Michael's Notebook

The online notebook of Michael Nielsen. My work aims to help create systems which support creativity and discovery. Currently, my main projects are working on metascience, programmable matter, and tools for thought. In the past I've worked on quantum computing, open science, and artificial intelligence, and there's a lot of crossover with my current interests. Bio (2020).

I like to write books. You can also get a sense of some of my favorite projects over the years. And some of my current work is described below.

I'm a Research Fellow at the Astera Institute.

Tags: quantum, qis, paper, display, qc, tft, metascience, scienceplusplus, misc, fom, os, ci, universality, ai, science, physics, cs, memory, twitter, sb, wn, xrisk, df, podcast, book, math, majorization, notes, talk, ongoing, class, personal, life, gtd, search, dod, writing, interview, conversation, ea, design, quanta, publishing, geometry, self, email, places, climate, art, video, top, research, thesis

Ongoing: LLM uses, reading, places, quotes, slow, sporadica, unusual, workshop template




I believe far better social processes are possible in science, processes that can activate great latent potential for discovery. However, at present the social processes mostly change only very slowly, despite clear problems. How can we create a world in which science rapidly and routinely greatly improves its social processes? Much of my thinking is under the scienceplusplus tag; here's a few selected items:

The Future of Matter

It is sometimes implied physics is near an end – a "theory of everything" – because we understand so much about the basic rules governing matter and our universe. That's like assuming computer science would end with the Turing machine, computing's "theory of everything". Of course, it kickstarted a massive explosion. I believe we're currently beginning to do for matter what Turing and successors did for computing. Can we make matter truly programmable? Can we invent new high-level abstractions and design ides, doing for matter what people like John McCarthy, Alan Kay, and co did for computing? Much of my thinking is under the fom tag; here's a few selected items:

Selected Projects

A fuller listing may be found here.