Information-Based Physics: An Observer-Centric Foundation.

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-21-2014


It is generally believed that physical laws, reflecting an inherent order in the universe, are ordained by nature. However, in modern physics the observer plays a central role raising questions about how an observer-centric physics can result in laws apparently worthy of a universal nature-centric physics. Over the last decade, we have found that the consistent apt quantification of algebraic and order-theoretic structures results in calculi that possess constraint equations taking the form of what are often considered to be physical laws. I review recent derivations of the formal relations among relevant variables central to special relativity, probability theory and quantum mechanics in this context by considering a problem where two observers form consistent descriptions of and make optimal inferences about a free particle that simply influences them. I show that this approach to describing such a particle based only on available information leads to the mathematics of relativistic quantum mechanics as well as a description of a free particle that reproduces many of the basic properties of a fermion. The result is an approach to foundational physics where laws derive from both consistent descriptions and optimal information-based inferences made by embedded observers.