Quantum Physics #3

By the-cosmic-engine 13/03/2012 17

The meaning of information loss

Ralf Landauer demonstrated that if an operation is information reversible, that is, in a logic gate the output can be inferred from the input and the input can be inferred from the output (see earlier Quantum Physcis #2) , then because information is not destroyed no heat is emitted from the device. If a system doesn’t lose information then it doesn’t interact with the environment. Systems, when they are quantum do not exchange energy with environment, that is, they do not release information. This is the same as saying that they are not “measured” by the environment. In the early days of modern quantum physics (if you get my meaning), it was inferred that measurement required the presence of a human or a human made device. This of course isn’t true. Whether humans are present or not doesn’t matter. To briefly explore this issue more I want to give a few paragraphs on the meaning of information.

Seth Lloyd of MIT notes: “all physical systems are computers: rocks process information: every electron, photon, elementary particle stores bits of data. Every time two particles interact the bits are transformed, physical existence and information contents are inextricably linked”.

The way to convert a container full of steam into one of ice is allow the container to lose heat. By doing so it loses information.  A container of ice is a much simpler system than one of steam. David Deutsch of Oxford University says that an information rich system is one that would require a much bigger computer program to simulate, than an information poor system. If I was asked to program a computer to precisely simulate the contents of the container, the water present as ice would a much simpler system and hence would require a much shorter program to simulate it than the same container and the same water in the form of steam. The information difference has been lost as heat, just as Ralf Landauer’s principle identified.

Profoundly, Sean Carrol of Caltech, defines information in the following way: “processing information allows us to extract useful work from a system in ways that would have otherwise been impossible”. As a thermodynamicist, this hits the bullseye for me.

If you agree with the above argument then hold tight (can you wait?- OK maybe you can) for the next installment. If you agree or disagree with the line of thought so far, it would be great to hear from you. Establishing these ground rules, I can progress onto more controversial issues.

17 Responses to “Quantum Physics #3”

  • “Systems, when they are quantum do not exchange energy with environment, that is, they do not release information”…. Well that doesn’t explain energy from the vacuum and broken symmetry, very well or Zero point energy. I agree to disagree that is science straight from JPMorgan and Mr Westinghouse oh yes and denial of the aethear.

    • Electrickiwi, thank you for your comments. I’ve been out in the wilds of Otago for the last week and not in communication but have now returned to the daily grind. I have answers to your questions, which are fair questions and will get back with them as soon as I’ve dusted the dust from my boots.

    • Electrickiwi, brace yourself, a lot of info coming at you in this.

      Energy exchange and the energy of a vacuum.
      There is no such thing as a vacuum in this Universe. The so called vacuum is actually made of something. The “stuff” of the vacuum is blandly called space-time. This fundamental stuff of our Universe is actually undetectable because our Universe has a limit to what it can detect. The key property in detection, whether it be a ship detecting a submarine in the ocean or me seeing a bird in the sky, is called its “action”. The action is the amount of energy in the signal multiplied by the time that energy exists. The smallest action detectable by this Universe is called the reduced Planck’s constant and is given by h/2pi. The vacuum is a seething ocean of energy (for reasons no one knows) but if the product of any wave peak multiplied by the time it is present is less than h/2pi then as far as our Universe is concerned it doesn’t exist. A reason for this is that anything that has an action less than this would have to be travelling faster than the speed of light.
      Even if an action greater than h/2pi is generated, that doesn’t mean it will be detected. The environment must contain matter that is capable of forcing the energy peak to generate work – the ship may be there in the ocean but the submarine’s sonar may not have generated a signal with enough energy and for long enough for it to rattle a few alarms in the electronics of the receiving equipment. As far as the submarine crew is concerned the ship isn’t there. So it is with the Universe. Vastly more then the reduced Planck constant can be generated but if the atoms, molecules etc present in the environment are unaffected by the signal then no information is released and the event remains undetected. The laws governing the spilt energy rattling the molecules or matter in the environment is what classical physics is all about; this is the physics of energy changes that take time. But if you can arrange it such that all these changes are shielded from the environment and hence prevent them from being detected, then you can have fun and achieve quantum magic; that is you can make changes vastly more eneryg than the energy field has and achieve that instantly. That by the way is how enzymes work, but that is another story for a future post.
      Zero Point Energy will also come in a future post.

      I hope this helps.

    • Derek
      Do you mean explain information loss or the excellent Cold Fusion video you posted?
      Thank you for the video; great stuff, really interesting. Without some hard thinking and a lot of speculation, including a detailed understanding of what makes palladium different, I can only hazard a guess and say that this just screams quantum physics at me. The unrepeatability of the results is typical of the Maxwellian distribution you get with the energy fluctuations – big fluctuations do occur from time to time but they are exponentially less likely than the smaller ones.

