- Constructor theory seeks to express all fundamental scientific theories in terms of a dichotomy between possible and impossible physical transformations – those that can be caused to happen and those that cannot. This is a departure from the prevailing conception of fundamental physics which is to predict what will happen from initial conditions and laws of motion.
- Several converging motivations for expecting constructor theory to be a fundamental branch of physics are discussed.
- Some principles of the theory are suggested and its potential for solving various problems and achieving various unifications is explored. These include
- Providing a theory of information underlying classical and quantum information;
- Generalising the theory of computation to include all physical transformations;
- Unifying formal statements of conservation laws with the stronger operational ones (such as the ruling-out of perpetual motion machines);
- Expressing the principles of testability and of the computability of nature (currently deemed methodological and metaphysical respectively) as laws of physics;
- Allowing exact statements of emergent laws (such as the second law of thermodynamics); and
- Expressing certain apparently anthropocentric attributes such as knowledge in physical terms.
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