David Deutsch

David Deutsch

British theoretical physicist at University of Oxford known for his ideas in quantum physics and quantum computation.

David Deutsch is considered to be the founder of the quantum theory of computation, based on his 1985 paper, Quantum theory, the Church-Turing principle and the universal quantum computer. Other theoretic advances he is known for include the theory of quantum logic gates and quantum computational networks and several fundamental quantum universality results. Deutsch is a proponent of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Deutch is also known for expounding a new criterion for scientific explanation, which is to formulate invariants, or state an explanation that remains invariant in the face of new information or conditions.

Deutsch is the author of two popular science books. The Fabric of Reality (1997) deals with Everettian quantum theory and the concept of multiple parallel universes. The Beginning of Infinity (2011) is about the nature and evolution of human knowledge and includes evolutionary biology, quantum physics, mathematics, philosophy and ancient history.

Deutsch was awarded the Paul Dirac Prize and Medal by the Institute of Physics in 1998 and won the Edge of Computation Science Prize in 2005.

Constructor theory

David Deutsch and Chiara Marletto at the University of Oxford put forth the constructor theory which acts as a foundation and links together classical and quantum information. Traditionally, physics explains the world in terms of initial conditions and laws of motion, which leads to a distinction between what happens and what does not happen. In constructor theory, Deutsch’s fundamental principle is that all laws of physics are expressible in terms of physical transformations that are possible and those that are impossible. Rather than the laws of physics dictating what is possible and impossible, they are the result of what is possible and impossible.


July 8, 1985

Quantum Theory, the Church-Turing Principle and the Universal Quantum Computer

A pioneering paper that proposed the idea of a universal quantum computer.



Further reading


The Infinite Optimism of Physicist David Deutsch

John Horgan


January 17, 2018

Documentaries, videos and podcasts


"David Deutsch on the infinite reach of knowledge" from The TED Interview by TED Talks on Apple Podcasts




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