It’s high time to reveal the next pioneer – the charming and playful genius of Charles H. Bennett. By the way – he hates being described as a genius, so the deepest apologies for that, Charles.
As you might already suspect, it’ll be the second episode of the second season of my documentary series.
The final cut should be ready in two, three months, then the movie will be queued for distribution (I’ll keep you posted on the progress), but I’ve just prepared an early alpha teaser v 1.0 – to be, hopefully, enjoyed right now (above).
Charles H. Bennett is widely known for his research in quantum information field. If fact he is one of the very creators of it. He was involved in the milestone discoveries of quantum cryptography and quantum teleportation, both theory and experiment wise. In 1984, with Gilles Brassard, he developed the first quantum cryptography protocol. Then, in 1993, he went even further, proposing a scheme of transmitting quantum information from one location to another (in collaboration with Gilles Brassard, Claude Crépeau, Richard Jozsa, Asher Peres, and William Wootters). But the movie will focus on something completely different – on Charles Bennett’s recent, more philosophical musings.
In this sixth episode of Pioneers Charles will tell a story of the past. More precisely – on the ambiguity of the past, and the complexity of the present. We’ll look for the answer for the question of the ontological status of the past. In other words: we’ll try to explain what facts of the past can be truly and entirely recovered from their physical traces in the present.
We’ll follow some of those tiny events, like water droplets evaporating in the desert heat, waves shaping surface of a forest lake, asking whether they’re doomed to be entirely forgotten – or not.
We spent three crazy days filming the episode in the autumn woods of Massachusetts and Upstate New York. That was a fabulous intellectual ride!
And here’s more – some time ago Charles, a physics trained natural born humanist, introduced a provocative idea of mathematical ethics. Here’s is a conversation on the topic.
It’s a part of jam session with Vlatko Vedral, quantum mechanics maverick from Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore, and University of Oxford (many thanks, Vlatko), that I arranged and filmed two years ago, when Charles Bennett was visiting Singapore.
At some point, when time allows, I’ll try to properly edit the rest (slightly more specialistic) of the footage. But even whose eight minutes of discussion between two gentlemen is something truly worth your attention.
And if you’re intrigued by the persona of Vlatko Vedral (you definitely should), I’ve got yet something else. In this short film that I also shot in Singapore Vlatko presents his intriguing views on the fabric of reality. Have fun!
Oh yes – I would almost forget: Charles Bennett is one of the key protagonists of Reality Lost, a documentary that presents paradoxical outcomes of two quantum revolutions – the movie made in anticipation of the third one.
Reality Lost was produced by Centre for Quantum Technologies at National University of Singapore, written, directed and shot by me – with a huge and lasting support of Artur Ekert and Dag Kaszlikowski.
Below you’ll find an excerpt on quantum cryptography (the BB84 protocol, to be precise). All the excerpts are collected here.
And a bonus scene: Artur Ekert, Gilles Brassard, and Charles H. Bennet reminisce about the beginnings of quantum information theory and foundations of quantum mechanics research. There’s more of bonus scenes, of course.