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information theory

Black and white photo of Claude Shannon in front of a computer
Quantized Columns

How Claude Shannon Invented the Future

December 22, 2020

Today’s information age is only possible thanks to the groundbreaking work of a lone genius.

Side-by-side images of a rabbit, bees in a hive, and a tornado.
information theory

What Is an Individual? Biology Seeks Clues in Information Theory.

July 16, 2020

To recognize strange extraterrestrial life and solve biological mysteries on this planet, scientists are searching for an objective definition for life’s basic units.

Art for "A New Approach to Multiplication Opens the Door to Better Quantum Computers"
Abstractions blog

A New Approach to Multiplication Opens the Door to Better Quantum Computers

April 24, 2019

Quantum computers can’t selectively forget information. A new algorithm for multiplication shows a way around that problem.

Art for "The Math That Tells Cells What They Are"
mathematical biology

The Math That Tells Cells What They Are

March 13, 2019

During development, cells seem to decode their fate through optimal information processing, which could hint at a more general principle of life.

Art for "Milestone Experiment Proves Quantum Communication Really Is Faster"
quantum computing

Milestone Experiment Proves Quantum Communication Really Is Faster

December 19, 2018

In a Paris lab, researchers have shown for the first time that quantum methods of transmitting information are superior to classical ones.

Art for "Biology and Computer Science Explore Algorithmic Evolution"
mathematical biology

Mathematical Simplicity May Drive Evolution’s Speed

November 29, 2018

Some researchers are using a complexity framework thought to be purely theoretical to understand evolutionary dynamics in biological and computational systems.

Jessica Flack

How Nature Solves Problems Through Computation

July 6, 2017

The evolutionary biologist Jessica Flack seeks the computational rules that groups of organisms use to solve problems.

Man emerging from particals climbing monolith

A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts

June 1, 2017

New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future than do the sum of their microscopic components.

information theory

The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution

May 2, 2017

As physicists extend the 19th-century laws of thermodynamics to the quantum realm, they’re rewriting the relationships among energy, entropy and information.