Can we build a description of physical reality based on the informational content of the Universe?
I propose a fully interdisciplinary exploration of the nature of physical reality, combining cutting-edge research in theoretical physics and information theory with a follow-up in-depth philosophical investigation of the meaning of truth and knowledge in the physical sciences. If I am successful, and preliminary results indicate that I am on the right track, I will deliver both new fundamental physical results and a novel way to think about Nature and our place in it.
My goal is ambitious, as I intend to obtain a new principle of how Nature works, based on the information content of interacting physical systems. I will provide a concrete theoretical platform to give life to Wheeler’s celebrated “It from Bit” aphorism, as I will use in novel ways conceptual and mathematical tools from information theory to describe the essence of physical reality. In practice, I intend to obtain a quantitative measure of an "entropy of shape" and show that it is minimized in physical systems supporting localizing interactions. I will then explore the philosophical consequences of this approach, in particular as a potential ontological shift from fields into information as the currency of modern physics.
I will combine techniques from cosmology and high energy physics with numerical work and conceptual tools from information theory.
The potential for this research approach is truly transformative. If I am successful, I will obtain a new physical principle of truly broad applicability, from particle physics to biology to astrophysics, relating dynamics and shape, energy and information.
I will generate several peer-reviewed publications and also intend to compose a book-length philosophical essay describing my findings.