Information-Physics on the Web

Information theory applied to physical systems makes contact with lively fields that include: atom-scale microscopy, communications, complex systems, data compression, evolution of replicable codes, genetics, memetics, molecular nanotechnology, molecular recognition in biology, nano-phase material engineering, silicon science, thermal physics, and quantum computation. Related links in these areas are provided below. Suggestions for this link list are welcome here.

[new] [puzzle1] [why i-fzx] [quotes] [books] [fun] [more puzzlers] [static/dynamic links]

New: Notes on: (i) quantifying risks, (ii) thermal roots from a talk in May 2005 at UIUC, (iii) some possibly agreeable distinctions, (iv) ways to monitor correlation-based complexity, (v) science as concept-assisted observation rather than consensus, and (vi) world-view syntheses made possible by Bayesian inference. Working notes on a course for informatics collaborators, and a note on perspectives that go hand in hand. Illustration of two approaches to the ice-water invention problem, linked to an attempted review of the physical principles underlying correlation-based complexity. A note on how a wee bit of surprisal goes a long way, and recent submissions including a poster on correlation-based complexity for ICCS2004. The AAPT version of that Nov 2003 AJP article is now posted (with permission) on our CvInBits page. Here are some notes on a talk at the summer 2003 AAPT meeting in Madison WI on natural units for quantities like temperature and heat capacity in the intro physics classroom. An attempt at "minimal jargon" research highlights from our group. Major updates circa Jan 2003 to our collection of notes on IFZX for introductory physics students, and to the paper on heat capacity in bits, along with (at bottom) some worksheets on the max-ent best-guess machine as applied in this context. The Fall 2002 update of a monograph for intro-physics students on how hot works. Three abstracts and a crackerbarrel from summer 1999 in San Antonio, including outline of our talk on thermal physics and sciences involving codes, a revision of our heat capacity paper providing an information physics view of water and other systems, plus a challenge sheet on "science of the possible" calculations. Program description of the 16 Oct '98 symposium at Washington University on "The Legacy of Edwin T. Jaynes", and a web-version of our presentation there. A paper on ``heat capacity in bits'' along with some essential parts of a note on ``i-fzx for beginning-physics classes'' are now in the e-print archives at Los Alamos. Browser-readable (HTML) translations are in prep. Your comments on both the paper and note are invited. Our earlier paper on statistical inference from images (PRL 64, 1031) has now been archived at Los Alamos as well.

Elsewhere, check out the EECS/ME course for MIT freshmen on information and entropy, Serendip's developing Bryn Mawr exhibit on the essential link between life & thermodynamics, Tom Schneider's information theory resource list, and the quantum information physics page at University of New Mexico.

Note: This page is based mostly on material which has already found its way into books and even senior undergraduate physics texts, but some has not yet been through peer review although that is the eventual intent. Hence should you echo, in your own work as well as in print or on the web, a citation would be cool. {Thanks :) /pf}

Puzzler: Most people agree that the absolute zero of temperature is impossible to reach. But few know that it is possible to attain minus absolute temperatures, and thus in effect to "approach absolute zero" from the negative as well as the positive direction. Moreover, you can begin to do so with a set of dominoes in the living room of your very own home. How so? (Hint: Part of the paradox here is related to the strange way, historically, that temperature was defined.) *More*

Why ``information physics''?

The shift to an information theory view shows that thermal physics is a kind of gambling theory which uses physical principles. Such physically-informed inference may have a wider range of application than demonstrated to date, since statistical inference by itself has a strong footing already in most natural and social sciences. The full range remains undemonstrated, partly because this paradigm shift is centered in the second half of the 20th century. It cannot yet be seen with hindsight, even though it has been working its way into physics textbooks at graduate/senior-undergrad levels for years. Moving it to introductory levels is one objective of these pages. Some key elements of the shift, from the perspective of an educated lay audience, are listed below in what is hopefully not the last Server (online March '95) dedicated to Information Physics on the Web.

AnySpeed Engineering Complex ColorMath Information Physics NanoWorld Explorations Reciprocal World Silicon River StarDust in the Lab Web Puzzlers

Atomic Physics Lab Center for Molecular Electronics Center for NeuroDynamics Physics & Astronomy Scanned Tip and Electron Image Lab

Copyright (1970-95) by Phil Fraundorf, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy,
University of Missouri-StL, St. Louis MO 63121-4499
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At UM-StLouis see also: anyspeed, cme, esti-lab, progs, & wuzzlers.
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Version release date: 06 Mar 2004.

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