David Deutsch

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David Deutsch speaking at TED in 2005.

David Elieser Deutsch FRS (born 1953 in Haifa, Israel) is a 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, Clarendon Laboratory. He pioneered the field of quantum computers by being the first person to formulate a specifically quantum computational algorithm[1], and is a proponent of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.


[edit] The Fabric of Reality

In his 1997 book The Fabric of Reality, this interpretation, or what he calls the multiverse hypothesis, is one strand of a four-strand theory of everything. The four strands are:

  1. Hugh Everett's many-worlds interpretation theory quantum physics, "the first and most important of the four strands".
  2. Karl Popper's epistemology, especially its anti-inductivism and its requiring a realist (non-instrumental) interpretation of scientific theories, and its emphasis on taking seriously those bold conjectures that resist falsification.
  3. Alan Turing's theory of computation especially as developed in Deutsch's "Turing principle", Turing's universal Turing machine being replaced by Deutsch's universal quantum computer. ("The theory of computation is now the quantum theory of computation.")
  4. 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).

His theory of everything is (weakly) emergentist rather than reductive. It aims not at the reduction of everything to particle physics, but rather mutual support among multiverse, computational, epistemological, and evolutionary principles.

[edit] Views

Politically, Deutsch is known to be sympathetic to libertarianism, and was a founder, along with Sarah Fitz-Claridge of the Taking Children Seriously movement. He is also an atheist.

[edit] Awards

He was awarded the Dirac Prize of the Institute of Physics in 1998[2], and the Edge of Computation Science Prize in 2005[3]. The Fabric of Reality was shortlisted for the Rhone-Poulenc science book award in 1998[4].

[edit] Forthcoming publications

Deutsch is currently working on a book entitled The Beginning of Infinity, which he hopes to finish in 2009.
The book should be printed by Penguin Books Ltd. Amazon.com is reporting it as already printed as of January 29th but not yet available to the public.
Such a possibility seems to be a mistake from either the publisher or Amazon.com.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes/References

  1. ^ Deutsch, David (July 1985). "Quantum theory, the Church-Turing principle and the universal quantum computer". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London; Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences 400 (1818): pp. 97–117. doi:10.1098/rspa.1985.0070. http://web.archive.org/web/20030915061044/http://www.qubit.org/oldsite/resource/deutsch85.pdf.  Also available here. Abstract available here.
  2. ^ Dirac prize award
  3. ^ Edge of Computation Science Prize
  4. ^ Rhone-Poulenc 1998 shortlist

[edit] External links

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