    • Derek
      Its a mutual admiration society – you clearly know your physics. I’m counting on you keep me honest.

  • Well I know a little of Bearden’s teaching, he has written a book and produced a video series energy from the vacuum. He is considered by many to be a snakeoil salesman. But I will say in his defense he knows an awful lot about “vacuum” energy. Quite a few of his theories come from Tesla and he has made machines that appear to violate the second law of thermodynamics but they actually get the energy from the vacuum, Lee and Yang’s broken symmetry is the explanation (experimental proved by Wu). So if the vacuum isn’t a vacuum and it is space time, since the vacuum is a sea of energy then space time to must be a sea of energy(aethar)
    John Bedini has successfully manufactured research kits that harness radiant energy or “energy from the vacuum”. I have 2 of these in my possession and have had them running. The circuits are open circuits not the traditional closed loops that our electronic industry uses. They use pulsed DC and harness the energy from the collapse of the electromagnetic field. There is a growing number of people on the internet now building these machines over 1000 people.
    The philosophy says that physics took a wrong turn somewhere and attempts to explain where this energy is from and that it is possible to harness it.
    I feel so strongly about this because I have had these machines running and am working on a version that will meet my own personal energy requirements.
    Anyway back to fusion I found on you tube an interesting video where someone is working on a home made Farnsworth fusor. Very interesting to see some of the concepts Tesla was working on ie high voltages and vacuums creating plasma. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38xVBd60yas&feature=related

    Almost makes me want to go back to school.

  • My guess at what is happening in these reactions, wether they be LENR, CENCR or Plasma Electrolysis. Is that the resonant frequency of the HHO molecules becomes excited because of the high voltage electricity, this excites them to such a level that the electromagnetic bond holding the molecule together ruptures producing excess fire. This burns the oxygen and leaves the hydrogen naked (in a reactive state), where by it grabs another naked hydrogen and they cuddle to form a He.
    I understand this is probably not a very scientific or accurate way to describe what is happening on the quantum level, but that is not the point here. More like, the concepts involved in this reaction in my own understanding and acknowledgment of the new technology that is upon us and an attempt at some sort of explanation.
    Discussion is appreciated and please be tolerant of my views.

  • Sorry different subject but have found a scientific term that is pretty interesting. It is “Orbitally Rearranged Monatomic Elements”
    Anyone got anything scientific to say about this.?

  • You mean this stuff:

    Which is sciencey sounding word soup.

    If by scientific you mean “This looks like pseudo-science aimed at parting the gullible from their cash. What exactly would a non-monatomic element be? All elements are monatomic that’s the point.”

    Then yes.

    If you mean “Wow, you are really onto something here, that sounds like the solution to all the world’s problems. We should pour billions into investigating that right away.”

    Then no.

  • Your taking the mickey.
    I didn’t say it was a solution I was asking what it was. What about the orbitally rearranged bit. I was asking what it was. Just goes to show you guys really do read the posts.
    But to energy, pouring billions isn’t what the researches of alternative energy concepts are doing. I have found a lot of honest curious people working in their backyards, doing a lot more productive research and results than I have found in mainstream. Which seems to be whinge and moan about oil but buy more. Hang on lets corporatise everything so we can farm people for money and then tax them for doing it. Then we will tell them no solutions but buy more oil.
    Stick this up your quantum level http://plasmerg.com/_files/HEIEAC.pdf

  • Yes, I am. But to be fair you provided zero context and most of your posts are of the “Why aren’t scientists taking this seriously and solving everything” variety.
    You can see how I might get confused.

    I did actually venture my opinion as to what it was, you still haven’t even confirmed I’m talking about the right thing. The “orbitally rearranged bit” is exactly what I said, sciencey sounding but meaningless.

  • Thanks
    If we want to talk energy then in your opinion what is happening here ? http://plasmerg.com/_files/HEIEAC.pdf
    I have heard similar things can be done with pulsed electricity rather than Lasers.
    Did I interpret this correctly when it was descried as a coulomb explosion (being where the gas turns to plasma and has a repulsive force) ? It sounds exothermic in principle, am I correct in that assumption?
    What is your opinion of this reaction ?

  • Not really, but if I must.
    Sounds like you are roughly correct in your interpretation, and I suppose that technically it would be exothermic – you would be imparting energy to the particles.
    I doubt you would be able to harvest that energy or that you could (even in principle) recover more energy than you put in via the laser (or electrically).

    The essential concept here is that you are giving the atoms/molecules in the substance an electrical charge such that they repel each other and in doing so make them overcome the forces holding them together. I’m more familiar with the application of this principle in analytical situations, where you impart a charge to solutes in a liquid medium and evaporate the liquid to the point where the charges are so close together they rip the liquid droplet apart. As you can imagine this is not especially energetic.