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information theory

Jessica Flack

How Nature Solves Problems Through Computation

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

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

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

Abstractions blog

How to Use a Sphere to Talk to Mars

To avoid garbled messages, mathematicians might translate them into geometric form.

Illustration: life as a computation efficiently storing & using predictive info
information theory

How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder

Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules. But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics.


The Information Theory of Life

The polymath Christoph Adami is investigating life’s origins by reimagining life as self-perpetuating information strings.


The Thermodynamic Theory of Ecology

Nature’s large-scale patterns emerge from incomplete surveys that borrow ideas from information theory.

Photograph of Saturn and its moons.

A New Tool to Help Mathematicians Pack

Improvements in how densely spheres and other shapes can be packed together could lead to advances in materials science, deep space communication and theoretical physics.