The science of information is the most influential, yet perhaps least appreciated field in science today. Never before in history have we been able to acquire, record, communicate, and use information in so many different forms. This revolution goes far beyond the limitless content that fills our lives, because information also underlies our understanding of ourselves, the natural world, and the universe. Little wonder that an entirely new science has arisen that is devoted to deepening our understanding of information and our ability to use it.
The study and acquisition of information has been around a long time. In human terms, spoken language, writing, art, music, and mathematics are perfect examples; so are Morse code, Mendelian genetics, and radio signals – all understood and used before 1900. But a series of conceptual breakthroughs in the 20th century united what seemed like unrelated phenomena and led to a dramatic new way of looking at reality. Called information theory, this field has been responsible for path-breaking insights.
The Science of Information: From Language to Black Holes covers the exciting concepts, history, and applications of information theory in 24 challenging and eye-opening half-hour lectures taught by Professor Benjamin Schumacher of Kenyon College. A prominent physicist and award-winning educator at one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges, Professor Schumacher is also a pioneer in the field of quantum information, which is the latest exciting development in this dynamic scientific field.
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