An experiment is proposed to measure the mass of information

(ORDO NEWS) — The erasure of information during the interaction of matter with antimatter will make it possible to check whether each particle really carries information about its state and what is the mass of this information.

Back in the last century, Rolf Landauer of IBM suggested that when information is erased from any physical medium, heat is released.

In terms of bits, it is extremely small, but modern computing systems are so powerful that a measurable amount of heat can be released in them, and Landauer’s principle has been experimentally confirmed.

And if we recall the equivalence of energy and mass demonstrated by Einstein (according to the well-known formula E = mc 2 ), we can say that information is also equivalent to them, representing a special state of matter.

This information can be somehow “hardwired” into elementary particles, although its presence is not so easy to detect. However, recently a physicist from the University of Portsmouth in the UK Melvin Vopson proposed an experiment that could prove the equivalence of mass, energy and information (M/E/I).

The scientist gives his calculations in an article published in the journal AIP Advances . “The information contained in an electron is 22 million times lighter than itself,” explains the scientist, “but it can also be measured if erased.”

To do this, Vopson proposes to turn to the interaction of matter with antimatter. After all, at each meeting of a particle with an antiparticle, they mutually annihilate. At the same time, the information that is hypothetically contained in them is destroyed.

All their masses are converted into energy, being released in the form of photons of different wavelengths. Thus, during the annihilation of an electron and a positron, two gamma-ray photons with an energy of 511 kiloelectronvolts are usually ejected, which is regularly recorded by detectors operating at particle accelerators and colliders.

However, if the particles also contain information, the matter is not limited to these photons. Particle annihilation erases information, and if the M/E/I equivalence principle is correct, it should also produce photons, albeit at much lower energies.

Melvin Vopson’s calculations show that the erasure of an electron-positron pair should create a pair of low-energy infrared photons with a wavelength of about 50 micrometers.

Scientists studying particle collisions in accelerators have so far not even tried to look for such photons, but now, apparently, it is worth at least trying. After all, if the principle of M/E/I is true, this will have the most serious consequences for our understanding of the fundamental structure of the universe.

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