18 May 1953 |
Quantum information science
|Institutions||University of Oxford
|Alma mater||Clare College, Cambridge
Wolfson College, Oxford
|Doctoral advisor||Dennis Sciama|
|Doctoral students||Artur Ekert|
|Known for||Quantum computing
Quantum Turing machine
Quantum logic gate
Quantum error correction
Qubit field theory
The Fabric of Reality
The Beginning of Infinity
|Influences||Karl Popper, Jacob Bronowski, William Godwin|
|Notable awards||Dirac Prize (1998)|
David Elieser Deutsch, FRS (born 18 May 1953) is a British physicist at the University of Oxford. He is a non-stipendiary Visiting Professor in the Department of Atomic and Laser Physics at the Centre for Quantum Computation (CQC) in the Clarendon Laboratory of the University of Oxford. He pioneered the field of quantum computation by formulating a description for a quantum Turing machine, as well as specifying an algorithm designed to run on a quantum computer. He is a proponent of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Early life and education
Deutsch was born in Haifa in Israel on 18 May 1953, the son of Oskar and Tikva Deutsch. He attended William Ellis School in London (then a voluntary aided grammar school) before reading Natural Sciences at Clare College, Cambridge and taking Part III of the Mathematical Tripos. He went on to Wolfson College, Oxford for his doctorate in theoretical physics and wrote his thesis on quantum field theory in curved space-time.
In the Royal Society of London's announcement that Deutsch had become a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2008, the Society described Deutsch's contributions thus:
David Deutsch laid the foundations of the quantum theory of computation, and has subsequently made or participated in many of the most important advances in the field, including the discovery of the first quantum algorithms, the theory of quantum logic gates and quantum computational networks, the first quantum error-correction scheme, and several fundamental quantum universality results. He has set the agenda for worldwide research efforts in this new, interdisciplinary field, made progress in understanding its philosophical implications (via a variant of the many-universes interpretation) and made it comprehensible to the general public, notably in his book The Fabric of Reality.
He is currently working on constructor theory, an attempt at generalizing the quantum theory of computation to cover not just computation but all physical processes.
Together with Chiara Marletto, he published a paper in December 2014 entitled Constructor theory of information, that conjectures that information can be expressed solely in terms of which transformations of physical systems are possible and which are impossible.
Popular science books
The Fabric of Reality
In his 1997 book The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch details his "Theory of Everything." It aims not at the reduction of everything to particle physics, but rather mutual support among multiversal, computational, epistemological, and evolutionary principles. His theory of everything is (weakly) emergentist rather than reductive.
There are "four strands" to his theory:
- Hugh Everett's many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, "the first and most important of the four strands."
- Karl Popper's epistemology, especially its anti-inductivism and requiring a realist (non-instrumental) interpretation of scientific theories, as well as its emphasis on taking seriously those bold conjectures that resist falsification.
- Alan Turing's theory of computation, especially as developed in Deutsch's Turing principle, in which the Universal Turing machine is replaced by Deutsch's universal quantum computer. ("The theory of computation is now the quantum theory of computation.")
- Richard Dawkins's refinement of Darwinian evolutionary theory and the modern evolutionary synthesis, especially the ideas of replicator and meme as they integrate with Popperian problem-solving (the epistemological strand).
The Beginning of Infinity
Deutsch’s second book, The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World, was published on 31 March 2011. In this book Deutsch views the Enlightenment of the 18th century as near the beginning of an unending sequence of purposeful knowledge creation. He examines the nature of memes and how and why creativity evolved in humans.
Deutsch is an atheist. He is also a founding member of the parenting and educational method known as Taking Children Seriously.
He was awarded the Dirac Prize of the Institute of Physics in 1998, and the Edge of Computation Science Prize in 2005. The Fabric of Reality was shortlisted for the Rhone-Poulenc science book award in 1998.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Interview by Filiz Peach (published in Philosophy Now 30 December 2000)
- ↑ Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. Also available here. Abstract available here.
- ↑ "New Fellows 08 Craik - Kaiser", The Royal Society. Also available here. Mirror link.
- ↑ Constructor Theory, A Conversation with David Deutsch, Interview at 'Edge' , 22 October 2012
- ↑ Deutsch, D. and Marletto, C.; "Why we need to reconstruct the universe", New Scientist, 24 May 2014, Pages 30-31.
- ↑ Constructor theory of information David Deutsch, Chiara Marletto Proc. R. Soc. A:2015471 20140540;DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2014.0540.Published 17 December 2014
- ↑ David Deutsch entry, Celeb atheists website, 30 March 2005. Accessed Jan 2015
- ↑ Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
- ↑ Dirac prize award
- ↑ Edge of Computation Science Prize
- ↑ Rhone-Poulenc 1998 shortlist
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- People from Haifa
- Israeli physicists
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- British libertarians
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- British atheists
- 1953 births
- Living people
- Fellows of the British Computer Society
- Fellows of the Royal Society
- Theoretical physicists
- People educated at William Ellis School
- Alumni of Clare College, Cambridge
- Alumni of Wolfson College, Oxford
- Academics of the University of Oxford