David Deutsch's 1997 book "The Fabric of Reality" laid the groundwork for an all-encompassing Theory of Everything, and galvanized interest in the idea of a quantum computer, which could solve problems of hitherto unimaginable complexity.

Why you should listen

David Deutsch will force you to reconsider your place in the world. This legendary Oxford physicist is the leading proponent of the multiverse (or "many worlds") interpretation of quantum theory -- the idea that our universe is constantly spawning countless numbers of parallel worlds.

In his own words: "Everything in our universe -- including you and me, every atom and every galaxy -- has counterparts in these other universes." If that doesn't alter your consciousness, then the other implications he's derived from his study of subatomic physics -- including the possibility of time travel -- just might.

In The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch tied together quantum mechanics, evolution, a rationalist approach to knowledge, and a theory of computation based on the work of Alan Turing. "Our best theories are not only truer than common sense, they make more sense than common sense,"Deutsch wrote, and he continues to explore the most mind-bending aspects of particle physics.

In 2008, he became a member of the Royal Society of London.

What others say

“Amazingly enough, it is Deutsch's idea -- one he has harbored since childhood, he says -- to truly understand 'everything' that is known. Even more amazing is how close he seems to have come and how well he explains it to the rest of us.” — The San Jose Mercury News

More news and ideas from David Deutsch

A new way to explain explanation: David Deutsch on TED.com

October 26, 2009

For tens of thousands of years our ancestors understood the world through myths, and the pace of change was glacial. The rise of scientific understanding transformed the world within a few centuries. Why? Physicist David Deutsch proposes a subtle answer.(Recorded at TEDGlobal 2009, July 2009, Oxford, UK. Duration: 16:39) Twitter URL: http://on.ted.com/4G Watch David Deutsch’s […]

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David Deutsch at TEDGlobal 2009: Running notes from Session 5

July 22, 2009

Unedited running notes from TEDGlobal 2009. Our ancestors wondered what stars are. Humans have always yearned to know more — it is a survival instinct. “How can I be warmer, cooler, safer, in less pain?” Prehistoric cave artists may have wished to draw better. But although they wished for more knowledge, for progress, they failed. […]

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