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B. Roy Frieden

Science from Fisher information : a unification

One of the first things we learn in physics is Newton's law that force causes acceleration. Later we move on to the principle of least action, which is more abstract than Newton's law, but is a more general result - it applies to a larger class of systems. It is then natural to see if this process can be carried further. In this book Frieden gives a candidate (based on the work of R.A. Fisher), which is known as Fisher Information. Frieden shows that many of the equations of physics can be reached via this path, and illustrates its generality by applying it to biological growth and even to trading on the stock market.

Unfortunately the book does not serve very well to evangelise the idea. It starts with the calculus of variations and then goes on to what I would see as the most difficult examples ,for instance quantum theory and thermodynamics, with the less mathematical chapters on biology and economics at the end. I think it would be better if it started with some simple 'toy' problems to sell the idea to the reader. As it is, I feel that it is difficult for the reader to evaluate how useful the method is likely to be without investing a lot of time in the mathematics - which I haven't done. But it gives some impressive results and I think its entirely possible that in the future this could be an important tool for scientific calculation.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 504 pages  
ISBN: 0521009111
Salesrank: 3088688
Weight:2.25 lbs
Published: 2004 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price $144.00
Marketplace:New from $94.30:Used from $79.99
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 502 pages  
ISBN: 0521009111
Salesrank: 2382372
Weight:2.25 lbs
Published: 2004 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price £72.00
Marketplace:New from £61.81:Used from £77.04
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 504 pages  
ISBN: 0521009111
Salesrank: 2034405
Weight:2.25 lbs
Published: 2004 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price CDN$ 131.07
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 131.07:Used from CDN$ 132.46
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Product Description
This work shows that information is at the root of all fields of science. These fields may be generated by use of the concept of "extreme physical information" or EPI. The book greatly expands the material in Physics from Fisher Information to include many other areas in science.