Mathematics, nature and cryptography:Insights from philosophy of information

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Current Science, Volume 92, Number 12, p.1690–1696 (2007)



Cryptography, mathematics, Nature, philosophy.


One influential image that is popular among scientists is the view that mathematics is the language of nature. The present article discusses another possible way to approach the relation between mathematics and nature, which is by using the idea of information and the conceptual vocabulary of cryptography. This approach allows us to understand the possibility that secrets of nature need not be written in mathematics and yet mathematics is necessary as a cryptographic key to unlock these secrets. Various advantages of such a view are described in this article.


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