This talk presents a simple theory that applies to both statistical mechanical and financial systems. The theory identifies a fundamental source of instability in systems which involve the exchange of information and of quantities such as energy and assets/debt. In the case of gravitational systems, this instability leads to gravitational collapse and the formation of black holes. In the case of financial systems, it leads to financial bubbles and bankruptcy.


Seth Lloyd is a professor of mechanical engineering and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His research area is the interplay of information with complex systems, especially quantum systems. He has performed seminal work in the fields of quantum computation, quantum communication and quantum biology, including proposing the first technologically feasible design for a quantum computer, demonstrating the viability of quantum analog computation, proving quantum analogs of Shannon's noisy channel theorem, and designing novel methods for quantum error correction and noise reduction.


Research Programmes