Audio / Video

Decoding Spacetime

  • 01:05:14


When Shannon formulated his groundbreaking theory of information in 1948, he did not know what to call its central quantity, a measure of uncertainty. It was von Neumann who recognized Shannon’s formula from statistical physics and suggested the name entropy. This was but the first in a series of remarkable connections between physics and information theory. Later, tantalizing hints from the study of quantum fields and gravity, such as the Bekenstein-Hawking formula for the entropy of a black hole, inspired Wheeler’s famous 1990 exhortation to derive “it from bit,” a three-syllable manifesto asserting that, to properly unify the geometry of general relativity with the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics, it would be necessary to inject fundamentally new ideas from information theory. Wheeler’s vision was sound, but it came twenty-five years early. Only now is it coming to fruition, with the twist that classical bits have given way to the qubits of quantum information theory. This talk will provide a tour of some of the recent developments at the intersection of quantum information and fundamental physics that are the source of this renewed excitement.



Decoding Spacetime


University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Physics


Berkeley, CA, University of California, Berkeley, Dept. of Physics, March 14, 2016

Full Collection Name

Physics Colloquia






1 streaming video file

Other Physical Details

digital, sd., col.


Physics Library


Recorded at a colloquium held on March 14, 2016, sponsored by the Dept. of Physics, University of California, Berkeley.

originally produced as an .mts file in 2016

Speakers: Patrick Hayden.

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Physics Colloquia


colloquia/3-14-16Hayden.mp4 01:05:14

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