It from Qubit: Simons Collaboration on Quantum Fields, Gravity, and Information

“It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-or-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe.” —John A. Wheeler, 1990



Developments over the past ten years have shown that major advances in our understanding of quantum gravity, quantum field theory and other aspects of fundamental physics can be achieved by bringing to bear insights and techniques from quantum information theory. Nonetheless, fundamental physics and quantum information theory remain distinct disciplines and communities, separated by significant barriers to communication and collaboration. Funded by a grant from the Simons Foundation, “It from Qubit” is a large-scale effort by some of the leading researchers in both communities to foster communication, education and collaboration between them, thereby advancing both fields and ultimately solving some of the deepest problems in physics. The overarching scientific questions motivating the Collaboration include:

  • Does spacetime emerge from entanglement?
  • Do black holes have interiors?
  • Does the universe exist outside our horizon?
  • What is the information-theoretic structure of quantum field theories?
  • Can quantum computers simulate all physical phenomena?
  • How does quantum information flow in time?


  • Summer school:
    “It from Qubit” will hold an interdisciplinary summer school on quantum fields, quantum gravity and quantum information from July 18 to 29, 2016 at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. The school will be aimed at graduate students and postdocs from diverse intellectual backgrounds — including high-energy theory, quantum information theory and condensed-matter theory — who are interested in reaching across disciplinary boundaries. Significant financial support will be available to allow deserving participants from around the world to attend. Please see the official announcement for more details.