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Does the Universe have a bandwidth?

Posted on 2006-11-25
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Last Modified: 2006-11-27
One way of looking at the universe is that it is composed of information. If that idea is valid does that imply that the universe has a bandwidth?

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Question by:adg
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14 Comments
 
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:d-glitch
ID: 18019104
>>  One way of looking at the universe is that it is composed of information.

I'm not sure that I agree with your premise.  I would say that the universe is composed of matter in motion.
It would certainly it take a lot of information to describe the universe completely.
Is that the sort of thing you are thinking about?

Bandwidth is a seperate issue.  It only comes into play when you are trying to transmit information.
Are you thinking about how the universe evolved from the singularity of the Big Bang to its present state?
I don't bandwidth is an appropriate concept for that process.
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:ozo
ID: 18022561
What definition of "bandwidth" are you using?
The information in the universe is believed to be conserved, so it doesn't go out of or into the universe.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:aburr
ID: 18024142
"One way of looking at the universe is that it is composed of information."

The fact that the universe is composed of information (and it is somewhat of a stretch to so consider it) does not imply a bandwidth.
The relevent relation is between information transmision (not existance) per unit time and bandwidth, not to the existance of information per se.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:adg
ID: 18025292
Thanks both of you for your comments!

>> The information in the universe is believed to be conserved, so it doesn't go out of or into the universe

That's a good point. I wasn't really think of the universe as a conduit - more about information moving within the universe. I know that information can travel at the speed of light. But is there possibly a limit to how much of it can move in a second?

And taking a step back, is there a theory that treast matter and energy as forms of information?
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LVL 27

Assisted Solution

by:aburr
aburr earned 400 total points
ID: 18025641
"is there a theory that treast matter and energy as forms of information"
------------
Not really. There is a way to connect entropy to information.
Also the universe is ordered so that could be considered a form of information. but I know of no useful ideas which have come from these hazy connections.
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:ozo
ID: 18025730
One constraint on bandwith is energy/plank's constant
A constriaint on information is surface area / plank-length^2
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:ozo
ID: 18025764
Planck
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:ozo
ID: 18025794
Some very interesting ideas have come from the connection between information and area.
Not "useful" in the sense that no one has created any functional commodity based on it,
but it may be "useful" in the sense of gaining a deeper understanding of fundamental physical principles.
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Author Comment

by:adg
ID: 18025830
Ah, now we are getting somewhere. So there is a known limit between information and surface area. That is starting to sound a little bandwidthish. How are they defining information? And why is it surface area and not just area? Sorry if that is too many questions. I can open another question if you think it is appropriate.

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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:adg
ID: 18025831
s/b And why is it surface area and not volume.
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Author Comment

by:adg
ID: 18025836
Or they are assuming a sphere?
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LVL 84

Accepted Solution

by:
ozo earned 1600 total points
ID: 18025902
That it is proportioal to area and not volume as one might expect is what makes it so interesting.
One way you might think of it is that if you try to pack more information than that into a region, it will collapse into a black hole
http://www.crystalinks.com/holouniverse1.html
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Expert Comment

by:ozo
ID: 18025932
It may even suggest a link between M-theory and loop-quantum-gravity,
(but don't ask me to explain it because I don't understand it)
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:adg
ID: 18025970
Wow, thanks, good link.
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