[N.B. I'll go out on a limb here and flat-out admit I don't understand quantum mechanics. Wait! In Feynman-speak does that mean I actually do understand QM? Whoa! But wait, if I actually do understand QM, then that means, according to Feynman, I don't. Ouch. Logic. My head hurts.]
Now we learn that a group of scientists led by Lluís Masanes at the University of Bristol in the UK claims to have come up with a schema for actually understanding this notoriously difficult, conceptually fuzzy physics—and indeed everything else. (h/t)
They posit as a foundation of Reality the existence of a fundamental information unit. That means this unit of information is a single "thing" that forms the basis of and, in fact, necessitates all Reality, including and especially QM. They call it a 'general bit' or 'gbit'. There is only one type of information in the universe, and everything therein can be derived from it. The entirety of Reality is encoded in what could be called the language, or systems, of the gbit.
If you've ever wondered if everything that is—Reality, the universe, your thumbnail—is merely the computational software on some hard drive somewhere, you weren't terribly far off-base. They assert: "Any physical process can be simulated with a suitably programmed general purpose simulator." Moreover, on their view, you can reduce everything in reality down to its fundamental gbit units (decode it, in other words) and reconfigure the gbits (encode it) to produce any other thing.
The technicals of their paper are way over my head. If you want to read it, it's here: Existence of an information unit as a postulate of quantum theory. For those of you who understand the esoterics, the four basic postulates of their paper are the following:
"In any system, for every pair of pure states one can in principle engineer a time-continuous reversible dynamics which brings one state to the other. ...
"The state of a composite system is completely characterized by the correlations of measurements on the individual components. ...
"There is a type of system (the gbit...) such that the state of any system can be reversibly encoded in a sufficiently large number of gbits. ...
"If a gbit is used to perfectly encode one classical bit, it cannot simul- taneously encode any further information."In other words, there is only one type of information, and everything in the world can be simulated using a sufficiently large number of these unitary information units.
So, the next thing you're going to tell me is that all this hoovering up of information by the NSA and its NATO counterparts is merely a big physics experiment testing the integrity of this theory. No?
Isn't it amazing?!