How Much Information Exists in the Universe?

How can we measure all the information in the universe? Physicist Raphael Bousso explains how all information is bound by lightwaves that have traveled for billions of years since the beginning of the universe and are just now reaching your eyes. By understanding these parameters, Bousso believes it’s possible to determine precisely how much information exists in the universe.

More videos from this series: A Thin Sheet of Reality

This program is part of The Big Idea Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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4 comments
NeilFarbstein
NeilFarbstein

i don't think your thinking is flawed at all.  If you threw a flower into one regular star and a shoe into another star of the same type, there would be nothing left of the original objects. whats the big deal if they were tossed into black holes instead of yellow stars or red dwarfs?

LukaszGarczynski
LukaszGarczynski

Could someone comment on / explain to me the information preservation principle? 

What I find hard to understand is that in the example given in this video - if we have two black holes and one of them 'swallows' a shoe and another one a flower, these two black holes will be different. Yet when you think about what a shoe and a flower are made of - utlimately you end up at quarks or at an even lower level of subatomic particles. So in fact the black hole (almost like a giant blender) strips the subatomic particles of the form / arrangement making them a flower or a shoe and this information intuitively seems to be lost / scrambled. Where is my thinking flawed? Anyone offer a serious suggestion?

THX

NeilFarbstein
NeilFarbstein

That statement is absurd. There might be other interstellar and intergalactic civilizations making information on a scale we cannot imagine or comprehend. There's no way of knowing the total amount of information in the universe.

NeilFarbstein
NeilFarbstein

every movie ever recorded on one disk! how can you pass this deal up?