School of Informatics

19th November 2013: Dr Charles Bennett

The information revolution is based on what a physicist would call a classical view of information. Quantum effects were long regarded as a mere nuisance for information processing, preventing information in microscopic objects from being observed or copied accurately, but are now known to make possible feats like quantum cryptography and, if a quantum computer can be built, dramatic speedups of some computations. More importantly, the quantum approach has led to a more coherent and powerful way of thinking about information.



We review this approach, especially the uniquely strong and private kind of correlation known as entanglement, which plays a role in many ways complementary to classical information. Entanglement helps explain the origin of randomness, why the future is more uncertain than the past, and, paradoxically, the macroscopic world's superficially classical appearance, which allowed quantum laws to remain undiscovered until the 20th century.


Dr Charles Bennett received his PhD from Harvard in 1971. Since coming to IBM's Research Division in 1973 he has helped elucidate many aspects of the relation between physics and information processing, including the logical and thermodynamic reversibility of computation, the Maxwell's Demon problem, quantum cryptography, quantum teleportation and quantum computation.

He is an IBM Fellow, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of several prizes and honorary doctorates.

The Quantum nature of Information Tuesday 19 November 2013, 4.00pm Room G07, Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB