in different ways, greatly concerned that order be preserved and conserved.
  • Plasma Processor  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Godtech level computronium node that uses high energy plasma and magmatter to perform computations and store data.
  • Temporal Physics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The study of the physics of time. Includes theoretical studies on the nature of time, relativity research, and wormhole time gradients in general, closed timeline curves, and more theoretical and speculative studies in phenomena such as reverse causation, time stream and worldline branching that have not been observed or are believed to be impossible in the known universe.
  • Toposophic Mindmaps  - Text by Worldtree
    One of the many ways that toposophic phase space can be represented is the Mindmap diagram.
  • Weak Eigenspace Hunters  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Profession in complexity management.
Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg

Initially published on 25 February 2001.

Additional Information