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Could information be the 5th state of matter? Let's ponder.

An old Periodic table showing 27 elements before hydrogen

In the world of physics, we often think of matter in terms of its physical states: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. These states are defined by the behaviour of atoms and molecules, and are usually determined by factors like temperature and pressure.

But what if I told you that there might be a fifth state of matter, one that is not physical but informational in nature? That's the idea proposed by a team of scientists, who suggest that information could become the fifth state of matter alongside the other four.

The concept of information as a state of matter is not entirely new. In fact, it has been around for decades, with various researchers exploring the idea in different ways. However, it is only recently that the idea has gained significant attention, thanks to a proposal put forth by a physicist named Luciano Pietronero.

I thought, since we live in an information age, it would be appropriate to ponder this, especially with the recent advances of AI like that of GPT-4.

Pietronero's proposal involves an experiment that would use particle annihilation to determine whether information truly has mass. According to his theory, when two particles annihilate each other, they release energy that can be converted into mass. However, Pietronero suggests that this process could also release information in the form of entropy, which he believes would have a measurable mass.