Totally Entwined

Benjamin Chadbond & Patrick Mason

Let’s start with light—“pure information”.

Quantum theory tells us that there is a duality at the heart of light. Depending on how it is observed it will appear as either a wave or a particle.

However, physicist David Bohm, in his notion of the implicate order, prefers to think of the wave and the particle co-existing simultaneously with the wave ‘informing’ the motion of the particle in a kind of dance.

The etymological root of implicate is implicare—to entwine.

In 1948, while working at Bell Laboratories, Claude Shannon wrote his landmark paper “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”. In this paper Shannon introduced the term ‘bit’, a portmanteau of binary digit, for the most basic unit of information. The bit can be one of two states, usually represented as either 0 or 1, by which any form of information can be encoded.

From this point on, information, like light, appeared to take two main forms: the smooth, undulating curves of a sinusoidal analogue signal and the concatenation of discrete digital bits—waves and particles.

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