Hans-Joachim Ziock – “A New Definition of Information: its Origins and Implications for Cancer”


Speaker: Hans-Joachim Ziock, PhD. Reflecting his diverse interests, Dr. Ziock’s career covers a wide range of topics. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Virginia. His Ph.D. thesis was in the field of intermediate-energy physics. After joining Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in the intermediate-energy physics group, Dr. Ziock began working in the field of elementary particle physics and became the lead LANL scientist investigating radiation tolerant solid state detectors for collider applications during which he discovered the ability of low temperatures to significantly increase the radiation tolerance and lifetime of these detectors. He was the chief LANL scientist for the high-energy physics Solenoid Detector Collaboration for the Superconducting Super Collider project and then the Large Hadron Collider project. This effort involved working closely with a mechanical engineering group and covered a diverse range of specialties including ultra-stable carbon composite structures, a heat pipe/evaporative cooling system development, and real-time television-based holography. Thereafter, he led the development of an extremely high speed imaging detector system (5 million frames per second) for a proton based radiography program. During this period, Dr. Ziock also became interested in the global issue of carbon management. Dr. Ziock organized and led the Cradle to Grave Carbon Management R&D and Zero Emission Coal programs at LANL. He is a co-inventor of the LANL Zero Emission Coal Technology. He has been the principal investigator at LANL for the CO 2 Mineral Sequestration effort, which involves the permanent disposal of CO 2 in solid mineral form and more recently helped develop the concept of directly extracting CO 2 from the atmosphere. He has most recently been one of the lead scientists on the Protocell Assembly project whose goal has been to produce an artificial self-replicating nanoscale system, where he has been examining the broader issues of self-regulation, information, and artificial intelligence. He continues to pursue efforts in carbon management, energy systems, origins of life, and artificial intelligence.

Location: Computing Commons 120

Web Cast: View Web Cast Video

Date & Time: October 4th, 2012 12:00 p.m.

Title: A New Definition of Information: its Origins and Implications for Cancer

Abstract: Definitions of information are often circular in nature. I present a new definition, rooted in the second law of thermodynamics, based on the requirements of replication and selection. The definition is remarkably simple, yet general enough to apply to both living and non-living systems. Crucially, it provides a scenario for the origin of information while predicting an increase of information with time. The underlying requirements for the continued existence and inevitable growth of information also imply that cancer is an inherent outcome of information’s existence. Much of this work was carried out in collaboration with Stirling Colgate.

Thank you and if you have questions please contact Amanda Wilber! And don’t forget, coffee will be served!

Amanda Wilber, Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology

Arizona State University | P.O. Box 871504 | Tempe, AZ 85287

480.965.3860 | Fax: 480.965.6362
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