The Most Information, The Fewest Words


Tue, May 17th, 2011 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Seed Magazine asked 11 scientists: if you only had a single statement to pass on to others summarising the most vital lesson to be drawn from your work, what would it be?

This question was inspired by Richard Feynman's famous Lectures on Physics where he raised this interesting speculation:

"If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis (or the atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it) that all things are made of atoms -- little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence, you will see, there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied."



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