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, science, ai, physics, cs, memory, twitter, sb, wn, df, podcast, book, math, majorization, talk, xrisk, ongoing, class, personal, life, notes, 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

Elsewhere:- A Vision of Metascience: An Engine of Improvement for the Social Processes of Science
- Quantum Country: An introduction to quantum computing and quantum mechanics. Presented in a new mnemonic medium intended to make it almost effortless to remember what you read.
- Neural Networks and Deep Learning: Introduction to the core principles.
- Reinventing Discovery: the New Era of Networked Science: How collective intelligence and open science are transforming the way we do science.
- An introduction to majorization and its applications to quantum mechanics (draft of a book)
- Quantum Computation and Quantum Information

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:

- A Vision of Metascience: An Engine of Improvement for the Social Processes of Science (Michael Nielsen and Kanjun Qiu)
- The trouble in comparing different approaches to science funding (Michael Nielsen and Kanjun Qiu)
- In what sense is the science of science a science?
- Science is getting less bang for its buck (Patrick Collison and Michael Nielsen)
- Reinventing Discovery: the New Era of Networked Science

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:

- Maps of Matter
- How do scanning tunnelling microscopes work?
- The varieties of material existence
- In what sense is quantum computing a science?
- Interesting problems: The Church-Turing-Deutsch Principle
- The Fermionic canonical commutation relations and the Jordan-Wigner transform

A fuller listing may be found here.

- Notes on Existential Risk from Artificial Superintelligence 2023-09-18
- A Vision of Metascience: An Engine of Improvement for the Social Processes of Science (Michael Nielsen and Kanjun Qiu) 2022-10-18
- Notes on Effective Altruism 2022-06-02
- Cosmos: working notes, 1 2022-02-16
- The trouble in comparing different approaches to science funding (Michael Nielsen and Kanjun Qiu) 2022-02-09
- Maps of Matter 2021-02-01
- How can we develop transformative tools for thought? (Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen) 2019-10-03
- Quantum Country (Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen) 2019-03-19
- Science is getting less bang for its buck (Patrick Collison and Michael Nielsen) 2018-11-15
- Augmenting Long-term Memory 2018-07-05
- Using Artificial Intelligence to Augment Human Intelligence (Shan Carter and Michael Nielsen) 2017-12-04
- Thought as a Technology 2017-11-29
- Magic Paper 2017-11-05
- Toward an Exploratory Medium for Mathematics 2016-02-28
- Reinventing Explanation 2014-01-31
- Neural Networks and Deep Learning 2013-11-25
- The Artist and the Machine 2013-02-06
- Lisp as the Maxwell's equations of software 2012-04-11
- If correlation doesn't imply causation, then what does? 2012-01-23
- Reinventing Discovery: the New Era of Networked Science 2011-10-23
- Massively collaborative mathematics (Tim Gowers and Michael Nielsen) 2009-10-15
- Is Scientific Publishing About to Be Disrupted? 2009-06-29
- Doing Science Online 2009-01-26
- The future of science 2008-07-17
- The geometry of quantum computation (Mark R. Dowling and Michael A. Nielsen) 2006-12-31
- Quantum computation as geometry (Michael A. Nielsen, Mark R. Dowling, Mile Gu, and Andrew C. Doherty) 2006-03-19
- Optimal control, geometry, and quantum computing (Michael A. Nielsen, Mark R. Dowling, Mile Gu, and Andrew C. Doherty) 2006-03-19
- Noise thresholds for optical cluster-state quantum computation (Christopher M. Dawson, Henry L. Haselgrove, and Michael A. Nielsen) 2006-01-11
- Noise thresholds for optical quantum computers (Christopher M. Dawson, Henry L. Haselgrove, and Michael A. Nielsen) 2005-09-09
- The Fermionic canonical commutation relations and the Jordan-Wigner transform 2005-07-29
- Algebraic and information-theoretic conditions for operator quantum error correction (Michael A. Nielsen and David Poulin) 2005-06-09
- The Solovay-Kitaev algorithm (Christopher M. Dawson and Michael A. Nielsen) 2005-05-06
- Cluster-state quantum computation 2005-04-13
- Quantum computing and polynomial equations over the finite field Z
_{2}(Christopher M. Dawson, Henry L. Haselgrove, Andrew P. Hines, Duncan Mortimer, Michael A. Nielsen, and Tobias J. Osborne) 2004-08-20 - Distance measures to compare real and ideal quantum processes (Alexei Gilchrist, Nathan K. Langford, and Michael A. Nielsen) 2004-08-10
- Fault-tolerant quantum computation with cluster states (Michael A. Nielsen and Christopher M. Dawson) 2004-05-23
- Simulating Hamiltonian dynamics using many-qudit Hamiltonians and local unitary control (Michael J. Bremner, Dave Bacon, and Michael A. Nielsen) 2004-05-20
- Interesting problems: The Church-Turing-Deutsch Principle 2004-04-16
- Optical quantum computation using cluster states 2004-02-02
- Extreme Thinking 2003-09-07
- Fungible dynamics: There are only two types of entangling multiple-qubit interactions (Michael J. Bremner, Jennifer L. Dodd, Michael A. Nielsen, and Dave Bacon) 2003-07-21
- Simple Rules for a Complex Quantum World 2002-11-01
- An introduction to majorization and its applications to quantum mechanics (draft of a book) 2002-10-18
- Universal simulation of Hamiltonian dynamics for quantum systems with finite-dimensional state spaces (Michael A. Nielsen, Michael J. Bremner, Jennifer L. Dodd, Andrew M. Childs, and Christopher M. Dawson) 2002-05-31
- Entanglement, quantum phase transitions, and density matrix renormalization (Tobias J. Osborne and Michael A. Nielsen) 2001-09-05
- Universal quantum computation and simulation using any entangling Hamiltonian and local unitaries (Jennifer L. Dodd, Michael A. Nielsen, Michael J. Bremner, and Robert T. Thew) 2001-06-12
- Majorization and the interconversion of bipartite states (Michael A. Nielsen and Guifré Vidal) 2001-05-28
- Separable states are more disordered globally than locally (Michael A. Nielsen and Julia Kempe) 2000-11-30
- Quantum Computation and Quantum Information (Michael A. Nielsen and Isaac L. Chuang) 2000-10-01
- Characterizing mixing and measurement in quantum mechanics 2000-08-16
- Conditions for a class of entanglement transformations 1998-11-20
- Complete quantum teleportation using nuclear magnetic resonance (Michael A. Nielsen, Emanuel Knill, and Raymond Laflamme) 1998-11-08
- Quantum information theory (PhD dissertation) 1998-08-15
- Programmable Quantum Gate Arrays (M. A. Nielsen and Isaac L. Chuang) 1997-03-18
- Information transmission through a noisy quantum channel (Howard Barnum, Michael A. Nielsen, and Benjamin Schumacher) 1997-02-26
- Quantum data processing and error correction (Benjamin Schumacher and M. A. Nielsen) 1996-10-01