Short works

Books : reviews

Wojciech H. Zurek, ed.
Complexity, Entropy and the Physics of Information.
Addison Wesley. 1990

Thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, the quantum theory of measurement, the physics of computation and many of the issues of the theory of dynamical systems, molecular biology, genetics, and computer science share information as a common theme. This proceedings volume explores the connections among quantum and classical physics, information and its transfer, and computation, and the significance of these connections for the formulation of physical theories. It also considers the origins and evolution of the information-processing entities, their complexity, and the manner in which they analyze their perceptions to form models of the Universe.

Based on a meeting held in Santa Fe, New Mexico sponsored by the Santa Fe Institute, this book will appeal to anyone interested in the connections among physical laws, the theory of computation and complexity, and the role played by information and its transfer in the Universe.

The papers are gathered under the following headings: • Physics of Information • Laws of Physics and Laws of Computation • Complexity and Evolution • Physics of Computation • Probability, Entropy, and Quantum • Physics of Information • Quantum Theory and Measurement


Complexity, Entropy and the Physics of Information---a Manifesto. 1990
John Archibald Wheeler. Information, Physics, Quantum: The Search for Links. 1989
Benjamin Schumacher. Information from Quantum Measurements. 1990
William K. Wootters. Local Accessibility of Quantum States. 1990
V. F. Mukhanov. The Entropy of Black Holes. 1990
Shin Takagi. Some Simple Consequences of the Loss of Information in a Spacetime with a Horizon. 1990
Paul C. W. Davies. Why is the Physical World so Comprehensible?. 1990
Algorithmic Information Content, Church-Turing Thesis, Physical Entropy, and Maxwell's Demon. 1990
Carlton M. Caves. Entropy and Information: How Much Information is Needed to Assign a Probability?. 1990
J. Rissanen. Complexity of Models. 1990
C. H. Woo. Laws and Boundary Conditions. 1990
Charles H. Bennett. How to define complexity in physics, and why. 1990
Stuart A. Kauffman. Requirements for Evolvability in Complex Systems: Orderly Dynamics and Frozen Components. 1990
Seth Lloyd. Valuable Information. 1990
Dilip K. Kondepudi. Non-Equilibrium Polymers, Entropy, and Algorithmic Information. 1990
Tad Hogg. The Dynamics of Complex Computational Systems. 1990
James P. Crutchfield, Karl Young. Computation at the Onset of Chaos. 1990
Norman H. Margolus. Parallel quantum computation. 1990
W. G. Teich, G. Mahler. Information Processing at the Molecular Level: Possible Realizations and Physical Constraints. 1990
Tommaso Toffoli. How Cheap Can Mechanics' First Principles Be?. 1990
Xiao-Jing Wang. Intermittent Fluctuations and Complexity. 1990
A. Zee. Information Processing in Visual Perception. 1990
Asher Peres. Thermodynamic Constraints on Quantum Axioms. 1990
M. Hossein Partovi. Entropy and Quantum Mechanics. 1990
Otto E. Rossler. Einstein Completion of Quantum Mechanics Made Falsifiable. 1990
J. W. Barrett. Quantum Mechanics and Algorithmic Complexity. 1990
E. T. Jaynes. Probability in Quantum Theory. 1990
H. Dieter Zeh. Quantum Measurements and Entropy. 1990
Murray Gell-Mann, James B. Hartle. Quantum Mechanics in the Light of Quantum Cosmology. 1990
Jonathan J. Halliwell. Information Dissipation in Quantum Cosmology and the Emergence of Classical Spacetime. 1990
David Z. Albert. The Quantum Mechanics of Self-Measurement. 1990
L. A. Khalfin. The Quantum-Classical Correspondence in Light of Classical Bell's and Quantum Tsirelson's Inequalities. 1990
Roland Omnes. Some Progress in Measurement Theory: The Logical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. 1990

Jonathan J. Halliwell, Juan Pérez-Mercader, Wojciech H. Zurek.
Physical Origins of Time Asymmetry.
CUP. 1994

In the world about us, the past is distinctly different from the future. More precisely, we say that the processes going on in the world about us are asymmetric in time, or display an arrow of time. Yet this manifest fact of our experience is particularly difficult to explain in terms of the fundamental laws of physics. Newton’s laws, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, Einstein’s theory of gravity, etc., make no distinction between past and future – they are time-symmetric.

Reconciliation of these profoundly conflicting facts is the topic of this volume. It is an interdisciplinary survey of the variety of interconnected phenomena defining arrows of time, and their possible explanations in terms of underlying time-symmetric laws of physics.