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Does Spacetime Emerge From Quantum Information?

Quantizing gravity is an important goal of contemporary physics, but after decades of effort it’s proven to be an extremely tough nut to crack. So it’s worth considering a very slight shift of...

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Algebra of the Infrared

In my senior year of college, when I was beginning to think seriously about graduate school, a magical article appeared in the New York Times magazine. Called “A Theory of Everything,” by KC Cole, it...

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Guest Post: Aidan Chatwin-Davies on Recovering One Qubit from a Black Hole

The question of how information escapes from evaporating black holes has puzzled physicists for almost forty years now, and while we’ve learned a lot we still don’t seem close to an answer....

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The Bayesian Second Law of Thermodynamics

Entropy increases. Closed systems become increasingly disordered over time. So says the Second Law of Thermodynamics, one of my favorite notions in all of physics. At least, entropy usually increases....

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Did LIGO Detect Dark Matter?

It has often been said, including by me, that one of the most intriguing aspects of dark matter is that provides us with the best current evidence for physics beyond the Core Theory (general relativity...

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Space Emerging from Quantum Mechanics

The other day I was amused to find a quote from Einstein, in 1936, about how hard it would be to quantize gravity: “like an attempt to breathe in empty space.” Eight decades later, I think we can still...

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Joe Polchinski’s Memories, and a Mark Wise Movie

Joe Polchinski, a universally-admired theoretical physicist at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, recently posted a 150-page writeup of his memories of doing research over...

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Beyond Falsifiability

I have a backlog of fun papers that I haven’t yet talked about on the blog, so I’m going to try to work through them in reverse chronological order. I just came out with a philosophically-oriented...

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Why Is There Something, Rather Than Nothing?

A good question! Or is it? I’ve talked before about the issue of why the universe exists at all (1, 2), but now I’ve had the opportunity to do a relatively careful job with it, courtesy of Eleanor Knox...

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Energy Conservation and Non-Conservation in Quantum Mechanics

Conservation of energy is a somewhat sacred principle in physics, though it can be tricky in certain circumstances, such as an expanding universe. Quantum mechanics is another context in which energy...

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