Seth Lloyd

Seth Lloyd

Director, WM Keck Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory

Professor, MIT

The Democracy of Knowledge

Science is an intrinsically democratic form of knowledge: it consists of facts, ideas, and experiments that can in principle be verified by anyone, regardless of country, creed, color, or, for that matter humanity --- a scientific result can be verified by an alien, a computer, or an intelligent rat. Moreover, because it is funded largely by public monies, Science has a unique responsibility to the pubic. This talk discusses the implications of the democratic nature of Science. Two of my current projects, the physics of time travel, and the quantum mechanics of life, are used as examples of what scientific inquiry can and cannot accomplish.

Seth Lloyd received his B.A. in Physics from Harvard, his M.Phil. in Philosophy of Science from Cambridge, and his Ph.D. in Physics from Rockefeller University. After working as a postdoc at Caltech and Los Alamos, he joined the faculty at MIT, where he is a Professor of Quantum-Mechanical Engineering. His research focuses on how physical systems process information. He was the first person to develop a realizable model for quantum computation and is currently working with a variety of groups to construct and operate quantum computers and quantum communication systems. Dr. Lloyd is the author of `Programming the Universe,' and is currently the director of the W.M. Keck Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory (xQIT) at MIT.