The practical approach to information, while certainly impressive, has radically outpaced our theoretical understanding of it to such a degree that reflection on the foundations may seem futile. Yet, advances in quantum information and other areas have begun to push the boundaries of the physically possible, making a foundational understanding of information increasingly important. To Arthur Eddington and John Wheeler, information involves interaction. In turn, physical reality, in their view, is shaped by the questions we choose to put to it and is built up from the information that is at its core. This is the root of Wheeler’s famous phrase ‘it from bit.’
In this FQXi-funded project, we aim to take a cue from Eddington and Wheeler in an effort to fill in some of the empty theoretical ground in the foundations of information. The centerpiece of the project will be a four-day workshop at Trinity College, Cambridge to address these issues, that will coincide with the 70th anniversary of Eddington’s death. The conference is by invitation only, though videos from the conference will be uploaded in due course.