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Is Information Physical? It Depends On What You Mean by Physical…

Information makes things happen but, curiously, it erases its own history

University of Pittsburgh physics prof David Snoke has though a lot about the relationship between information and physical reality. For example, why does a zip drive full of critical information — that will cause many changes when people read it — weigh only as much as an empty one? Here’s an excerpt from a lecture he gave (podcast) in 2015 on whether information is physical. Although the talk was intended for a group of scientists, it is lay-friendly and enjoyable: People say, “Well, information is not a real thing,” or “It’s only between humans” or something like that. That’s not the way physicists typically talk. So I want to connect you to some of the work that’s been done over…