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Cosmic Information Theory and Analysis: IT from BIT, from BITs in IT

J. Richard Bond

John Wheeler's famous mantra, IT from BIT, envisaged the Universe as an information structure of BITs. And, of course, so IT is, fundamentally quantum and statistical, the many-paths/many-worlds information-theoretic story. This lecture uses Cosmic Information Theory and Analysis, CITA, as a unifying theme to explore the vast sweep of our current ideas of the Universe and the experiments we use to probe them, ranging from the ultra-early beginnings to our far-future fate. I describe the intimate entanglement of theory with precision "first-light" and other cosmic data, in particular from the cosmic microwave background satellite Planck and the Andes-based Atacama Cosmology Telescope. Such data are the BITs in IT informing us of the physics that defines the BIT of the Universe accessible to us from which we hope to learn of that vast IT which encodes all Cosmic Information.

J. Richard Bond has made pioneering contributions to our understanding of the development of structures in the Universe. His has provided the theoretical framework to interpret the observed inhomogeneities in the fossil radiation left over from the early stages of expansion of the Universe—-the Big Bang. Professor Bond’s research has helped us understand the transition from the nearly featureless early Universe to the wonderfully structured world of galaxies, stars and planets today.
Prof. Bond is University Professor at the University of Toronto,  Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Cosmology and Gravity Program and past Director of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics.  Among his many awards, he is the recipient of the Gruber Prize in Cosmology, Canadian Association of Physicists Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics, the first award to an astrophysicist,  and the Order of Canada.