World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

David Deutsch

Article Id: WHEBN0000008729
Reproduction Date:

Title: David Deutsch  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Many-worlds interpretation, Digital physics, The Fabric of Reality, Explanatory power, Hugh Everett III
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

David Deutsch

David Deutsch
Born (1953-05-18) 18 May 1953 [1]
Haifa, Israel
Fields Theoretical physics
Quantum information science
Institutions University of Oxford
Clarendon Laboratory
Alma mater Clare College, Cambridge
Wolfson College, Oxford
Doctoral advisor Dennis Sciama
Doctoral students Artur Ekert
Known for Quantum computing
Quantum Turing machine
Church-Turing-Deutsch principle
Deutsch-Jozsa algorithm
Quantum logic gate
Quantum circuit
Quantum error correction
Qubit field theory
Constructor theory
The Fabric of Reality
The Beginning of Infinity
Influences Karl Popper, Jacob Bronowski, William Godwin[2]
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.[3] 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.[1][2]


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:[4]

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.[5][6]

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:

  1. Hugh Everett's many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, "the first and most important of the four strands."
  2. 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.
  3. 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.")
  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).

The Beginning of Infinity

Deutsch’s second book, The Beginning of Infinity, 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.[7] He is also a founding member of the parenting and educational method known as Taking Children Seriously.[8]

He was awarded the Dirac Prize of the Institute of Physics in 1998,[9] and the Edge of Computation Science Prize in 2005.[10] The Fabric of Reality was shortlisted for the Rhone-Poulenc science book award in 1998.[11]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "Deutsch, Prof. David Elieser". Who's Who 2014.  
  2. ^ a b Interview by Filiz Peach (published in Philosophy Now 30 December 2000)
  3. ^ Deutsch, David (July 1985). "Quantum theory, the Church-Turing principle and the universal quantum computer".   Also available here. Abstract available here.
  4. ^ "New Fellows 08 Craik - Kaiser", The Royal Society. Also available here. Mirror link.
  5. ^ Constructor Theory, A Conversation with David Deutsch, Interview at 'Edge' , 22 October 2012
  6. ^ Deutsch, D. and Marletto, C.; "Why we need to reconstruct the universe", New Scientist, 24 May 2014, Pages 30-31.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Friedman, Dawn (November–December 2003). "Taking Children Seriously - A new child-rearing movement believes parents should never coerce their kids". UTNE Reader. Utne Reader Editorial Office. Retrieved July 2014. 
  9. ^ Dirac prize award
  10. ^ Edge of Computation Science Prize
  11. ^ Rhone-Poulenc 1998 shortlist

External links

  • Deutsch's official homepage at Qubit.Org
  • [2] Deutsch wins Jeffrey Epstein's Edge of Computing Prize
  • Profile page at
  • New Scientist interview
  • TED Talks: David Deutsch on our place in the cosmos at TED Global in 2005
  • Wired News: Interview
  • Quantum Cryptography: Interview with David Deutsch
  • The Discrete and the Continuous
  • TED Talk: A new way to explain explanation
  • The universality of quantum computation, and its implications
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.