It can be encoded using light, chemistry, electronics, smoke signals and so on, and all these things obey different laws of physics. This is a fundamentally new way of harnessing nature. Shannon’s greatest work is the theory of information which he published in 1948 and has since had a profound influence on our world. ", Since 2012,[11] he has been working on constructor theory, an attempt at generalizing the quantum theory of computation to cover not just computation but all physical processes. [18][19] In 2017, he received the Dirac Medal of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). This controversial hypothesis suggests that every time an event can have multiple quantum outcomes, all of them occur, each “made real” in its own, separate world. That too has morphed from a minority view to a mainstream idea in cosmology. “It is a principle, namely a law of physics that expresses and explains constraints on other laws rather than on the behaviour of physical objects directly,” they say. 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. [17] Oxford physicist David Deutsch invented quantum computing to prove the existence of parallel universes. The laws or principles that govern the behaviour of information have been unknown, until now. https://www.economist.com/.../09/david-deutsch-father-of-quantum-computing [22], “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". [16], The Fabric of Reality was shortlisted for the Rhone-Poulenc science book award in 1998. At the same time, quantum computation, and the quantum-mechanical theory from which it springs, are all subsumed in a newer idea that Dr Deutsch is pursuing. In conventional information theory, information and distinguishability are each defined in terms of the other, creating a kind of chicken and egg problem. It also links quantum information and classical information under the same theoretical roof for the first time. Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1405.5563 : Constructor Theory of Information, Follow the Physics arXiv Blog on Twitter at @arxivblog, on Facebook and by hitting the Follow button below, Why Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold—Physicists Solve the Mpemba Effect, Machine Learning Algorithm Studying Fine Art Paintings Sees Things Art Historians Had Never Noticed, Quantum Computing Notes, for a Python Programmer: Complex Numbers, Quantum computing stability granted by ‘artificial atoms’. But they must all obey the principle that energy is conserved. [7] In his nomination for election as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2008, his contributions were described as:[6], "[having] 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. An important point that these guys focus on is that information only exists in physical circumstances—it is never abstract. This approach solves a number of problems. For that reason, Dr Deutsch has long maintained that a quantum computer would serve as proof positive of universes beyond the known: the “many-worlds interpretation”. It’s important to point out that constructor theory is not a way of deriving the laws of physics. From observed possibilities, a mathematical object called a constructor can be fashioned. [7] In his 1985 paper, he also suggests the use of entangled states and Bell's theorem for quantum key distribution. That neatly sidesteps the problem. Deutsch and Marletto then define a new concept called superinformation in which certain information-related tasks are impossible. Then again, a few decades ago he would have said the same thing about quantum computers. Shannon, who died in 2001, would surely be impressed. So mobile phones, digital television and radio, computers and the Internet all depend on Shannon’s theory of information. And physicists will surely be tempted to explore this idea further not least because Deutsch is widely acknowledged as one of the leading thinkers on the foundations of physics and one of the most creative and unconventional too. That’s why constructor theory is deeper than anything that has gone before it. These kinds of predictions will surely emerge as more physicists discover Deutsch’s new way of thinking. “Thus the conservation law, though not an a priori mathematical truth, provides an explanation of aspects of motion that is deeper than laws of motion,” say Deutsch and Marletto. “Last year I saw their ion-trap experiment, where they were experimenting on a single calcium atom,” he says. To describe such a device properly is to account not only for the states of each of its constituent bits but also for all the couplings between them, for each is entangled with every other. This algorithm provably and deterministically had exponential improvement over any classical algorithm, for a specific problem. “Previous attempts to incorporate information at a fundamental level into physics or at least into quantum theory have regarded information as being an a priori mathematical or logical concept,” say Deutsch and Marletto. 1985: David Deutsch publishes the idea of a “universal quantum computer” 1994: Peter Shor presents an algorithm that can efficiently find the factors of large numbers, significantly outperforming the best classical algorithm and theoretically putting the underpinning of modern encryption at risk (referred to now as Shor’s algorithm). This is not a law of physics like quantum mechanics or relativity but a principle that all other laws must follow. [9], Deutsch was born in Haifa in Israel on 18 May 1953, the son of Oskar and Tikva Deutsch. But that’s in stark contrast to the way that many mathematicians and physicists have approached information in the past. He is enthusiastic about the theory’s potential to upend the very foundations of science, but concedes that testing it experimentally remains a distant possibility. Constructor theory turns this approach on its head. He brushes off the fervent debate about whether the commercially available D-Wave computer offers a speed advantage. This theory is the basis for all digital communication. The big unanswered question about constructor theory is how useful it will turn out to be. Instead, the principles function very much like the conservation of energy. This article appeared in the Technology Quarterly section of the print edition under the headline "David Deutsch", Sign up to our free daily newsletter, The Economist today, Published since September 1843 to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.”. As energy is converted from chemical to electrical to kinetic to potential energy and so on, its behaviour is governed by all kinds of different laws of physics. But physicists have become increasingly interested in quantum information and its potential in cryptography and in quantum computing. Constructor theory plays a similar role. In particular, information has always been difficult to define. In fact, Deutsch does not think about it as a law of physics but as a principle, or set of principles, that the laws of physics must obey. The principles from constructor theory work in the same way. Their new idea is called constructor theory and it is both simpler and deeper than quantum mechanics, or indeed any other laws of physics. He examines the nature of memes and how and why creativity evolved in humans. and is a proponent of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. [6], Deutsch is an atheist. It aims not at the reduction of everything to particle physics, but rather mutual support among multiversal, computational, epistemological, and evolutionary principles. visit David Deutsch's homepage This is a series of lectures designed as an introduction to the quantum theory of computation. Quantum information can be both a 1 and 0 at the same time. David Elieser Deutsch FRS (/ d ɔɪ tʃ /; born 18 May 1953) is a British physicist at the University of Oxford.He is a 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. That goal may now be a step closer thanks to the work of David Deutsch and Chiara Marletto at the University of Oxford in the UK. Deutsch, D. and Marletto, C.; "Why we need to reconstruct the universe", International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2008, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, "Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies", David Deutsch (October 2009) "A new way to explain explanation", "A Meta-Law to Rule Them All: Physicists Devise a "Theory of Everything, "Theory of everything says universe is a transformer", "Constructor Theory: A Conversation with David Deutsch", "Taking Children Seriously: A new child-rearing movement believes parents should never coerce their kids", David Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Turville, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=David_Deutsch&oldid=984362144, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Articles with imported freely licensed text, Wikipedia articles with ORCID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 October 2020, at 18:31. [12][13] 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.[14][15]. In his 1997 book The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch details his "Theory of Everything". He pioneered the ideas behind quantum computing in the 1980s.

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