© 2015

It From Bit or Bit From It?

On Physics and Information

  • Anthony Aguirre
  • Brendan Foster
  • Zeeya Merali


  • Published in cooperation with the renowned physics "think-tank" Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi

  • Specially reworked versions of the most exciting essays of over 180 submissions

  • Provides fascinating insights into, and new ideas about the role of information in physics


Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Anthony Aguirre, Brendan Foster, Zeeya Merali
    Pages 1-3
  3. Giacomo Mauro D’Ariano
    Pages 25-35
  4. Ovidiu Cristinel Stoica
    Pages 51-64
  5. Angelo Bassi, Saikat Ghosh, Tejinder Singh
    Pages 87-95
  6. Yutaka Shikano
    Pages 113-118
  7. Douglas Singleton, Elias C. Vagenas, Tao Zhu
    Pages 119-127
  8. Craig Hogan
    Pages 143-151
  9. Sean Gryb, Marc Ngui
    Pages 153-168
  10. Mark Feeley
    Pages 169-179
  11. Ken Wharton
    Pages 181-196
  12. Julian Barbour
    Pages 197-211

About this book


The essays in this book look at the question of whether physics can be based on information, or – as John Wheeler phrased it – whether we can get “It from Bit”.  They are based on the prize-winning essays submitted to the FQXi essay competition of the same name, which drew over 180 entries.

The eighteen contributions address topics as diverse as quantum foundations, entropy conservation, nonlinear logic and countable spacetime. Together they provide stimulating reading for all physics aficionados interested in the possible role(s) of information in the laws of nature.

The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.


Black Hole Information Puzzle Contextual Quantum Mechanics Discrete Spacetime Fabric of Spacetime Information in Physics Information in Quantum Theory Qubits as Fundamental Entities

Editors and affiliations

  • Anthony Aguirre
    • 1
  • Brendan Foster
    • 2
  • Zeeya Merali
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA
  2. 2.Foundational Questions InstituteNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Foundational Questions InstituteNew YorkUSA

About the editors

Anthony Aguirre
Brendan Foster
Zeeya Merali

Bibliographic information

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