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Communication without transmission

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It is sometimes envisaged that the behaviour of elementary particles can be characterised by the information content it carries, and that exchange of energy and momentum, or more generally the change of state through interactions, can likewise be characterised in terms of its information content. But exchange of information occurs only in the context of a (typically noisy) communication channel, which traditionally requires a transmitter and a receiver; whereas particles evidently are not equipped with such devices. In view of this a new concept in communication theory is put forward whereby signal processing is carried out in the absence of a transmitter; hence mathematical machineries in communication theory serves as new powerful tools for describing a wide range of observed phenomena. In the quantum context, this leads to a tentative—and perhaps speculative—idea that the dynamical evolution of the state of a quantum particle is such that the particle itself acts as if it were a "signal processor", trying to identify the stable configuration that it should settle, and adjusts its own state accordingly. It will be shown that the mathematical scheme of such a hypothesis works well for a broad class of noise structures having stationary and independent increments. (The talk will be based on work carried out in collaboration with L. P. Hughston.)