In the traditional scientific account, the universe is composed of matter and energy. However, there is another key ingredient: information. Every atom and elementary particle carries with it bits of information, and when two atoms collide, those bits flip. The universe computes. The history of the universe is an intricate dance in which energy and information twirl and entwine. By understanding how and why the universe computes, we gain insight into the nature of reality itself.

Dr. Seth Lloyd was the first person to develop a realizable model for quantum computation and is working with a variety of groups to construct and operate quantum computers and quantum communication systems. Dr. Lloyd’s interests include the application of information theory to physical systems, quantum coherence in photosynthesis, and the characterization of complex systems. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers, and of Programming the Universe, (Knopf, 2004). Dr. Lloyd is a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, and an adjunct faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute. He is currently the director of the W.M. Keck Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory (xQIT) at MIT.

Curator: Emily Zimmerman


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