10. Physics from Fisher Information.
Motivation: Can the equations of physics be derived from information-theoretic
principles?
I. Fisher Information.
Task: To obtain a measure of the accuracy of estimated values of a
measureable quantity.
Set-up:
Let =

09. Quantum Information Theory, Part II.
I. Quantum Computation.
General Goal: To use the inaccessible arbitrarily large amount of information
encoded in qubits to perform computations in "quantum parallel" (i.e., in
record time!).
Initial (modest) Goal

08. Quantum Information Theory, Part I.
I. Qubits.
1. C-bits vs. Qubits
Classical Information Theory
C-bit = a state of a classical 2-state system: either "0" or "1".
Physical examples:
The state of a mechanical on/off switch.
The state of an electroni

06. Malament-Hogarth Spacetimes and Non-Turing
Computability
1. Supertasks.
Recall: The decision problem for 1st-order arithmetic is Turing unsolvable.
Which means: No TM that halts after a finite number of steps can determine
if a given statement in ar

05. Turing Machines and Spacetime.
II. Classical and Relativistic Spacetimes.
Motivation: Turing solvable problems require a TM to halt after a finite
number of steps with a given output.
What if we allow TMs to perform an infinite number of steps?
Then

05. Turing Machines and Spacetime.
I. Turing Machines and Classical Computability.
1. Turing Machines
Alan Turing
A Turing machine (TM) consists of (Turing 1936):
1. An unbounded tape. Divided into squares, each square containing a
symbol from a finite a

04. Information and Maxwell's Demon.
I. Dilemma for Information-Theoretic Exorcisms.
Two Options:
(S) (Sound). The combination of object system and demon forms a
canonical thermal system.
(P) (Profound). The combination of object system and demon does not

03. Boltzmann Entropy, Gibbs Entropy, Shannon Information.
I. Entropy in Statistical Mechanics.
Goal: To explain the behavior of macroscopic systems in terms of the
dynamical laws governing their microscopic consituents.
In particular: To provide a micr

02. Entropy and Maxwell's Demon
I. Clausius' Inequality and Thermodynamic Entropy.
! 1854. "On a modified form of the second fundamental theorem in the mechanical theory of heat".
! 1865. The Mechanical Theory of Heat.
Clausius' "Fundamental Principle" (

01. Heat Engines & Second Law
I. Carnot and Heat Engines
Carnot, S. (1824) "Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire".
Idea: Treat heat in analogy with water as a substance that
produces mechanical effect (work) when it "falls" from a hot
place to a cold

PL3263 - Physics, Information, and Computation
Topics for Paper #1. Due Tues March 4.
Instructions:
(a) Choose one of the following topics and respond to it in an essay of no less than 5 pages and no more than 7
pages. Your essay should be typed, 10- or 1

PL 3263 - Physics, Information and Computation
Assignment #3. Due Thurs March 6
1.
How can the Shannon entropy be understood as a measure of the maximum amount a message
can be compressed?
2.
Why does a copying operation cost no entropy?
3.
Translate the

PL 3263 - Physics, Information and Computation
Assignment #2. Due Thurs Feb 20
1.
Explain in your own words what thermodynamic entropy is (i.e., the notion of entropy that
appears in thermodynamics), and how it relates to the Clausius and/or Thompson vers

PL 3263 - Physics, Information and Computation
Assignment #1.
1.
What does the 1st Law of Thermodynamics entail about the relation between Qin, Qout, and W
for a heat engine?
2.
Show that, if Clausius' version of the 2nd Law if false, so is Thompson's (i.