Decoding Reality

Decoding Reality : The Universe as Quantum Information

3.78 (499 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

For a physicist, all the world is information. 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.

In this engaging and mind-stretching account, Vlatko Vedral 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 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.

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 are exhilarating, drawing upon the work of distinguished physicist John Wheeler. The ideas challenge our concept of the nature of particles, of time, of determinism, and of reality itself.

This edition includes a new foreword from the author, reflecting on changes in the world of quantum information since first publication.

Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 15mm | 190g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198815433
  • 9780198815433
  • 88,471

Table of contents

Prologue 1: Creation Ex Nihilo: Something from Nothing 2: Information for all SeasonsPart One 3: Back to Basics: Bits and Pieces 4: Digital Romance: Life is a Four-Letter Word 5: Murphy's Law: I Knew this Would Happen to Me 6: Place Your Bets: In It to Win It 7: Social Informatics: Get Connected or Die Tryin'Part Two 8: Quantum Schmuntum: Lights, Camera, Action! 9: Surfing the Waves: Hyper-Fast Computers 10: Children of the Aimless Chance: Randomness versus DeterminismPart Three 11: Sand Reckoning: Whose Information is It, Anyway? 12: Destruction ab Toto: Nothing from Something Epilogue Notes Index
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Review Text

By turns irreverent, erudite and funny, Decoding Reality is - by the standard of books that require their readers to know what a logarithm is - a ripping good read...Not since David Deutsch's magestierial 'The Fabric of Reality' has a physicist given us such a wide-ranging and intriguing picture of how quantum mechanics constructs the world. Seth Lloyd, New Scientist
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Review quote

By turns irreverent, erudite and funny, Decoding Reality is - by the standard of books that require their readers to know what a logarithm is - a ripping good read...Not since David Deutsch's magestierial 'The Fabric of Reality' has a physicist given us such a wide-ranging and intriguing picture of how quantum mechanics constructs the world. * Seth Lloyd, New Scientist * Well written and engaging, the book provides a constant flow of new ideas. * Science * The author evinces great enthusiasm and curiosity throughout. * Steven Poole, The Guardian * By turns irreverent, erudite and funny, Decoding Reality is...a ripping good read. * Seth Lloyd, New Scientist * A wide-ranging and intriguing picture of how quantum mechanics constructs the world. * Seth Lloyd, New Scientist * Excellent, thought-provoking book. * BBC Focus Magazine, Marcus Chown * An engaging, non-technical exploration of what the new theory of quantum information and computation tells us about life, the universe, and everything. * David Deutsch, author of The Fabric of Reality * Let Vedral guide you skilfully through the wonderland of modern physics - where nothing is as it seems. This is the finest treatment I have read of the weird interplay of quantum reality, information and probability. * Paul Davies, author of The Eerie Silence and The Goldilocks Enigma * Vedral's book goes to dizzying heights in answering the very big question: can one understand all of reality from a scientific point of view? * Sheldon Richmond, Science and Education *
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About Vlatko Vedral

Vlatko Vedral studied undergraduate theoretical physics at Imperial College London, where he also received a PhD for his work on 'Quantum Information Theory of Entanglement'. Since June 2009, Vedral has held the position of Professor of Quantum Information Science at the University of Oxford. He also holds a professorship in Physics at the National University of Singapore. Throughout his career he has held a number of visiting professorships at different
international institutions. He has published more than 170 research papers and has written two undergraduate textbooks. He has frequently written for popular science journals and major daily newspapers, as well as having done extensive radio programmes and television interviews.
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Rating details

499 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 30% (150)
4 32% (162)
3 26% (128)
2 9% (46)
1 3% (13)
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